Open mike 20/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, January 20th, 2015 - 139 comments
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139 comments on “Open mike 20/01/2015 ”

  1. Pete George 1

    Further to recent discussions here on begging monks in Auckland:

    Inside the fake-monk scam: beggars recruited in China

    Fake charity “monks” who target pedestrians on New Zealand’s busiest streets are recruited in China and sent here with the promise of making big money, says a woman who trained as a fake nun.

    A Chinese syndicate is behind the scam, says the woman, who was recruited while living in China.

    For a fee of 10,000 renminbi ($2065), she could become a Taoist nun, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) street doctor or a fortune teller. Recruits could make their fortunes on streets around the world, she said.

    “We were told that if we wanted to go to Western countries, then becoming monks or nuns were the better options, because the West is still not so open to Chinese fortune telling or TCM,” said the woman.

    “The cash collected is shared with the syndicate leaders; the percentage split is done by negotiation.”

    The fee she paid got her a grey Taoist nun outfit and materials such as wooden beaded prayer bracelets, amulets and images of Buddha and Kuan Yin (the goddess of mercy) to support her solicitation.

    The week-long training conducted in her native Zhejiang province included how to size up and approach donors, and knowing when to walk away and when to run.

    In the past year, at least three begging monks in Auckland and Wellington have been spoken to by police here, sparking warnings last week for Auckland residents to stop giving money to Queen St beggars.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11388790

    Donor beware.

    • if we ever need someone to run around shouting ‘the sky is falling in’..the sky is falling in’…

      ..we know where to turn..eh..?

      ..btw..are you still repeating that lie from yesterday that you have never ‘copy/pasted’ from slater..?

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        I don’t think I’ve ever claimed I’ve never copy/pasted from Whale Oil.

        I’ve been copy/pasting from Whale Oil quite a bit lately. That’s what tends to happen in blog posts, they’re often built on copy/pastes. It’s also known as quoting.

        I have no idea what point you’re trying to make, but that’s not unusual.

        • phillip ure 1.1.1.1

          (um..!..yesterday..you..)

          “..A bit ironic after you accused me of copy/pasting Slater/Ede yesterday..”

          (to be said in petulant/simpering/whining-tones..)

          today..you..

          “..I’ve been copy/pasting from Whale Oil quite a bit lately..”

          different day – different story..eh petey..?

          ..which one is true..?

          ..short-term memory-issues..?

          ..like a drink or two..?..d’ya,.?…hic..!

          ..and the ‘point i am trying to make’..

          ..is that every word that comes out of yr mouth is lying-spin..

          ..tailored/doctored for what you think will ‘fit’ for whatever bullshit/disruption u r pushing..

          ..i’ve noted it b 4 petey..

          ..u r as fucken transparant as a sheet of plain-glass…

          ..and every word out of yr mouth is rightwing lies/spin..

          ..(it must be a day ending in a ‘y’..)

          • Pete George 1.1.1.1.1

            I’m not aware of ever copy/pasting Ede.

            And the intent of your accusation was not just to quote Slater/Ede was it.

            “..short-term memory-issues..?” /ironic

            “..like a drink or two..?..d’ya,.?…hic..!” /ironic

            • phillip ure 1.1.1.1.1.1

              q.e.d..

              ..a pirouette worthy of a drunken ex-ballerina..eh..?

              ..and executed with about as much grace/style…

              ..”..And the intent of your accusation was not just to quote Slater/Ede was it..”

              what fucken ‘accusation’..?..

              ..i had complimented u for spotting slaters’ u-turn on uber..

              ..are u able to tell the truth about fucken anything..?

              ..and have you always been such a congenital-liar/fantasist..?

      • Skinny 1.1.2

        That gave me a laugh to start my day with the chicken little joke Phil, cheers.

        You would think Pete G would be constructively commenting on the real crime that is on everyones lips and contributing some problem solving idea’s. That of the greedy 1% ripping the other 99% off through tax avoidance, banking ponzi schemes, anti competitive monopoly racketeering.

        The way Pete is carrying on you would think the begging monks scam it’s the crime of the century. I nod my head in disbelief he is so selectively blind.

        • tracey 1.1.2.1

          why can’t he comment on anything he likes in Open Mike?

          the inequality issue has two dedicated posts.

    • tracey 1.2

      You are not saying that there are no “genuine” beggars though are you Pete? I suppose the upside, if there is one, that the people who gave could afford to give. Downside, many will use this experience to stop being charitable to anyone.

      Now, how are we going exposing the tithing scams… 😉

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        I’m not saying there are no ‘genuine beggars’ but it can be difficult if not impossible to tell the difference. Scammers may it more difficult for genuine beggars.

        ASs I’ve said before I think there’s better ways to contribute. I’ve chosen to be a long time contributor to Oxfam for example, who happen to be featured here:
        http://thestandard.org.nz/top-1-own-50-of-world-wealth-oxfam/

        I agree that tithing can be abused. I don’t like the concept, it can be used to scam the vulnerable and gullible.

        • tracey 1.2.1.1

          I was just joshing with ya Pete.

          I do think it is a shame that it may make people less likely to give. Even if they give to a scammer ( a dollar or two) it can make folks feel good to give and to think about other ways to give.

        • Paul 1.2.1.2

          Tax beats charity.
          Every day.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2.1

            ^^^ this.

            As a society we can eliminate poverty but we can’t do so as individuals.

        • mickysavage 1.2.1.3

          What is more important Pete? A quarter of a million kids living in poverty or a few fake begging monks?

      • Paul 1.2.2

        The real tragedy is that the Herald sees this as their main news.
        As if there aren’t so many other current events stories they could put their resources into.
        The corporate media is failing in its duty as the 4th estate.

        • tracey 1.2.2.1

          yes there is an element of “poor rich people being taken advantage of when being compassionate”… a subliminal message to stop being generous… ??

