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Open Mike 20/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 20th, 2017 - 75 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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75 comments on “Open Mike 20/02/2017 ”

  1. The Chairman 1

    What can be done about the closure of the Cadbury factory in Dunedin?

    Are we really going to allow around 350 skilled staff and a iconic production plant go to waste?

    It’s been reported that globally, the Dunedin factory is one of the best-performing operations in the Mondelez family.

    Cadbury/Mondelez acknowledge workers at the plant are among the best performing and if it weren’t for their commitment, dedication and outstanding performance, the factory might have closed some time ago.

    On top of that, Dunedin has a high quality local milk supply and a port with easy access to international markets facilitating exports.

    The Dunedin factory has also been reported as being a pretty profitable business.

    Figures from 2015 showed the company reported a profit of $9 million.

    Therefore, there is a potential opportunity here.

    Interest from Whittaker’s has been sought, but unfortunately Whittaker’s ruled out any interest in buying Cadbury’s Dunedin factory. 

    However, at this stage, there’s still hope (from the consultation process) the proposal to close the plant will be dropped.

    Otago-Southland Employers Association is strongly advocating for Cadbury/Mondelez to retain the factory in Dunedin.

    Meanwhile, Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dougal McGowan wasted no time (in an already-scheduled meeting with Central Otago Mayor) trying to find jobs for the Cadbury workers. Pledging the total support of the Chamber to any task-force established to find a way of supporting the workers.

    Critical of the statements put out by politicians immediately after the Cadbury/Mondelez announcement, Mr McGowan said it was important MPs got involved in discussions about the future of the plant’s employees.

    Failing Cadbury/Mondelez dropping the proposal, can the plant and jobs be saved?

    Well, there are numerous possibilities.

    Although Whittaker’s declined to show interest, there still could be other local confectionery producers looking to expand, thus be interested in purchasing the plant.

    There could be local private investors seeking an opportunity. Or local investment funds such as NZ Super, ACC etc…

    Central Government, Dunedin Council or both could consider investing. Ranging from a full out purchase of the plant down to facilitating a low interest loan to a local interested party.

    A public crowd-funding project.

    The Union could assist employees to form a cooperative to purchase the plant, perhaps with the assistance of local or central Government.

    Offshore interest could be sought.

    At the end of the day we have a fully staffed plant with export potential ready to go, therefore, it’s in the country’s best interest to ensure this plant continues to be commercially viable and remains in Dunedin.

    • The Chairman 1.1

      PS

      There is talk of boycotting Cadbury/Mondelez.

      Workers are asking that we don’t.

      They don’t want to jeopardise any chance of the company remaining.

      • mauī 1.1.1

        The call to not boycott Cadbury sounds silly to me. So if Cadbury managed to magically double sales would there be any more chance of them staying? I doubt it. Trying to mind read and please an ugly profit driven corporate is not a good idea in my opinion.

      • inspider 1.1.2

        There is nothing stopping you mortgaging your house and putting in an offer if you think it is such a good investment

        • greywarshark 1.1.2.1

          inspider
          Noticed since you started dropping in that you tend to make puerile comments. Nothing to add to the discussion, instead some half-arsed sneer. Why bother I ask? You will get lonely and confused with all these thinking people outdistancing you. Go home Red Riding Hood before you get lost. Mortgage your own house and invest in something, perhaps some up-to-date tertiary education.

        • The Chairman 1.1.2.2

          Personally, I don’t have the time to commit to such a venture.

          Nevertheless, it’s been reported Cadbury workers are gaining a lot of public support. Therefore, it would be interesting to see if the NZ public would be willing to support them by taking a punt and fiscally invest through an online crowd funding scheme.

      • greywarshark 1.1.3

        I put up a comment about Cadbury’s workers and it went down to #15 somehow.
        All about co-ops – they are getting a push now especially smaller ones, and could have something to offer Dunedin.

    • This is the point at which it would be useful to have a government that gave a shit. The factory remains profitable despite the best efforts of Mondelez to make crap chocolate that’s inferior to the competition, so a government that understood its job would make sure it stayed running, whether by putting up money for the workers to take it over as a cooperative, or just making it a publicly-owned asset until there’s a private buyer for it. Too bad we don’t have a government worth the name.

      • The Chairman 1.2.1

        “This is the point at which it would be useful to have a government that gave a shit”

        Indeed.

