Open mike 20/06/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 20th, 2023 - 97 comments
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97 comments on “Open mike 20/06/2023 ”

  1. Adrian Thornton 1

    Chris Hedges: The Imminent Extradition of Julian Assange
    & the Death of Journalism

    "Julian Assange’s legal options have nearly run out. He could be extradited to the U.S. this week. Should he be convicted, reporting on the inner workings of power will become a crime"

    Notice RNZ, The Guardian, BBC, Washington Post…infact all liberal media barely cover Assange….because as we know, they are all guard dogs of Western Hegemony..all in for every single Western intervention and war. or power play…the only questions they will ask power is how high should they jump, Sir…but only after they get up off their knees from licking the boots of power.

    https://consortiumnews.com/2023/06/19/chris-hedges-the-imminent-extradition-of-julian-assange-the-death-of-journalism/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=2fe114be-83dd-4d19-8bc0-cfd9281c3bcb

    Chomsky pretty much unpacks MSM in this one short clip…yeah I know we have all seen it,but it is well worth re-watching every know and again….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLcpcytUnWU

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      “a slow motion execution” indeed. Deeply disturbing stuff whether you support Mr Assange personally or not. I support him as a fellow human, flawed but gave it a damn good shot at “sticking it to the man”. Wikileaks did well on TPPA as well, exposing all those MFAT tossers.

      It is a brutal world out there for dissenters re US Imperialism and capitalist hegemony, as we well know in NZ with Nicky Hager’s illegal harassment by the authorities for exposing the inner workings of the ruling class and Military.

      Whatever the odds, for those with a class left world view–keep fighting till “the last general is strangled with the innards of the last banker”…

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1

        – keep fighting till “the last general is strangled with the innards of the last banker”…

        laugh

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          This got held in spam, maybe check spelling in name and email

          • Incognito 1.1.1.1.1

            It is because of what's in Pre-Mod

            • weka 1.1.1.1.1.1

              thanks, fixed now. Didn't realise it did that.

              • Incognito

                No worries. It does actually explain it above the editor box, so I thought it was deliberate, for some reason …

                When I saw another pending comment this morning, it did puzzle me for a few seconds because I couldn’t find anything wrong with it 😉

      • Adrian Thornton 1.1.2

        @Tiger Mountain…"whether you support Mr Assange personally or not. I support him as a fellow human, flawed…" yeah I don't really go along with that, it is just a fact that there was a concerted effort to discredit Assange by pretty much all Western MSM, it was a very successful project, because as we know, many of our fellow citizens just take what is fed to them by their 'trusted' news source at face value…I am sure he is 'flawed', but really why should that concern us?

        I guess what I am trying to say, is that we shouldn't have to preface out defense of Assange with the usual, he might be this or that, but…..the share scope and scale of what he has done in exposing the inner working of power and more, makes anything he might have done, even if it where true, which they were not..pale into insignificance imo.

        I mean it is without a doubt that a shit load more debate and time has given to the allegations against Assange about the two girls, than has been for the 12 innocent humans cut to pieces by a rouge crew of US killers in a gunship over Baghdad on the 12 July 2007…both on this site and in the media…that, my friend, is how successful MSM propaganda is…right there.

        And of course I agree completely with your comment.

        • Tiger Mountain 1.1.2.1

          Fair point Adrian, simple as that. A qualification was not needed.

          The Chris Hedges piece was powerful indeed.

        • Phillip ure 1.1.2.2

          One of the more egregious examples of successful msm propaganda campaigns…swallowed by a disturbingly large number of left wing organs/people..

          Was obama's demonization/execution of gaddaffi…

          Gaddaffi was no angel…but there are/were many more much worse..

          And one good thing gaddaffi did with all his oil money…was to care for his people..

          Libya was about the most secular arab country..

          Libyans enjoyed universal free health/dental care…free childcare..free education to post graduate level.. subsidized housing..

          And newly married couples were given us$40,000..to help them get started..

          And women had full equality of access to education/professions etc..

          Wouldn't it be great if we had all that in nz…?

          Obama turned that into the fundamentalist hell-hole it is now..

          And when those war drums were beating I remember receiving serious opposition in this forum..as I argued against that msm war-mongering consensus building..

          I wonder if any of those who drank that msm kool-ade..have rethought their stances back when..?

    • SPC 1.2

      All inevitable when Congress decided to make legal, after the fact, previous "illegal spying" of Americans. Thus US government can now just cite security reasons for continuance of the "practice", confident that this is now all pretty legal.

      POTUS Obama said the era of illegal spying as over, as if they know longer do it, confident if anyone did leak anything, MSM would not publish it (be seen as on side with security imperatives).

      Thus the refugee status of Snowden, management of whistle blowers and the hunting of Assange (claim of the right to have those who publish/report abroad held accountable), management of non mainstream news media.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    It now appears the govt has not been acting in good faith, in its liaison with the Race Relations Commissioner.