        • tc 1.2.2.2

          Corporate media is masquerading as the 4th estate, it’s not impartial or bound by any ethics, regulation or history of any note to adhere to those quaint principles.

          Controlling the message, suppressing undesired ones and playing it’s part as DP illuminated.

          Look at the apologist piece on charter schools in granny as todays example.

          • tracey 1.2.2.2.1

            from the NZ Initiative (formed from BRT and Business NZ I think)… and who does “Rosie” cite? David Farrar despite their blurb saying they are neutral and rely on research!

    • weka 1.3

      “Donor beware.”

      Far more beggars in need than scammers. I personally don’t mind of I give money to a scammer unknowingly if it means next time or last time the money went to someone who needed it.

      From what I can tell from Pētera’s argument, it’s more important to not support support scammers than it is to support people in need. Beige ethics.

    • Bill 1.4

      What a piece of unadulterated shite. You want people to believe that some shadowy syndicate takes money from Chinese nationals who are led to believe that the streets of ‘the west’ are paved with gold? And then to believe that some un-named woman, who apparently spoke to Lincoln Tan, paid the syndicate money to get abroad, but then pulled out and….fled the country?!

      Really fucking seriously Pete, if you can’t see the likes of this shite as being nothing more than a thinly veiled attack on the poor, (with a little xeno-phobia thrown in on the side), then fuck, there really isn’t so much as 5/8ths of fuck all hope for you.

      By the way Pete, people on visas who cannot work legally and who are all out of cash are more than entitled to beg. But hey, fuck the humanity or any degree of empathy and spread hate and distrust thick and fast Pete….it’s like your sad and bitter old man forte, is it not?

      • weka 1.4.1

        That would have to be one of the better summations of Pete I’ve seen in a while (‘cept for the old man bit).

        The reason he can’t see the thinly veiled attack on the poor is because he IS a thinly veiled attack on the poor.

        • Te Reo Putake 1.4.1.1

          Heh. Nice work, both of you. Word of warning, keep it up and he’ll write a whingeing post about you on YawnNZ. That’ll learn ya!

      • Paul 1.4.2

        Excellent, Bill

      • phillip ure 1.4.3

        @ bill..

        + 1..

        ..vile curtain-twitching small-town (yes dunedin..!)..racism/furriner-fear…..

        ..i wonder if petey wears a handkerchief with knotted corners..on his head..?

        ..and shorts and gumboots..

        ..i kinda picture him that way..

        (and i’m just guessing here..but i think a hobby/pastime cd be gurning..)

      • Pete George 1.4.4

        Lincoln Tan must be writing for an anti-poor campaign, which NZ Herald must be a party to. And the woman’s lying. And the two people reporting being pressured to donate must be part of a big conspiracy too. And the Auckland Council and Immigration NZ.

        Or really fucking seriously Bill you’re making a dick of yourself.

        “it’s like your sad and bitter old man forte” /irony

  2. Ad 2

    Appropriate signal that its Treasury releasing the RMA reform proposals tomorrow, not MFE. And sad.

    Buckle up for a difficult day. Even Dunne is sounding apologetic on it.

    • tracey 2.1

      *sigh*

      Anytime we leave this stuff to a form of self regulation, the sky falls in… and a small number of developers get very rich… and avoid future liability with their sequence of ritual company liquidations.

      This government refuses to place personal liability on developers, which it did quickly to builders (who can least afford it). There is a clue in there.

      Money first…

      • JanM 2.1.1

        It’s not just this government – it was Labour that removed the Romalpa clause for builders which allowed them to repossess materials unpaid for by developers, and also prevented them from holding caveats over properties when money was owed. Builders, electricians, plumbers, etc were just thrown to the wolves and often bankrupted, while developers refused to pay them, liquidated their companies, started up another one and went on to the next project, all with the blessing of the government. I went through this as the director of a small building company ( and was finally bankrupted by a crooked timber company which rorted a guarantee). Interestingly, the IRD usually wiped the unpaid taxes from these small companies with no fuss – evidence of complicity, I thought at the time.

        • tracey 2.1.1.1

          Agreed. I guess I was just referring to them choosing to make builders and designers personally liable during their term but NOT developers, a consciously made distinction. Labour is not a blame-free zone.

        • phillip ure 2.1.1.2

          @ jan m…

          “..It’s not just this government – it was Labour..”

          ..+ 1..

        • Murray Rawshark 2.1.1.3

          And they wonder why people don’t vote for them. Siding with cowboy developers probably cost them tens of thousands of votes. How the hell did they justify it?

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.4

          4th Labour Government Janm.

          There are few other things that some of us are not too proud about from that time …

      • vto 2.1.2

        You have had a lot to do with developers haven’t you tracey… from reading this hobby horse of yours. However your view is tainted by the particular doings you have had, which have been very specific yes… to do solely with leaky buildings as I recall.

        I would suggest that your crusade to place personal liability onto another sector of the business world is short-sighted. It would make no difference to the bad developers – they would just go bankrupt (assets elsewhere) and then rise again from the ashes. Such a personal liability would make no difference to these people.

        And in fact your proposal would almost certainly backfire as those professional and competent developers currently active would likely go away, thanks to the personal liability imposition. The increased risk, without associated return, would make the equation unworkable and they would depart…… leaving us with only those bad developers for whom bankruptcy is water off a ducks back.

        Your crusade also appears to take no account of the place of limited liability companies in the business world – a large but well settled aspect of our business world.

        • tracey 2.1.2.1

          But builders and designers should lose their shirts and that’s tickety-boo, and presumably the government thought it would make the very difference to those groups you suggest it wouldn’t make to developers?

          The logic that saw personal liability imposed on those two groups must apply by extention to developers.