        “The factory remains profitable despite the best efforts of Mondelez to make crap chocolate that’s inferior to the competition”

        Imagine the potential improving the product would have. Organic may be the way to go?

        • RedBaronCV 1.2.1.1

          Would the parent company be willing to franchise the name and leave the local operation here – not owned by them but making Cadbury branded products? You get the feeling that NZ is seen as a trading nuisance.
          That way we could have a locally owned co-operative and either fundraise for that – or make some other local financial arrangements.
          Makes a lie of the “we need crap wages” doesn’t it. Lots of Aussie made products here despite there much higher wage structure.

          • The Chairman 1.2.1.1.1

            Not sure if Cadbury/Mondelez are interested in franchising. But it is something that could be put to them.

            They are however considering the potential of continuing to produce their local products (Pineapple Lumps, Jaffas, etc) here. The current plant would be best suited to continue on that production, thus could be a contract a new owner could potentially secure.

            • inspider 1.2.1.1.1.1

              There have been alternative lookalike products in the market for years. Check Planet Candy at the warehouse

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.2

            Why do we need to keep the name?

      • inspider 1.2.2

        It’s profitable when run by one of the world’s largest companies, producing products with years of brand marketing behind them and a sophisticated distribution system that gets them to market across NZ, Australia and beyond.

        That’s no guarantee it would be successful under a new owner. What does the government know about chocolate marketing that makes it sensible to run it? Maybe we should encourage it to step in and save the tattoo parlour and hairdresser in my neighbourhood that are closing down?

        • The Chairman 1.2.2.1

          “It’s profitable when run by one of the world’s largest companies…”

          Yes, yet they are considering laying off staff and moving production offshore.

          While brand marketing and distribution networks are important, a fundamental behind any company is its people (staff). The Dunedin factory is one of the best-performing operations in the Mondelez family.

          Of course there is no guarantee it would be successful under a new owner, but having such an outstanding production team already in place reduces the risk, thus improves the odds.

          “What does the government know about chocolate marketing that makes it sensible to run it? “

          They would secure the skill and expertise required as is generally done.

          The local tattoo parlour and hairdresser closing down in your area don’t have such a large impact on the economy, thus are no serious comparison.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      Critical of the statements put out by politicians immediately after the Cadbury/Mondelez announcement, Mr McGowan said it was important MPs got involved in discussions about the future of the plant’s employees.

      Weird. I’m pretty sure that the Chamber of Commerce is one of the main proponents of keeping government out of business.

      The Union could assist employees to form a cooperative to purchase the plant, perhaps with the assistance of local or central Government.

      That would probably be the best option. Set it up as an independent, self-owned* business that’s run by the people who work there.

      * Not owned by either the government, shareholders or the workers. It would be a legal entity with the workers listed as its directors. No, I don’t know the law – this is just how I think all businesses should be.

      • The Chairman 1.3.1

        “Weird. I’m pretty sure that the Chamber of Commerce is one of the main proponents of keeping government out of business.”

        An indication of the severity perhaps? Apparently they are Dunedin’s 4th largest employer.

        The company’s annual expenditure into the local economy will also be a significant loss, impacting a number of local businesses.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1

          An indication of the severity perhaps?

          Nope. Whenever business feels the pinch they reach out for government handouts real fast. It seems to be a general hypocrisy of the business community.

          • The Chairman 1.3.1.1.1

            “Nope. Whenever business feels the pinch they reach out for government handouts real fast. It seems to be a general hypocrisy of the business community.”

            Which is what I meant about the severity. Other businesses will be impacted by the plant’s closure.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes, they will be impacted but that’s just the free-market in action – just like they’ve been demanding for centuries.

    • Antoine 1.4

      Genuine questions,

      Do we know why Cadbury/Mondelez plan to close the plant?

      Have they shown any inclination to sell it as a going concern?

      A.

      • The Chairman 1.4.1

        “Do we know why Cadbury/Mondelez plan to close the plant?”

        Apparently, the vast majority of their product is exported to Australia and they believe they have the capacity to produce their product there, thus cutting shipping costs etc…

        As for selling it as a going concern, as far as I’m aware no final decision has been made. They are currently seeking feedback through their consultation process. However, they have stated they recognise the significance of the site, thus are hopeful of finding a buyer that will use it in a way that supports the local community and economy.