    Foon said he received a call from the secretary for justice, Andrew Kibblewhite​, on Friday morning, telling him that the minister would be in touch to discuss his future as the race relations commissioner.

    Later on Friday, Russell issued a statement via the prime minister’s office, saying he had resigned. Foon said she hadn’t contacted him.

    Hipkins said Russell had written to Foon at some point, saying she was accepting his resignation.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/132358949/chris-hipkins-insists-meng-foon-is-no-longer-race-relations-commissioner

    So she accepted his resignation on Friday despite him emailing the PM of his intention to resign on Sunday – which he then didn't do due to her decision on Friday to pre-empt him. Nor did she contact him as per the justice secretary's promise. Looks bad.

    The PM has taken refuge in a revolutionary new legal doctrine invented by govt lawyers: something actually happens when someone predicts it, not when it does. He has faith in them, believes they got that right. I wonder why?

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      Meen Foon has got the pip and thinks he was snaked by the minister. He's going to be as bloody minded and do as much performative confusion around the resignation process as possible.

      The question is whether or not Deborah Russell followed the process or was sloppy.

      Everyone says Meng Foon was an excellent race relations commissioner, but he was a bit fast and loose with conflicts of interest in a way that often trips people up in public office. A pity.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1

        Some in public life are more onto it–such as ex FNDC and current Supercity Auckland Council Mayor Brown.

        One of his first acts as Chair of Auckland DHB was to suspend Standing Orders regarding Board Members conflicts of interest! (described in a long Metro magazine article at the time).

        The 40th anniversary of Rogernomics/Ruthanasia is next year, and some of the squiggling around among the Public/administrative sector seems a direct result of our embedded neo liberal state. Personal shareholding and business interests are good! Penetration of public infrastructure and services by private capital is good! All good–ok?–for some…

      • tWiggle 2.1.2

        Meng Foon Monday on RNZ Checkpoint

        Meng Foon claims he filed a full list of his interests in 2019, but that 40% of his declaration was somehow deleted between his filing and government records. He also said he contributed roughly equal amounts to both National and Labour electorate candidates. I remember him discussing his family's balanced electoral donations from that excellent doco on him TS listed before.

        Meng Foon reckons there was no meeting with the government to sit down and sort out what actually happened. Bad process. The hasty media leakage supports the idea there are muck-raking saboteurs somewhere in the Labour camp. Or audio bugs in Ministers' offices. Otherwise that meeting would have taken place before hitting headlines.

    • Anne 2.2

      Who gives a damn what he said he did and didn’t do.

      We know he emailed the prime minister on Friday (late morning) and said he had resigned effective from Sunday. We know this is true because the PM read the email out at his Monday Press conference. Anyone with half a brain knows what that means. He had resigned.

      Come Sunday Foon changes his mind and says he hasn't resigned. He comes up with some claim that he didn't tell the PM or anyone else he had resigned.

      The Nat/Act ensemble of clowns – with a lot of help from ZB journos in particular – are using the situation to contend that the government is playing silly buggers.

      We can see who is playing silly buggers alright – the former Race Relations Conciliator, Meng Foon.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        Depends how serious he is, I suspect. That may hinge on how much he regards the threat to his reputation from govt misrepresentation (his view of that). The evidence shows that he never carried out his intention to resign on Sunday.

        Since Trump, of course, truthiness has been trendy political behaviour. I don't blame the govt succumbing to that lure – one must keep up with the times. Smoke & mirrors often work well in deluding voters.

        I don't expect National or ACT to be able to figure out where the truth lies in this kerfuffle, but you never know. They may suss it out eventually…

      • Sanctuary 2.2.2

        Well let's not be unrealistic about what is going on here. The John Key class can ruin any number of productive businesses with private equity firm buyouts and and throw thousands out of work while they do so and end up with Knighthoods and business schools named after them because thjat is "legal" and "legitimate".

        Some dude like Meng Foon can try and help to make a difference and if in the process he makes an enemy of the corporate media's funders then the muck rackers will ensure he'll be tripped up over something as literally small as a pair of underpants (just ask Tuku Morgan).

        To put it another way, the law is the dominant form within the state of the dominant ideology. The ruling norms, as encoded in law, are constituted and enforced by political violence – something Meng Foon has found out the hard way. The Right understands that whether or not you have broken the law is partly a matter of superior force.

        Nonetheless, Foon should have been aware of the nature of political violence that would be directed at him and acted accordingly. He's every right to be annoyed. He knows the real score. But being publically bitter about it is just self-harm at this point in time.

        • Anne 2.2.2.1

          I agree Meng Foon was a genuine person wanting to make things better for those NZers at the bottom of the heap, and in particular to call out racism whenever he saw it. I expect he was a target of racism himself.

          But he's been around the public traps for many years. He should have known you must do everything by the book. He claims he did, but it looks like he took a slack approach to his declarations of pecuniary interests and now he wonders why he is singled out for punishment.

          He not only let himself down, but he let the government of the day down too.

          You…never…do…that…without…consequences.