          It’s not a crusade vto it’s about pointing out the inconsistency in the application of policy/law which seeks to punish the more vulnerable (builder) but not the one who takes the profit, liquidates and is clear of liability.

          “a vigorous campaign for political, social, or religious change.” Nope.

          Why would a professional and competent developer go away? They would only need to go away if they were not professional or competent and thereby likely to incur personal liability? Just like the builders and designers who are currently in that category?

          Are you a developer vto?

          Limited Liability companies also need reform with more exceptions tot he liability. Who do you think devised the limited liability framework vto?

          • vto 2.1.2.1.1

            A couple quick points before I have to rush out. I agree that the imposition of personal liability on buidlers and designers appears inconsistent, however that does not detract from the point made above.

            “Why would a professional and competent developer go away? They would only need to go away if they were not professional or competent and thereby likely to incur personal liability? Just like the builders and designers who are currently in that category?”..

            .. Because, as explained and to repeat, the risk has increased without associated return. It is a simple equation. This has in fact happened with some builders, as you ask. (btw what I do is immaterial but we have significant involvement in this sector).

            I understand the apparent unfairness that you outline but I don’t think your suggestions to correct it are the right ones.

            gotta go

            • tracey 2.1.2.1.1.1

              understood

              • vto

                When personal liability was slapped on builders and designers following the leaky home disaster I was gobsmacked. It is was all out of place and context while achieving little in the way of improvement to the problem, which problem was of course largely due to the neoliberal approach to such things i.e. self-regulation / the market will fix these things / appeal to self-interest. As such if there were any personal liability to be imposed anywhere then the politicians who implemented these policies should have been the subject.

                That is the unfairness tracey

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1.2

              Holding people accountable for their actions are most definitely the right ones.

              Because, as explained and to repeat, the risk has increased without associated return.

              You do understand that they’re not entitled to a return don’t you? That it’s not a God given right?

              And it doesn’t actually matter if the bludgers don’t get the return that they want and so don’t build houses – the government can and they can do it without profit and without cutting corners that cause leaky buildings etc.

              That’s something that people have forgotten. When the private sector won’t provide necessary services then the government must step in. Of course, that does mean that the private sector collapses.

              • vto

                “Holding people accountable for their actions are most definitely the right ones.” …
                .. sure take out the llimited liability company so that all business is done in the businesspersons personal capacity. Do you know and understand the history and place of this feature of our current civilisation? The likely effect of the removal of the limited liability company? I know you do DtB. How do you think it would play out? What would the effect be? Wouldn’t like to be the person owning Jetstar… or Spark …. or be a Council officer …. or own shares in the Warehouse … courts would be busy, and so too would insurers (they would have a field day). Have you ever been in business yourself DtB? Where an intimate knowledge of these things can be gained?

                I understand the philosophy behind your point there but practically the changes would be world-changing.

                next:
                “You do understand that they’re not entitled to a return don’t you?”
                Did someone suggest there was an entitlement to a return? Certainly not me.

                next:
                Your point about government doing some of this stuff is your best point and I agree. Governments have done bigger shit than private sector for eons. Government needs to get into house construction in particular, of that there is no doubt. Plenty of past experience at it.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  he likely effect of the removal of the limited liability company? I know you do DtB. How do you think it would play out? What would the effect be?

                  Like this:

                  Of course, that does mean that the private sector collapses.

                  It’s interesting that, once the government supports and subsidies are removed, the private sector fails at its core. The claim by the business people that they’re the ones taking the risk is shown for what it is – bollocks. Its the community taking the risk and the business people walking away with the rewards.

                  • vto

                    You’re too idealistic for me fulla…

                    As for the claim that business don’t take the risk – bollocks. Our business failed once and the risk came to pass. We went back to square one ….. so please don’t make such silly claims.

                    … though some risks are placed elsewhere as you suggest (factored into business already)

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The amount of risk taken depends upon where you are in the food chain. Small businesses tend to take a lot of risk while large businesses seem to take no risk at all with government often either bailing them out or protecting them in some fashion or other. The preceding discussion about builders and developers is a good case in point.

                      The builders are small, self-employed businesses with turnover measured in tens of thousands while the developers measure their turnover in millions. And yet, despite the developers calling the shots on building sites, it’s the builders who have had the risk placed upon them via legislation. Legislation that seems, from what I can make out, to be about protecting the developers and, indirectly, the banks from their own actions.

                      Never mind the fact that, if the developer does get found against in court they can just shut up shop and not pay while starting an identical business.

        • Murray Rawshark 2.1.2.2

          In other words, let’s not make them accountable because the good ones do nothing wrong anyway and the bad ones won’t take any notice. Weird. I’d rather get rid of them all.

    • Bearded Git 2.2

      Watch Wanaka’s landscapes get destroyed by developers and farmers as this government uses its failed housing policies in Auckland as a fig-leaf for wrecking the RMA.

  3. millsy 3

    Ironically, the RMA was devised, approved and implemented by nearly all the neo-liberal celebrities.

    • tracey 3.1

      It was a monumental piece of work bringing together over 100 different Acts of Parliament. It is nowhere as bad as it has been painted. In any events developers already get fast track preference in Council works departments.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11388728

    “…Graphic designer Sarah Torrent, 22, spent seven hours being quizzed by officials after landing in New Zealand yesterday and telling border officials she was staying at Dotcom’s house…”

    TBH, this behaviour from a government department is outrageous. Who do they think they are? Jumped up little fucking hitlers. What checks and balances are there on the powers of customs to detain without needing to provide a reason? This looks and quacks like government stooges and goons abusing their excessively arbitrary powers – supposedly granted to detect and stop terrorism – to harass the friends of the enemies of the National party.

    • tracey 4.1

      you cant be talking about NZ. It must be happening in one of those countries that needs democracy brought to their door.

    • @ sanctuary..