    • weka 1.5

      It’s sad for Dunedin culturally, and it’s a huge indictment of the company that they’d throw those workers to the wolves for some extra dosh. I’m not sure that saving the company is the way to go, but buying up the plant and supporting the existing workers to run it co-operatively is a great idea.

      Having said that chocolate is pretty dirty business. Not sure it would be possible to run a large chocolate making business in NZ ethically. Maybe.

  2. garibaldi 2

    The TOP education policy is out. As an ex teacher I think it is the best policy on offer.

    • The Chairman 2.1

      Why?

      • garibaldi 2.1.1

        Why? Because it is child/teacher focussed and does away with useless on going assessments a la Parata. It brings in free ece and does away with Charter schools.
        It promotes egalitarianism and puts more into producing better (and trusted) teachers – you know ,the ones who know what the children need.
        Nothing on Tertiary as such, they say ece has a better return on investment, and that Tertiary needs an overhaul first.

    • Incognito 2.2

      Nothing on TOP’s website!?

  3. Bill Drees 3

    The phoney war is nearly over.
    “The odds of an early collapse of EU-UK Brexit negotiations are shortening by the day. And that’s before talks have started. Usually circumspect analysts have concluded that Theresa May is likely to flounce out in a huff. Prime candidate for the catalyst that spurs an almighty row is a bill for €60 billion that Brussels is reported to be drawing up: the amount that Britain owes for pension liabilities and budgeted spending commitments.”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/chris-johns-it-won-t-be-pretty-when-the-brexit-wheels-come-off-1.2979264

    • Wayne 3.1

      She actually has control over the negotiations. She signalled this at the outset, when she said no deal would be better than a bad deal.

      At the end of two years the UK can simply leave with no further liabilities, and just revert to the WTO rules. It is after all the basis that New Zealand, the US, Japan and in fact most of the world trades with the EU.

      The EU will eventually work out they do not hold the strong cards, especially when a US/UK FTA is in the offing.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        The EU will eventually work out they do not hold the strong cards, especially when a US/UK FTA is in the offing.

        You know, the whole point of the WTO and GATT before it was so that there weren’t, and wasn’t any need for, bilateral trade agreements.

        Modern bilateral trade agreements are indicative of the failure of the WTO and the WTO was set up because of the previous failure of bilateral trade agreements.

        Why do we keep repeating the same mistakes when we know that they don’t work?

        • Wayne 3.1.1.1

          Obviously FTA’ are better than GATT/WTO, but the reality is that a huge amount of trade still occurs under GATT/WTO.

          For instance all of NZ’s trade with the US occurs under GATT/WTO.

          So while it would be better if there was some form of FTA between the UK and the EU, the UK will still be able to trade with the EU under GATT/WTO, especially in industrial goods. Most of these have very low tariffs under the GATT rules, often zero.

          The negotiating edge that May has is that she has a US/UK FTA in the wings. This could easily be extended to Australia, Canada and NZ (Singapore as well). This is the same size market as the EU.

          The EU may well decide it needs some form of FTA with the UK to hold onto markets – all those German cars! It will need to be a deal that the UK sees as fair.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            So while it would be better if there was some form of FTA between the UK and the EU, the UK will still be able to trade with the EU under GATT/WTO, especially in industrial goods.

            That’s an article of faith, not reality.

            They don’t work because they lock countries into deals that are actually bad for them. Force them into doing trade that they don’t want to do.

            So, again: Why do we keep repeating the same mistakes when we know that they don’t work?

            • Wayne 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Free trade in industrial goods has been one of the greatest engines of growth since WW2. For the opposite result try out the Smoot Hawley Act. It helped deepen the 1930’s recession.

              But hey thats your view, you are welcome to it.

              • Poission

                the Smoot Hawley Act was an accelerator for the british innovation era eg

                stereophonic sound ,television.radar, computers,jet engines,

                Globally it was the golden age for physics and innovation,and as Rutherford said as we have little or no money we will have to think.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Where did I say anything against free-trade?

                I was asking why we keep doing stupid things like the WTO and bilateral trade agreements when they obviously don’t work.

                A Brief History of International Trade Agreements

                The Bottom Line

                The history of international trade may look like a struggle between protectionism and free trade, but the modern context is currently allowing both types of policies to grow in tandem. Indeed, the choice between free trade and protectionism may be a false choice; advanced nations are realizing that economic growth and stability depend on a strategic mix of trade policies.