    • Shanreagh 2.3

      The PM has taken refuge in a revolutionary new legal doctrine invented by govt lawyers: something actually happens when someone predicts it, not when it does. He has faith in them, believes they got that right. I wonder why?

      Perhaps the new legal doctrine has a link to the rot of common decency and care to treat Govt appointees that seems to occur in longer serving Governments. This kind of legal doctrine may caste a pall over how appointees are treated and inevitably stop the kind of free & frank decsions, ideas that come from the office of some appointees. No matter if Meng Foon and/or Govt has tied themselves in knots about CoI policies it does not derogate from the simple huamn virtue of treating another person with decency/dignity.

      Some might call it arrogance but I don't think it is that simple an explanation. It is a mix of 'don't care', 'turbulent priests' (ie a dimishing ability to let a person do their job even if controversial), can't be bothered and the diminshing numbers,as a Govt gets older, of people who could influence on procedure/niceties close to those making a decision.

      • Dennis Frank 2.3.1

        Emotional intel has been trending since the '90s so we can reasonably expect folks to be increasingly aware of the stuff you mention. Remains to be seen how much of a jaundiced view of Labour this controversy produces amongst floating voters.

        However there's an upside to their endorsement of the revolutionary new legal doctrine: they can use it as a campaign tool.

        "Look, all we need to do to prevent climate change is for the PM to predict that we will defeat it. According to our new legal doctrine, that defeat will occur at the press conference the instant the PM issues his prediction."

        Hipkins would get an instant reputation as a political wizard, his poll ratings would shoot up in response to his wizardry. Legal doctrine is powerful magic.

        • Shanreagh 2.3.1.1

          Yes I forsee a future for this new legal doctrine of being held to a decision when you didn't intend or realise you were making a decision. Harking back it has a ring of a Claytons decision (oldies will pick up this reference)

          It will be superbly useful when used in conjunction with those devices to track brain waves/thoughts/speech patterns…but that is somewhere in the future.

          In court cases Judges could be quick decision makers just on hearing one side perhaps, or when a person makes a mistake it would be a decision whether just or right.

          I foresee a great use of the East Coast eyebrow waggle/affirmation, backward nod, appropriate because that is where Meng Foon is from, to signify that you have made a decision. To capture this though we would all have to wear chest cameras like the police so our waggles could be recorded.

          Like the 'what is a woman' question and the quote from the Minister in a Labour Govt I used to work for, it is a bad look in politics when your actions cause others to laugh at you. Pity for the women and Meng Foon who are unwitting casualties in this laughter.

    • Ad 2.4

      Through his handling of Meng Foon, Hipkins has made it crystal clear what he is going to do with Michael Wood once the inquiry is released.

      Michael Wood is Destination Fucked.

  3. Visubversa 3

    Erasing women and erasing homosexuality. "Style Guides" and policy capture.

    "I’m quite convinced that much of this is taking place with the best of intentions, but it is clear that the murder of a gay man in London in 1972 and subsequent police mishandling of the case is being used fifty years later to advance a political agenda by regarding him as a woman for all purposes, because he wore women’s clothes and sometimes used the name “Michelle”. The context in which all of this took place, the endemic and institutional homophobia in England in the 70s, are all lost in this unilateral repurposing of a pivotal case to service a modern agenda. The entire page has been unsexed, with references to homosexuality incrementally erased to pave the way for alternative interpretations of Maxwell’s “gender identity”. Two days ago a photo was added with the caption “The victim, presenting as female”."

    https://www.voidifremoved.co.uk/p/the-war-on-tenor

  4. PsyclingLeft.Always 4

    Migrant living in garage, working illegally after paying thousands for work visa

    He said employers take advantage of him knowing that he was working illegally, and the lowest he had been paid was $18 per hour.

    the exploitation was happening in many sectors, including construction, hospitality and aged care and involved workers from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and South America.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/492313/migrant-living-in-garage-working-illegally-after-paying-thousands-for-work-visa

    I'm kinda bemused by this. I do have some sympathy for this guy, but how did he (and the others ) come to be here without definitely solid jobs?

    Would that not be part of the visa application….in NZ ? IMO If not, should be.

    As…apart from helping to drive down …our hard fought NZ living wage and work conditions , he says lowest (illegal !) work $18. There are unscrupulous people only too keen to take advantage.

    Maybe the Nacts should be jumping up and down about unscrupulous employers? Like that would ever happen.

    As to Nact, having a pool of literally desperate people, is the future dream.

    IMO : our nightmare.

    • JeremyB 4.1

      "How did how did he (and the others ) come to be here without definitely solid jobs?"

      They did have jobs to come to, as stated in your linked article:

      "Welldone Construction manager Jerry Zhang said the man did have a contract with the company and it knew his visa had been approved in January.

      He said the agent Johnson Yang only told the firm this month that the worker had arrived and had been doing other jobs.

      The company decided to cancel the man's visa."

      He is a victim of an immigration scam

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.1.1

        Well….Do you think its just one? A handful?. IMO there are many more being abused by unscrupulous employers throughout NZ.