      “..This looks and quacks like government stooges and goons abusing their excessively arbitrary powers – supposedly granted to detect and stop terrorism – to harass the friends of the enemies of the National party…”

      + 1..

    • tracey 4.3

      Has the Minister of Customs commented yet?

    • Skinny 4.4

      Quizzed for several hours? Stand over tactic’s you bet, what on earth justifies that? Let me guess perhaps a call to Finlayson or the GCSB or both. Lucky she wasn’t detained and given a few rounds of waterboarding in an attempt to get a confession she is Raw Shark. It’s appears disturbing the long reach of the National party influence our boarder ministry.

      • Sanctuary 4.4.1

        But… but… but…

        She says rude things about the government (sympathetic to the terrorists!)
        Has Syrian parents (all Arabs are terrorists!)
        Speaks Arabic (the language of terror!)
        Once traded in bitcoin (clearly she funds terrorism!)
        She is friends with Kim Dotcom (must be a prostitute or a criminal or maybe she has an illegally downloaded MP3 on her phone).

        While none of these things above are actually against the law, she is clearly an exotic dusky foreigner and as such is not to be trusted by any decent National party flunky. After all, she may be a temptress from the harems of ISIL – an actual Mata Hari bolder than brass and bigger than life! She has clearly been sent to spy on all that is good and decent and upright and western with an eye on all sorts of unspeakable crimes!

        We must be thankful that our small town/small minded border officials are vigilant in leaping to our defense in the name of the “National party, the National government and John Key”, AKA “All right minded New Zealanders”.

        Personally, I am going to start a petition to demand customs officers get bigger shoulder boards, taller, peakier caps and lots more gold braid and medals on their uniforms to better reflect their true importance.

    • joe90 4.5

      This looks and quacks like government stooges and goons abusing their excessively arbitrary powers – supposedly granted to detect and stop terrorism – to harass the friends of the enemies of the National party.

      Desperate losers.

      In short, Dotcom’s legal team has done a fantastic job of defending their client. His lawyers have thrown wrench after wrench into the legal process, appealing at nearly every turn and challenging the validity of the warrant executed upon the Dotcom estate.

      […]

      The bottom line: Kim Dotcom probably won’t be sent to the United States in 2015, regardless of the outcome.

      http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/01/why-kim-dotcom-hasnt-been-extradited-3-years-after-the-us-smashed-megaupload/1/

    • Murray Rawshark 4.6

      We have turned into a nasty little country full of shitheads and bullies. I wonder if, after hassling her for hours, did some immigration fool ask “And what do you think of New Zealand?” This is embarrassing. I’m not sorry for being a Kiwi, but I’m sorry FJK is.

  5. The lost sheep 5

    All issues of concern to this blog could be most effectively addressed by a Left Wing Govt.
    So I was genuinely amazed yesterday that virtually no discussion took place of the points Chris Trotter makes in this link provided by Saarbo…

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2015/01/2015-2017-struggle-for-time-and-power.html

    Honestly, there is nothing for Left Wingers wanting change to discuss there?

    I acknowledge the ‘brutal truths’ are hard to swallow, but how much more difficult will it be to digest a 4th Key Govt?

    • tracey 5.1

      Hmmmm… “more” effectively maybe.

      I havent read (have now)it but I believe the debate about getting into Govt and then militating change versus discussing the change first is widely canvassed here. I think Ad (might have remembered wrongly) is in this camp… do what you have to get elected, then bring about the change.

      “For those on the left of New Zealand politics it means shutting-up and letting Andrew Little and his team play for power in the only way that holds out the prospect of victory.”

      Gee, I wonder who Mr Trotter means?!?

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.1

        “Gee, I wonder who Mr Trotter means?!?”

        I think he means everyone but Mr. Trotter. He also seems to be having a bromance with FJK. The talk about FJK understanding the Kiwi psyche and all that makes me sick. He hasn’t even lived in Aotearoa for years and has probably only ever mixed with empty husks like himself. His understanding will all be manufactured by Crosby Textor and Curia polls.

        Trotter’s idea of shutting up is the worst thing we could do. We need to organise and defend the people NAct is attacking, not just wait for FAL, the enabler of squirrels. We cannot be passive subjects. We must act.

        • greywarshark 5.1.1.1

          Why wouldn’t Andrew be able to have a cunning plan that he explains to the voters, not promising lots, but talking about making a change to get on the right track and this is what we are going to do.

          Bugger this idea of vote and hope. Say something and do it within for the first 100 days. Spell out your direction and if it is to get a more prosperous NZ and help viable businesses create jobs it will have something for everyone. And with a living wage it will seem like something to bite into, well made and tasty. And if the wage is set for everyone then no business or sector gets advantage, and it will boost the economy and be like a transfusion of exygenated blood to poor old tired, flaccid NZ.

    • ok..i followed yr urgings..and steeled myself..and went and read it..

      ..and really..it is just trotter banging on and on..

      (as he does..lordy..!..how he does..!..and so so leavened with great chunks of the bleeding-obvious..)

      ..and he’s pushing the incrementalist p.o.v..

      ..urging little to be more/just like key..(who he notes is just like clark..and in that i agree with him..)

      ..so what is new/novel about that..?

      ..that is/has always been trotters’ position..

      ..a comfortable/middle-class fretting at the edges…

      ..what is it exactly u feel needs to ‘be discussed’..?

      ..as i said..there is nothing ‘new/novel’ as far as i can see..

      (..and should i invoice u 4 the time/energy wasted in this exercise in nothing..?..)

    • Sanctuary 5.3

      I’ll tell you what Chris Trotter’s problem is – he is at heart an utter defeatist. The sort of guy who talks a big fight and walks the big walk, but when the hour comes when men and women must gird themselves for the fight as the enemy begins to advance towards the barricades he quietly slips away and flees because, deep down, he never thought his side would win anyway.

      • The lost sheep 5.3.1

        In case you haven’t noticed, the Left have just lost a third consecutive election.

        The current strategy then is crap. It simply hasn’t worked, and if it isn’t changed it will continue not to work, and the Left will not regain Govt. and the power to implement significant change.

        What that new strategy should be is worth discussing?
        (Even if it distracts us from the more vital topics of drug use, conspiracies, vegetarianism, and the upcoming revolution /sarc)

        Successful strategies always require…
        A realistic and accurate assessment of the factors the strategy is attempting to influence.
        A realistic and accurate assessment of the oppositions strengths and weaknesses.
        A plan that sets goals achievable within the constraints of these realities. (That is strength not weakness)

        Self evidently, to date the Left has failed to grasp the realities and set a successful strategy.

        What Chris is saying may not be entirely new, but it is rare thinking for the current Left in my experience.
        I agree with him completely. It is time to get out of la la land and face up to the ‘brutal realities’.
        Which of the ‘realities’ he identifies can you argue are not true?

        Which is better : Making some compromise to the realities in order to get change started, even if that is modest and incremental, or remain morally superior but powerless on the sidelines?

        Wakey wakey folks. Dream time is over. Unless you want the nightmare of a 4th Key term.

        • Sanctuary 5.3.1.1

          His argument is pretty straightforward, actually. Obscure your agenda to the electorate to get elected, then tack left in power.

          • weka 5.3.1.1.1

            Ae. The thought of a 4th term NACT govt tempts me to power at all costs, but then I read Trotter and come to my senses 😉 I would have less of a problem with the strategy if it weren’t for the fact that Labour still haven’t sorted out their internal shit.

          • The lost sheep 5.3.1.1.2

            He is talking about compromising the agenda to meet the majority view, and then using your position of power to advocate for a greater rate of change. (Presumably on the back of the success of your incremental changes)

            A very different, and much more intelligent long term strategy long than simply deceiving the electorate. (result – straight out on your arse next election)

        • weka 5.3.1.2

          The reason the left lost the last election is because Labour still has an internal hotcold war between the neoliberals and the lefties. The rest of us are waiting to see if that’s resolvable. And whether Little and the membership can get Labour past it.

          • The lost sheep 5.3.1.2.1

            I would be asking the lefties to demonstrate they have a strategy that can convince a neo-liberally inclined majority to vote for more definitely Left Wing policies ?

            if they couldn’t, I’d be suggesting they might consider whether continuing to have a divided left was good for anyone?

            • framu 5.3.1.2.1.1

              hold on – its the labour caucus that has the in fighting issue weka describes – not “the left” – why are we responsible for the labour caucus deliberately going against the wishes of their membership and running to the media everytime theyve got a boo boo?

              also – whos this neoliberally inclined majority? – there isnt one. Either inside labour or the country

              • weka

                +1

                I’d like to see,

                More push from the left within Labour, including things that are visible to the wider world so that people can have confidence in the Labour again.

                Visible cooperation between Labour, the GP and Mana. I don’t have much hope of the first two working with Mana, but there should definitely be obvious signs between L/GP.

                Any of those three parties should court/headhunt the bright ones from the Internet Party. Looks like KDC is abandoning ship, so I reckon the IP should let the leaders go. I still think the IP is a good idea, but without Harre and KDC it’s not going to make serious headway before 2017.

                • tracey

                  like labour asking for an amnesty for unpaid taxes… it is Little carrying through his promise to look out for SME’s, but it extends to the greedy at the high end I am sure

                  and supporting the RMA reforms (before even seeing them)

                  • Clemgeopin

                    I am not sure if it was Labour party or just Stuart Nash regarding the amnesty for tax defaulters.

            • McFlock 5.3.1.2.1.2

              thanks for your concern

            • greywarshark 5.3.1.2.1.3

              The lost sheep & framu
              On the basis of ‘not having a policy is a policy’ I would say that framu you are wrong to suggest that this isn’t the case in NZ generally:
              – also – whos this neoliberally inclined majority? – there isnt one. Either inside labour or the country

              If people aren’t overtly neo liberal, by not deciding and acting to vote against it, they just reinforce that system and are part of its onward strangling of NZ.

        • Tracey 5.3.1.3

          chris wants the left to leave little to it… without interference unlike his public lashings of the party in recent years.

        • phillip ure 5.3.1.4

          “..In case you haven’t noticed, the Left have just lost a third consecutive election..”

          ‘in case u haven’t noticed’..’the left’…hasn’t been ‘left’ since the 80’s..

          ..which has got us to the shit-hole we are currently in..

          ..so..more of the same..?..y’reckon..?

          ..just keep veering right..?

  6. Morrissey 6

    “Funny names they’ve got, the presidents of Indonesia, haven’t they.”
    Leighton Smith and his dim colleagues continue to be perplexed by the world

    NewstalkZB, Monday 19 January 2015, 8:40 a.m.

    The shock jocks at NewstalkZB are not exactly into multiculturalism. They have a real problem with the simplest things, such as foreign names and their sometimes tricky pronunciation. Even indigenous names are a problem for some of them: the station’s notorious Drivetime host Larry “Lackwit” Williams often pauses for effect after reading out—and deliberately butchering the pronunciation of—the names of Māori defendants in criminal cases. Williams and his colleagues often take the opportunity to extract Hebdoesque “humour” out of other cultures: the late Paul Holmes was not merely infuriated by the existence of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, but amused by his preposterous name; Kerre Woodham relentlessly mimicked the accents and pronunciation of distraught Chinese dissidents who tried to protest against her loud support for the Chinese government; Tony Veitch laughed about how the Williams sisters proved that black people were descended from gorillas; and the mere mention of Indonesia’s former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had the likes of the mirthless Glenn ZB and his master Mike Hosking rolling in the aisles.