        Dozens of migrant workers are being exploited by Queenstown employers who are not meeting the minimum conditions required by their visas, the Queenstown Citizens Advice Bureau says.

        Connie, who obtained temporary residency after working in New Zealand for five years, said migrant workers, particularly those from the developing world, were seen as cheap labour and treated more like a commodity, rather than as people.

        Queenstown Housing Initiative co-founder Hannah Sullivan said the problems were compounded in Queenstown where housing was desperately short and migrant workers accommodation was also often linked to their employer.

        "Right now people are being exploited, because it's better than what they can go back to," Sullivan said.

        More than half of those in touch with the initiative were migrant workers, she said.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/492263/migrant-workers-being-exploited-queenstown-citizens-advice-bureau-says

        • JeremyB 4.1.1.1

          There is never only one cockroach.
          The gossip on Chinese social media is that the Albany restaurant assaultee has also had his visa cancelled by his bonded employer. Not that that is an excuse for violence but it desperate people do desperate things.

  5. alwyn 5

    We had a visit from one of our grand-children over the weekend. She came down from Auckland for a visit. On Sunday she decided that she was going to buy a Lotto ticket. She had worked out a plan to do some good with the $26 million prize in the unlikely event that she won it.

    She is only 19 so she still has all the illusions of youth. Things like voting Green because she thinks their policies are sensible. She thinks the tax policy is a great idea.

    Anyway I got her to explain what she would do with $26 million in a Green Party tax environment. After she had ben puzzling over it for a little while she went rather quiet and got me to check her numbers.

    Her proposal was to spend $2 million on a house in Auckland. In the innocence of youth she thought that that would provide her with everything she could possibly want. The other $24 million would go into 3 year term TDs, providing an income of $1.2 million (at 5%) before tax each year. She would take $100k / year to live on and give away the rest.

    Then she worked out what her after tax income would be. Income tax on the $1.2 million would be $512,950. The wealth tax would be $600,000 for a total of $1,112,950. She wouldn't even have left enough for the $100 k she wanted to live on.

    I'm not so sure now that she thinks the Green tax policy is quite such a good idea.

    There would be nothing left to give away.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 5.1

      Wow what an uplifting story ! All true I'm sure. Did it warm your heart to crush this "grandchilds" "innocent" dream?

      Hopefully once the visit finished…"she" remained untainted by your Grinch like advice.

      If at all possible…..have a nice Day : )

    • SPC 5.2

      She should ask another "grandparent" for advice how to manage that circumstance.

      1. She could set up charitable trusts and or

      2. Place the capital in growth assets (stocks and property). The dividends and rent income to live off and borrow against the increasing value of the asset to meet wealth tax requirements.

    • Peter 5.3

      Just like that eh, how having $26 million becomes a burden and a problem.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.4

      Ahh, the trials and tribulations of hypothetical extreme wealth – we've all been there.

      Your grand-daughter seems to have the right idea; it's a shame that not everyone is so generous with their 'burden'.

      From a half-remembered Lotto ad:

      To a farmer: And what would you do if you won Lotto?
      Farmer (deadpan): I'd probably keep farming until it was all gone.

    • weka 5.5

      I'm intrigues that you would mislead your granddaughter Alwyn (not so intrigued that you would mislead us, that's just boring at this point).

      If she has $24m, and gets $1.2m in interest/income off that per annum, she would as you say have to pay $600,000 in wealth tax and $512,000 in income tax per year, a total of $1,112,000 annually (I'm rounding). That leaves her with $24,000,000 in assets and $88,000 in income per year.

      The money she wants to 'give away', has been given to the government to contribute to the lifting everyone out of poverty. I assume she approves of this given she supports the wealth tax.

      She can also do other things with the $24,000,000 after she buys a house, like start a business that generates additional income. Or set up a not for profit and put the ownership into a charitable trust. Or buy a couple of houses and rent them out to give herself the additional income she wants.

      She has a lot of options. You make it sound like she doesn't and she will end up with hardly any money, why would you mislead her in that way?

      • Alan 5.5.1

        Of course the option she would take is to go and live somewhere else and take her wealth with her.

        As did the vast number of rich people who left countries where this foolishness was instituted.

        Ask France why they changed their mind.

        This is all semantics anyway, no major party will ever agree to this, it is electoral suicide.

        • weka 5.5.1.1

          that sounds like an argument for permanent poverty.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.5.1.1.1

            If you want the super wealthy and no limit to inequality, then permanent poverty for many is the inevitable flip side..

        • Incognito 5.5.1.2

          Ask France why they changed their mind.

          link required – I smell BS.

            • Incognito 5.5.1.2.1.1

              Can’t read it, as it requires a subscription.

              Are you (and Alan) implying that France does not have a wealth tax?