    Indonesian names seem to be a real problem for these people. Just this morning, the doyen of mindless chatter expressed his bemusement with another fiendishly difficult one. It came during a typically learned and sober discussion about Indonesia’s laudable—for NewstalkZB shockjocks at least—execution of six people for drug smuggling…..

    LEIGHTON SMITH: Anyway, ummm, ahhhhhh, the errrrrr President of Indonesia, Joko…[pause]…or is it Jocko?… [pause]… No it’s Joko….[long pause]…. Funny names they’ve got, the presidents of Indonesia, haven’t they. But then I suppose “Smith” is funny to them. Ummmm, errrrr, ahhhhh…. Anyway, the six people who copped it—do you think they deserved the death penalty or is there a BROADER perspective? I want your calls…..

    ….ad nauseam, ad absurdum….

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Surpluses mean unemployment and deficits bring employment

    Surpluses cause a fall in your net assets. Deficits create private sector wealth while surpluses deplete it. If Government takes in $1000 taxes from private sector but doesn’t spend any of it and they had $100 of their own earnings, their total intake is $1100. The private sector has gone into debt of $1000. Government deficits create private sector wealth while govt surpluses drain it. Learn to love your deficit.

    Profit in the private sector comes almost entirely from the government being in deficit. That’s way over simplified of course as the whole thing is complicated by the financial system that has private banks creating money and lending to the government.

    If the government was the sole creator of money and spending it into the economy and with no other source then the private sectors profit would exactly match the government’s deficit.

    The problem occurs as that private sector profit continually accumulates resulting in ever greater amounts of money in fewer and fewer hands chasing the resources of a single country. This must result in the privatisation of ever more of the countries wealth and the increasing poverty that we see around us. The two go together.

    This is the dead-weight loss of profit. This is how capitalism produces poverty.

  8. Clemgeopin 8

    Miss Israeli’s selfie with Miss Lebanon causes stir and calls for with calls for the Lebanon contestant at the Miss Universe pageant to be stripped of her title for consorting with the enemy. .

    Hatred, enmity, prejudice. A difficult life for the people living in those countries.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/beauty/65180435/Miss-Israelis-selfie-with-Miss-Lebanon-causes-stir

  9. Morrissey 9

    Berliner Zeitung mistakenly publishes anti-Semitic cartoon
    Mistakenly thought that image was a front page of Charlie Hebdo

    By Ofer Aderet 05:43 15.01.15 18

    The daily Berliner Zeitung in error published an anti-Semitic cartoon on its front page, under the mistaken impression that it was a front page of the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo. In a tribute to the French magazine a day after the massacre at its editorial offices, the Berlin daily published several of Charlie Hebdo’s past cover pages.

    One of them, however, was a fake, showing a cartoon drawn by the anti-Semitic illustrator Joe le Corbeau. The cartoon showed an orthodox Jew, with a caption saying “1 million rebate out of six, for Palestine.” The word “rebate” is a wordplay suggesting rabbis and rebate in German.

    People at the Israeli embassy in Berlin noticed the erroneous cartoon and pointed out references that should have alerted the editors at Berliner Zeitung.

    These include the fact that the name of the magazine on the cover is Charlo instead of Charlie, and the barcode at the bottom of the cartoon indicates 6,000,000, the number of Jewish Holocaust victims and not a real barcode number.

    Read more…..
    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2015/01/18/je-suis-charlie-sauf-pour-les-juifs/

  10. Paul 10

    ‘Vodafone may lose around 100 permanent customer care staff, with plans to almost halve the size of its consumer mobile service team, extend the graveyard shift to 7.30am and increase outsourcing to a call centre in the Philippines.
    The proposal, outlined in an internal document obtained by the Herald, is part of a restructuring expected to bring 200 to 250 job cuts.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11388787

    This is what happens when you invite transnational corporations into one’s country, who don’t pay their taxes or have any sense of societal responsibility.
    When are countries and people going to stand up to corporations?
    When there are no jobs left?

  11. Shane Le Brun 11

    My second post over at YourNZ, informally known in these parts as YawnZ
    This story is from a patient with Canadian citizenship, who went home to a compassion club who helped him get off Benzos (valium class of drugs) and reduce his intake of Opiates, (Morphine class of drugs)

    http://yournz.org/2015/01/20/cannabis-and-chronic-pain-a-canadian-story/

    • framu 11.1

      still not going to go there

      yes thats a bit unfair to you – but im not giving PG the clicks sorry

      note: im 100% a supporter of your topic as well

      • Shane Le Brun 11.1.1

        @Framu,
        noted, I’ve talked to the Bomber this morning via email, he wouldn’t repost either, but is looking for an author on the subject this year……..

        I don’t think Pete is all about the clicks, no adds after all….

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          I’m also not going there, sorry, despite being interested in the topic. The man is a blight on the political blogosphere and any attention just supports that.

          If you set up a wordpress and post there, you are more likely to get taken seriously, and you can then ask to guest post elsewhere. WordPress is pretty easy.

          Not sure where else you could get hosted, given you want to post from a centrist perspective. Does this point to a dearth of centrist political bloggers?

          • Shane Le Brun 11.1.1.1.1

            There is certainly a lack of middle NZ blogs, Thedailyblog, thestandard, kiwiblog, whale oil, from left to right…. setting up my own freeby blog now

          • Shane Le Brun 11.1.1.1.2

            There is certainly a lack of middle NZ blogs, Thedailyblog, thestandard, kiwiblog, whale oil, from left to right…. setting up my own freebie wordpress blog now, my reasoning was his blog is neither left nor right, and no adds, and untill 2 weeks ago I have not participated on blogs online at all.

  12. Paul 12

    ‘One of New Zealand’s first charter schools is failing, abysmally, and the Ministry of Education must stop dodging questions.’

    ‘Last year, the first batch of five brave pioneer charter schools began operations. Four received excellent reports from the Education Review Office (ERO).
    School number five, Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru, however, has been embroiled in trouble almost since the first school bell sounded in February last year.
    An early ERO report released under the Official Information Act from an April visit to the school showed problems across the board. A governance facilitator stepped in and the school was reported to be facing problems with management infighting, bullying, drug use, poor teaching, curriculum delivery and student engagement. Over the year, the school roll fell from 61 to 47.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11388805

    Sadly charter schools are an ideological tool to privatise and monetise education, so the facts they don’t improve education problems is not an issue for Parata and Seymour.
    They desire a failing public system. The elite are educated in their own apartheid system.

    I note this article is written by a research fellow of a neo-liberal think tank. They appear to be writing lots about education at the moment.
    F

    • tracey 12.1

      Business Roundtable reinvented, an article that quotes Farrar. On their website they state

      Now, which of the following “foundations” does quoting Farrar fit into?

      “Every good think tank needs solid foundations. These are ours:

      Credibility: Our research is based on a sound theoretical framework and is peer-reviewed on a routine basis

      Empirical evidence: Our recommendations are supported by empirical, and often international, evidence.

      Non-partisanship: We engage with political parties from across the political spectrum.

      Independence: We are an organisation promoting good public policy, not the interests of individual businesses or industries.

      Commitment to New Zealand: Members and staff of the Initiative share the vision to build a better New Zealand. We believe in a prosperous, free and fair society with a competitive, open and dynamic economy.”

    • Murray Rawshark 12.2

      Wow. Neoliberals now talking about aspiring to failure. Embrace failure! As long as the funding keeps coming from the public, of course. This article is absolutely pitiful and demonstrates the workings of a weak mind besotted with an ideology. It reminds me of a priest justifying why a merciful god allows so much suffering in the world. Excuses for everything, these right wing dreamers.

  13. Colonial Rawshark 14

    US airstrikes may have killed 50 Syrian civilians being held prisoner in Al Bab by ISIS troops.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/01/11/252671/us-airstrike-in-syria-may-have.html

    • tracey 14.1

      means to an end my friend, means to an end… a failed human shield?

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1

        Hi tracey.

        12 innocent lives killed by two French Muslims with AK47s in paris

        50 innocent lives killed by American 1000lb laser guided bomb in Al Bab (some estimates actually say a total of 55 prisoner-civilians and 25 ISIS guards were killed)

        The West better start doing the math on why so many people in the world don’t see our claims to superior civilisation as being much more than laughable.

  14. tracey 15

    I note the Uk’s version of the GCSB (GCHQ) has been revealed through Snowden’s papers to have been collecting emails of journalists

    “The journalists’ communications were among 70,000 emails harvested in the space of less than 10 minutes on one day in November 2008 by one of GCHQ’s numerous taps on the fibre-optic cables that make up the backbone of the internet…

    … New evidence from other UK intelligence documents revealed by Snowden also shows that a GCHQ information security assessment listed “investigative journalists” as a threat in a hierarchy alongside terrorists or hackers.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/19/gchq-intercepted-emails-journalists-ny-times-bbc-guardian-le-monde-reuters-nbc-washington-post

    “nder Ripa, neither the police nor the security services need to seek the permission of a judge to investigate any UK national’s phone records – instead, they must obtain permission from an appointed staff member from the same organisation, not involved in their investigation.

    However, there are some suggestions in the documents that the collection of billing data by GCHQ under Ripa goes wider – and that it may not be confined to specific target individuals.”

    So, why wouldn’t the GCSB have similar ability to have phone records? That means Mr key can just ask GCSB to provide the public with copies of those texts he deleted?

    • Colonial Rawshark 15.1

      Yep, that’s in the space of 10 minutes. It shows how ridiculous claiming that reducing the no-warrant surveillance time from 48 hrs to 24 hrs was a “win”.

      • tracey 15.1.1

        Indeed, and given the software is doing the filtering… 24 hours is probably 23 hours more than they need. Oh how they will be laughing at us all, again.

      • vto 15.1.2

        Yep, and Labour knew that but claimed otherwise… which is a deceit …

        … and which indicates they still have the same level of integrity as when last in government

        … which means they will get viciously attacked when in government again

        some things never change leopards and spots and all that

  15. weka 16

    Alain de Botton on tolerance. He’s talking about relgion, but I think it applies to politics, which then raises the question of whether tolerance and partisan politics can ever be compatible.

    [There are] many ways to be religious and many of the most public ways of being religious that we’re seeing at the moment are perhaps not optimal particularly in their intolerance. Of course, tolerance is right at the heart of many religions, and tolerance does not mean agreeing with people. Sometimes it’s a mistake — we believe that the tolerant person learns to agree or to see the other person’s point of view. No — what tolerance really means is even though you don’t get what the other person’s saying at all, even though you may not even like them, you make an effort to tolerate — in other words, to make space for them — and don’t try and squash their opinions. What we need to learn is how can we live together with people whose views we don’t actually like very much — that’s the far greater challenge — without attempting to convert them or dismissing them and denying their right to exist parallel to us.

    http://explore.noodle.com/post/108575759288/there-are-many-ways-to-be-religious-and-many-of

  16. Colonial Rawshark 17

    India’s “boutique” dairy farms: cows pampered and their social needs catered to

    Al Jazeera

    • Clemgeopin 17.1

      AND in CHINA!
      Here they do not use commercial fertilisers and generate their own electricity!

      The days of NZ dairy prospects are numbered. We need to get afraid and find other means of prosperity NOW.

  17. b waghorn 18

    After noon Is there any standard regulars/readers involved in early childhood education and what are your views on starting school at 6 as opposed to 5 years old.

    • Tracey 18.1

      tell me more

      • b waghorn 18.1.1

        My daughter has turned 5 recently my wife is keen on 6 as a start date for shool ,I was happy with 5 purely on a that’s what’s done basis but am open to new ideas.