              • Ad

                Incognito I am surprised that the Green Party didn't track France's Capital Tax and its complete reversal. Here's a review of its effects, and the effects of its reversal, from 2022.

                https://www.lemonde.fr/en/politics/article/2022/10/24/the-abolition-of-france-s-wealth-tax-still-has-no-proven-effect-on-the-economy_6001505_5.html

                There was plenty of capital flight. And of course if New Zealand ever generated a capital tax system substantially greater than Australia's, that's where our capital flight would go.

                Capital is way, way more mobile than labour or land or even technology

                You won't get any warnings. They just make their decision and it's done.

              • alwyn

                Sorry about that I have a sub and I forgot about the problem you would have. That was the easiest explanation unfortunately.

                As far as I am aware there is no longer any general wealth tax.

                There is a tax on land and buildings but nothing else. You have to have more than 1.3 million Euros and the maximum rate is 1.5% on property over 10 million Euros.

                There are quite a lot of deductions and reductions in the value assessed. There is also a limit on the percentage of your income that can be charged as tax. It is a great deal less than the roughly 95% the Green Party are proposing.

                Here is another explanation. I hope you can read it. It isn't quite as good as the first but you should get the gist of it.

                https://axis-finance.com/tax/wealth-tax-france/

                • Incognito

                  Yes, I can read that one, thanks.

                  Looks like it is a progressive wealth tax with 6 tax bands and the tax starts at €800,001. Interestingly, it looks like the family home is included. Also, it appears to be based on households, not individuals.

                  It is a great deal less than the roughly 95% the Green Party are proposing.

                  I have no idea how you ascertained this and I assume you made it up. If not, I’d like to see your detailed analysis.

                  • alwyn

                    "I have no idea how you ascertained this and I assume you made it up. If not, I’d like to see your detailed analysis."

                    It doesn't need any detailed analysis. The statement is made in the link I have provided. It states.

                    "The wealth tax ceiling (plafonnement ISF) limits total French and foreign taxes to 75% of income."

                    As I noted in the original comment on what my grand-daughter found the total of wealth and and income tax, could reach almost 95% of income. If her dream of winning Lotto came true it would be about 93% but if you had even more money it could be even more.

                    75% is a great deal less than 95% isn't it?

                    • Incognito

                      I see, your carefully constructed highly artificial imaginary fairy-tale to spin your narrative that the Green proposal is bad for people who might win the Jackpot + Powerball.

                      This reminds me what a waste of space & time most of your comments here are.

                    • alwyn

                      You really do not like being shown up do you?

                      For your information it was not imaginary, it was not artificial. It was precisely what she did. Still, I don't think you would ever accept that so why should we bother to debate.

                    • Incognito []

                      Thankfully, you’re giving up and leaving this site and I don’t have to scan your silly trollish comments any longer. This made my day!

                    • SPC

                      Of course the French in assessing the 75% of income, include CG as income.

                      A system that allows determination of wealth tax liability until sale of property, or ultimately as a form of estate tax (as we also allow for unpaid rates) means tax paid is way less than 75% of income.

                      And the French have an estate tax, do they not?

        • SPC 5.5.1.3

          You are aware a wealth tax impacts on 1% of the people.

          And other OECD nations have CGT and wealth and or estate taxation?

      • alwyn 5.5.2

        She is 19 years old.

        If she starts a business she won't have the $24 million any more. She will, instead, have a business that she will have to run. She will tell you, quite reasonably, that she doesn't know how to run a business at this stage in her life.

        She also would still have to find, from the business, money to pay the wealth tax. If the business wasn't profitable in any given year she would still have to find the money and it is a great deal harder to sell off a part of a small business than it is to not renew a TD.

        She doesn't really want to be a landlord either. Would you when there a proposals to control what rent a private landlord can charge have been floated? Then what is she going to do if she happens to get a really bad tenant who is very difficult to evict.

        I think I could readily persuade her that TDs, in this era of inflation is not a good idea and shares would be better but not that the wealth tax is a great idea.

        Luckily of course I won't have to worry. Her chances of winning are quite negligible.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.6

      Just made a quick spreadsheet and modeled this.

      Assumptions:

      house $2m. Value doesn't change.

      Return on invested remainder (amount adjusted per annum): 5%

      Wealth tax 2.5% on wealth above 2m

      Income tax – using new, higher green-proposed rates including 45% top rate

      She can spend 100k per annum for the next 45 years and at the end will have $1.4m and the house remaining without debt. Not a bad situation, without earning any income or having to work at all! And all from money not earned the hard way in the first place (similar to inheriting a stash). Compared to current situation of many people not able to afford basic housing, food or dental care.

      Giving stuff away? Sounds great, guess what the higher tax rates do – they give stuff away, but without allowing the wealthy to choose not to give, or to only give to art galleries etc.

      • Shanreagh 5.6.1

        Giving stuff away? Sounds great, guess what the higher tax rates do – they give stuff away, but without allowing the wealthy to choose not to give, or to only give to art galleries etc.

        or in two cases I know of in Wellington that don't support the point you are making but are none the less common

        1) the funding of the SPCA new premises/Op ex in Wellington. SPCA has outreach and low cost programmes to help people on low incomes to keep their pets healthy and spayed/neutered.