        My best mates kids are Steiner kids and are clever enjoyable kids although I don’t have access to a Steiner school I believe they are advocates of not hurrying kids development.

        • marty mars 18.1.1.1

          My son had a look at school at age 5 – wasn’t right so we went the homeschooling way. Did that for a couple of years as part of a Democratic Homeschooling Group. Then he turned 7 and said he wanted to go to school so we put him in (a more child-led school it has to be said) and he loves it, doesn’t want to have holidays – it is so great to see him want to learn and, in his case that had to be self driven almost, when he was ready.

          I think we don’t help our children by putting them into the system early, some are okay but a lot find it overwhelming and that has consequences later.

          • b waghorn 18.1.1.1.1

            Cheers I’ve always had a problem with the way we push kids to grow up fast .

          • phillip ure 18.1.1.1.2

            one thing i found really worked well..

            ..was that at age 10-11 ‘the boy’ was getting good school reports/grades..

            ..so i sat him down and offered him a ‘deal’..

            ..i told him that he could take over the control of his non-school hours..

            ..that (within reason) he cd pay games when he wanted to..read…do whatever he wished..

            ..but that his side of the deal was that he had to make sure his homework (which he knew i ideologically opposed..on the grounds the hours spent at school are enough) was done enough to get by..

            ..and that most importantly his school reports/grades had to stay at the high standard they currently were..

            ..and it all worked a treat..

            ..and i feel it was good in building self-sufficiency/motivation..

            • b waghorn 18.1.1.1.2.1

              Listening to there opinions his huge my oldest step daughter was turning goth and starting to fail in the 4th form (year ?) ,she told us she wanted to change schools and when she did she flourished and has finished tertiary has a great job and is living the dream.

  18. b waghorn 19

    in the hearald
    “Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand’s likely military contribution to the fight against Islamic State “is the price of the club” that New Zealand belongs to with the likes of the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada in the intelligence alliance known as Five Eyes”

    Wars not dirty nasty business it’s just being a club member of planet key.

  19. A Voter 20

    Changing the thread of things a bit about the huge amount of money being spent on sorrow tinge remembrance of the First World War
    Here is Key and another bunch of promoters pushing all the claptrap from the stupid misery of the carnage suffered by many not really knowing what they were fighting over
    Sadly percentage wise of the kill NZ comes out on top of the heap
    Would the little prick like to do something about reparations to the many NZ communities who worked like hell to rebuild their families and self esteem to make sense of the deplorable loss of that war instead of millions being spent on celebrations or supposedly commemorations knowing that the truth can be found in books if only we as a country had an education system that made the time and people available that might allow the truth to be known but that would probably blow a hole in the hypocrisy which this govt prides itself in, allegiance to a capitalist free market warmongering monichist ruling aristocracy not to forget genocidal policies of cultural reintegration
    Stick your money spinning egoistic commemorations up your you know what Key and pay us our money down Does your nz citizenship go back far enough for you to know how it feels to be in a family that has that length of history in this country? We dont need to be reminded we know what kind of people caused that shit but I fear some will never know

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    Our economic momentum remains anaemic, and it’s possible the tiny increase in GDP was a ‘dead cat bounce’. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Per-capita GDP has fallen 4.3% from its peak over the last 21 months, which is more than it it fell in the Global Financial Crisis recession ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Futility of Punishment
    Hi,I was in Texas recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how in some parts of America they really like to kill their prisoners. As a society we tend to agree murder is wrong, but somewhere along the way Texas figured it’s fine if it’s after 6pm and the killing is ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
    A persistent theme has been weaving between the Committee rooms at Parliament all this so-called “Scrutiny” week as MPs have probed Ministers and agencies about their work and plans. The question has been simply what the environmental price might be if the country begins to accelerate its infrastructure building to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    5 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago

  • Minister celebrates students’ space success
    Space Minister Judith Collins is applauding students from Canterbury University’s Aerospace Club on their success at the world’s largest inter-collegiate rocket engineering competition, the Spaceport America Cup. “More than 120 teams from 20 countries participated in Spaceport America Cup, with the team from Canterbury University winning in their ‘30,000 Foot’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Address – Commemoration of the 74th Anniversary of the Commencement of the Korean War
    Tena koutou.Ki nga kaumatua,Ki nga whanau,Ka maumahara tonu tatou ki a ratou. Greetings.To the elders,To the families,We will remember them. Firstly, a special welcome to all the veterans here this morning and their families.  I want to acknowledge the veterans who are marking this day but cannot be with us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • New WorkSafe board appointments to address a history of poor financial management
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says three appointments to the WorkSafe board have been made to strengthen the organisation, ensuring it has the skills and expertise it needs to carry out its functions.  “WorkSafe has faced a number of recent challenges, including accumulating an almost $18 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Next phase of the Royal Commission into COVID-19
    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says this coalition Government is delivering on our commitment to expand the terms of reference for the independent Royal Commission into COVID-19 Lessons Learned. “There will be a second phase to the Royal Commission which features new commissioners and an expanded terms of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government introduces Three Strikes Bill
    The Government has introduced a Bill today to restore the Three Strikes sentencing law, Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee says. “New Zealanders are rightly concerned about violent crime. We are delivering on our commitment to introduce a revised Three Strikes law as one of our key law and order priorities.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New support for agricultural emissions reduction
    The Government and the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) are together committing an additional $8 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government actions strengthening Māori success
    Tākina Puanga. Ko Puanga kei runga. Ko Puanga e Rangi. Tākina mai te ara o Puanga nui o te rangi. Tākina ngā pou o te tau. Ki te whai ao ki te ao marama. Puanga or Rigel celebrations reflect a renewed energy across our communities – to acknowledge those who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
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