        2) the funding of ambulances so Wellington can maintain its Free Ambulance Service. (people on low incomes should not have to worry that their urgent trip to hospital is going to be charged to them.

        Then we have other people, some not mega rich who give to groups via funds such as the Nikau Foundation.

        I believe that ensuring we lift the incomes of our poorest citizens is definitely a Govt action. It should be out there in the open that we are adopring a whole of Govt approach to this with funds allocated every year to mee the needs.

        If this wealth tax is to be adopted, and I am hoping it will not in its current form then the

        1)family home should be exempted

        2) kiwisaver funds built up from individual tax paid funds should be exempted.

        3) it should look at way points such as sale or death to ensure funds are allocated to the Govt at these times arther than on a yearly basis

        4) The increased tax rates are fine and don't need to be tied to a wealth tax..

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.6.1.1

          Ambulances shouldn't be charity, they should be a core fully-funded public service. SPCA could also receive public funding.

          Leaving these things to the whims of the wealthy isn't a great idea – they often choose the super yacht instead. Hence the need for a fair tax system, that doesn't allow the majority of wealth to pay little tax.

          • Shanreagh 5.6.1.1.1

            The tax system put out by the Greens with its raised top levels is absolutely fine.

            Private donations can make the difference between something being done or not at all. I'm well in support of the encouragement of private donations.

            These donations to organisations such as the Nikau Foundation where funds from several donors are worked together often would be as much and have far more bang to bucks than the equivalent tax on so-called wealth.

            If you add a famiily home and Kiwisaver deductions saved in individual tax paid funds since 2007 (when KS started) and not drawn down yet could get to over $2m without too much trouble.

            In the Post today 20/6/23 there is a paywalled article setting out the NZ Law Society's view that

            The Law Society Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa has given the Government a ticking off over draft laws based on the purported principle that capital gains taxes are a non-political “universally accepted” principle of tax policy.

            The Government is seeking to pass the Taxation Principles Reporting Bill, which is designed to “increase the availability of information” about the tax system…………

            https://www.thepost.co.nz/a/business/350022127/govt-told-capital-gains-tax-is-not-a-universally-accepted-taxation-principle

            PM Ardern wisely pulled back on this concept. Ways to ensure compliance with tax regimes for those with incomes subject to the highest brackets need much more thought than has been given so far. Many of those subject to the possible wealth tax, especially those with a home and KS would not be be paying tax currently at the highest rates by any means.

            • Incognito 5.6.1.1.1.1

              Forget about KS; the main contribution to one’s wealth comes and will come from property ownership for a long time still.

            • weka 5.6.1.1.1.2

              If you add a famiily home and Kiwisaver deductions saved in individual tax paid funds since 2007 (when KS started) and not drawn down yet could get to over $2m without too much trouble.

              Perhaps, but even so, there is the option to defer payment of the wealth tax until such time the house is sold.

              You appear to be arguing that people who happen to live in a certain area and who happened to buy their house at a certain time, are entitled to keep all the wealth that has accrued from the runaway property market that is now the major driver of poverty in NZ. Whereas the socialists in the room see that as wealth that comes a great cost to others.

              The Greens' plan is to get everyone out of poverty. They're the only party I'm aware of that has this goal, and has a plan for how to do it. And yes, that means we have to look at new ways of sharing wealth.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.6.1.1.1.3

              Charity can be fine, but shouldn't be a substitute for public spending. The wealthy in particular prefer the use of charity rather than state spending.

              Looking at the Nikau foundation as an example – they gave about $1m to projects in their last reporting year. If NZ's richest man paid tax at the same rate as a factory worker – the state would have available 200x more than the Nikau grants, from a single person. There isn't enough charity in the world to compensate for extreme inequality.

        • alwyn 5.6.1.2

          "family home should be exempted".

          Why don't you look some time at what happens in Australia when people reach 65. The Super from the State is means, and income, tested. I'll give the numbers for a couple who own their own home. The family home is not counted in the asset test. If you have other assets totaling less than $420k you get the full amount which is about $42k/year. If you have assets of more than $950k you get NOTHING.

          What people do at that age and with assets of less than about $2 million do is to do up their existing house, or buy a bigger one and also blow their excess money touring the world. Covid may have limited this but it didn't stop it.

          If we, God forbid, follow the path the Green Party are pushing for but we exclude the family home people will do exactly the same thing here. Why not have a mansion, which you might enjoy, rather than put up with tax rates on your savings that approach 100%?

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Rob Campbell targets democracy (by implication):

    I do not fully subscribe to Mao Zedong's saying that “there is great disorder under heaven; the situation is excellent”. But I am of the view that to face the environmental, political and equity challenges of our age we cannot rely on the institutional and social structures which created those challenges.

    My reading of history is that disintegration of trust in the old order is an essential prerequisite to substantive change in how human societies work.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/does-social-cohesion-actually-matter

    He shows us no way forward though. Blind faith in those who wear suits has been on the ebb most of my life. Almost all major social problems have been created & compounded by suit-wearers during the past century. If he were part of the solution he'd show up at board meetings not wearing a suit, right? Authenticity.

    • pat 6.1

      Nothing new there …he demonstrated the same attitudes 40 years ago when Roger had sway.

  7. tWiggle 7

    Instead, trust the algorithm?

  8. tWiggle 8

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ethnicity-a-factor-in-surgery-waitlists-for-years

    The best article I've seen on the topic, a direct interview with those who produced and apply the weighting factors.

    'Bliss [surgical services manager] says it varies from service to service. “Take neurosurgery for instance, clinical priority and days waiting absolutely take precedence over everything else,” he says. But when it comes to low-end routine surgeries Bliss says if the proportion of Māori and Pasifika on the waitlist exceeds their population percentage then a higher weighting is given to ethnicity.

    Clinical need is still the first consideration, however.'

    • weka 8.1

      thanks for that. Unfortunately in the 24 hours that people had to have their reactionary politics, some ideas seem to have cemented in.

    • Incognito 8.2

      Beat me to it!

    • observer 8.3

      This is Luxon on the issue, at Parliament today, full transcript. Ignores all questions, all evidence, simply repeats stock answer. Pathetic.

      https://twitter.com/benmackey/status/1670944628009467906

      • Drowsy M. Kram 8.3.1

        Ignores all questions, all evidence, simply repeats stock answer. Pathetic.

        Luxon is more repetitious than the average Kiwi politician – similar in interviews to John Banks (as a Nat MP, Auckland's mayor, and particularly as leader of ACT.)

        National pulls support for He Waka Eke Noa [7 June 2023; excerpts from 0:30 to 4:00 minutes in the linked Luxon interview.]

        The Govt blew it up and it actually killed it itself.

        The Govt came out and actually said they’re going to kill off a fifth of our sheep and beef farmers within 7 years… [hard to believe that our Govt actually said this, but we know what Luxon said – can't trust him]

        It’s because the Govt’s blown up consensus and blown up the whole proposal

        And the Govt went and blew it all up

        Is your agricultural spokesman correct in saying that it’s dead, or not?

        The He Waka Eke Noa proposal, as it was presented by the industry, and then it was extended by the Govt and, and they they blew it up and they killed it, and so it is dead

        We’re saying we’re deeply committed to agricultural emissions…

        But what I can tell you is really unhelpful, Laura, is that the Govt came out, after the industry spent two years trying to get to a place where it could/felt it had quite a leading edge position on how to navigate agricultural emissions. The Govt said ‘Thank-you very much’, went off and blew it up and said ‘We’re going to knock off a fifth of you within 7 years.

        So this is what passes for Climate Action in the National party – being deeply committed to ‘navigating’ agricultural emissions – dullards.

        Maybe former Air NZ CEO Luxon will throw his hat in the ring for the next supercity mayoral race – that’s if there are any city assets left to sell.

        Banks brought in a streamlined decision making process at council, kept spending increases within inflation, sold half of the Auckland International Airport shares to pay off Auckland City's increasing debt, and proposed massive transport projects such as the Eastern Transport Corridor.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Banks_(New_Zealand_politician)#Mayor_of_Auckland_City

    • joe90 8.4

      The Herald on better equity for Maori on surgery lists.

      (paywalled but you know what to do https://archive.ph/ )

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/surgery-wait-lists-maori-pacific-prioritised-why-ethnicity-is-a-factor/EDUXXOWQ4NFPRFV5FLCVZRRQ5M/

      The cutter's statement.

      RACSurgeons

      @RACSurgeons

      The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons supports the Equity Adjustor Score introduced by Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand to reduce inequity in the health system. Read the full press release here: https://bit.ly/467HHiB

      https://twitter.com/RACSurgeons/status/1670706936617005059

    • newsense 8.5

      I still have a modest proposal available to any right wingers complaining about including ethnicity as one if the criteria for judging surgery priority to swiftly bring equality and perhaps even solve some of our housing issues to boot!

    • newsense 8.6

      Wait Chippy is reviewing the policy? Grow a fuckin pair and also maybe visit Auckland where a decent chunk of your votes should be.

      Considering voting either of the other left options if Hipkins is unable to defend policy that is working.

  9. observer 9

    Always good to see the boomerang …

    When a Labour MP is referred to the Privileges Committee it is the end of days, the apocalypse. See umpteen frothing columns (and a few comments on TS too!). Resign!

    Now an ACT MP has been referred to the same Privileges Committee. Look forward to the same pundit wisdom telling us Seymour has lost his "mojo", ACT are falling apart, etc, etc. Resign!

    Sure.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/act-mp-simon-court-referred-to-privileges-committee/XOMOHAQWQ5GZZFXXC2I5SHQ3ZU/

  10. Morrissey 10

    This shameful episode was analysed by Max Blumenthal on Friday.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccRC-oIBDkU

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Adrian Thornton 10.1

      Hi there Morrissey…good to you here see on TS, I haven't been on much myself lately…got banned for some reason I forget right now, but I am sure it was important to someone at the time, so anyway thought that was a good enough reason to take a longer break…but back on now…look forward to following your comments pal.

      • Morrissey 10.1.1

        It's a pleasure to see you again, Adrian. By the way, that comment of mine was originally a reply to your comment on a thread about that laughable "scandal" at RNZ. Considering the fact that Max Blumenthal’s comments are directly concerned with the topic of the thread, I'm sure that I'm not the only person who would be astonished at the judgement of "a moderator" that it was "off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in."

        https://thestandard.org.nz/when-you-pay-peanuts-you-get-propaganda/#comment-1955080

    • tWiggle 10.2

      Tried wading through the content you posted, but gave up after a couple of minutes.

      'Founded…by Max Blumenthal, The Gray Zone is a far-left news and opinion website that produces long-form journalism…Blumenthal is a writing fellow of the Nation Institute…who is a regular contributor to the Russian news sites, RT and Sputnik..” ' https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-grayzone/

      Their content in the clip appears to be anti-US policy in Ukraine. Flicking through other videos at The GrayZone, I see they spend a whole episode on Pussy Riot to take them down, and also attack Ocasio-Cortez for criticising Trump's appearance on the CNN town hall. So looks like Grayzone support both Putin and Trump. Far-left?

      • Adrian Thornton 10.2.1

        You do understand you can both be anti US proxy war in Ukraine and neither support or like Putin and also point out Cortez's and the Democrat's and their supporting media (sadly including RNZ) outrageous double standards/hypocrisy on anything to do with Trump and not support him…right…I mean seriously,,you do understand that don't you?

      • Morrissey 10.2.2

        Tried wading through the content you posted, …

        Good! That's an encouraging sign.

        … but gave up after a couple of minutes.

        You didn't try very hard. Or does that constitute serious study for you?

        … appears to be anti-US policy in Ukraine…

        You got that right, at least. Do you actually support the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine?

        they spend a whole episode on Pussy Riot to take them down…

        I think the word you are looking for is "critique"; the Gray Zone is a serious and rigorous journalism site. You should spend more than a couple of minutes on it one of these days and decide for yourself.

        So looks like Grayzone support both Putin and Trump.

        No, they support neither, as you would know if you read/watched them for more than a couple of minutes. They're journalists—real journalists, not like those parrots on RNZ National and TVNZ that you take your talking points from.

        Far-left?

        You're just throwing around a label as a term of abuse. What do you mean by "far left"?

  11. Ad 11

    So has anyone else noticed the public service are pulling back from assisting this government in legislative drafting with bills in Select Committee or close to it?

    I know Sir Geoffrey Palmer complained strongly last week about officials gaming and re-drafting the 3-waters legislation well beyond their ambit, but I'm aware of officials doing the same on another one as well.

    Anyone seeing this kind of behaviour?

  12. Visubversa 12

    Another case of a predatory child sex offending man with a case of "prison onset gender dysphoria" showered with female pronouns and referred to a a 'woman".

    #not our crimes.

    "A prisoner who claimed she was unfairly punished by being put in segregation because she formed romantic relationships with other inmates has lost her bid for judicial review.

    Maxien​ Stevens is a prisoner serving a sentence of preventive detention for child sex offending.

    Since beginning her sentence in July 2016, Stevens, 37, has transitioned to identify as a woman."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/300909517/prisoner-claims-she-was-punished-for-romantic-relationships-with-other-inmates

    • tWiggle 12.1

      From the article,I got that a man who was imprisoned for predatory sexual behaviour on young boys is in preventative detention, ie, probably won't be leaving prison for a while. He transitions to trans woman status (before self-id), and moves to a womens' prison in South Auckland.

      They then become a nuisance by developing intimate relationships with women, after which they are moved into solitary on 4 occasions, before being moved back to a mens' prison.

      Sounds like a sexual predator abusing the system to me, and the system has caught the behaviour and shut it down. Some long-term prisoners in the UK will convert to Islam inside, because it gets you get better food and time out for daily prayer. They often stop behaving as Muslim on being freed. People can abuse the system to their benefit. Doesn't mean the system is wrong in protecting a prisoner’s right to freedom of religion or gender expression.

      • Shanreagh 12.1.1

        You have missed one of the current rallying cries/concerns that women have mentioned by Visubversa.

        #not our crimes.

        The crimes of this penis haver or male puberty passers and others like him will now be counted as female crimes just as the sporting records won by penis havers or male puberty passers in womens races will be classed as womens records.

        I guess that is all fine and dandy in the world we have nowdays where biology can be overtaken by wishful thinking.

      • weka 12.1.2

        I'm confused. Is Maxien Stevens a man or a woman?

  13. adam 13

    God Bless these leaders from Africa.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/6/17/war-in-ukraine-must-stop-south-africas-ramaphosa-tells-putin

    Question for weka – does not the web address appear in the bottom left of screen when you scroll over the hyperlink?

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