                Far better for each individual nation to set standards as to where they will trade and where they won’t. Standards that ensure that each cost is properly accounted for and principles maintained.

                None of this forced trade that we see from the WTO. No more nations saying that they will stop trade with us if we demand an inquiry as to why their goods aren’t up to the standards that they were advertised as.

                Remove the bloody threats that the present system forces upon us.

            • inspider 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Yep CER is a disaster.

              Same for Hong Kong.

              Don’t mention ASEAN. What’s it ever done for us.

              South Korea. Disaster, a real dog.

              Thailand? Worse than a phone call with the Australian PM.

              P4… Just as useless as udders on a cow.

              As for Malaysia it just means more hijabs and students.

              And don’t mention China. It’s not worth the $20 billion.

              Yes, We need to stop repeating these errors

              • Draco T Bastard

                Consider this:

                For the last several years we’ve had a trade deficit with China. Despite this the NZ$ is still worth more on the forex than the Chinese yuan. Why is this?

                The NZ$ should be dropping against the yuan but it isn’t. This is because China keeps decreasing the value of the yuan every time that the global economy goes into recession and their exports start to decrease. Such actions used to be called marcantalism and beggar thy neighbour economics.

                So, yes, we have an FTA with China – we don’t have free-trade.

        • Armada 3.1.1.2

          The EU is a lot more than a Bilateral Trade Agreement.
          It’s existance arose from a political desire to bring European countries together and to stop the incessat wars. That has been a success.
          The EU has Four Fredoms at the heart of its constitution.
          Freedom of Movememt of Workers
          Freedom of Movement of goods and services
          Freedom of Capital
          Freedom to establish and provide services.

          May and her light-weight team want to ignore the EU as a holistic entity. That is at the heart of their failure.

          • Wayne 3.1.1.2.1

            And if they had left it at the four freedoms, Britain would probably have voted to stay in. Instead the eurocrats tried to build a supra state.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.2

            And their application of those four things brought about the collapse of the EU and probably more wars as well.

            That really is how bad its failed.

            Greece wasn’t given freedom of capital. It should have defaulted but the rest of Europe insisted that they pay the debts that they couldn’t.

            And that is just another reason why each nation should have its own currency.

  4. Cinny 4

    Looks like there will be an annoucement today from Maori and Mana Parties.

    They look set to make an ‘agreement’

    What are you doing Hone? I’m not sure that Maori/Mana voters will be happy about it.

    • garibaldi 4.1

      Cinny, this deal has been in the wind for a long time and is the only sensible way for them to go, otherwise they could well be wiped out (as Labour wants) .I would like to see Hone in parliament again… he speaks truth to power better than anyone else in that cosy little den of neolibs.

      • Cinny 4.1.1

        I really like Hone, have admired him for a long time. But I’m a bit disappointed.

        Just like you I would love to see him in Parliament again, for the same reasons “he speaks truth to power better than anyone else in that cosy little den of neolibs.”

        However I just don’t trust the Maori Party after cuddling up with the Nat’s for so long.

        Mind you, it is the year of great change, so anything could happen. Maori Party may not cuddle up to National ever again.

        • Bearded Git 4.1.1.1

          Hone will NEVER go with the Nats so it may well create a one seat overhang in favour of the Labour-Green bloc which would be excellent..

          • Cinny 4.1.1.1.1

            It’s sure going to be interesting, but I really feel that Kelvin is the better MP.

            The voters no doubt have experienced both of them as MP’s so they will know for sure what’s best for them.

        • gsays 4.1.1.2

          hi cinny,
          it just got a little less straight forward/business as usual; the greens are standing a candidate in ttt.
          part of the mou?

          • Cinny 4.1.1.2.1

            Choice is good. MMP for the win, voters will decide. Greens looking for the Party vote in TTT, awesome, educate the people.

            If I were to vote in that electorate, I’d vote for Kelvin, best person for the job. Will be an exciting election this year, that’s for sure.

            • gsays 4.1.1.2.1.1

              interesting, my take, with mmp in mind, would be to vote for hone, then party vote green or labour.
              get two good mps representing the area.

              reasoning that kelvin gets in on the list.

              • Cinny

                That makes sense, but to add more to the daydream, cause am liking the idea of both of them in house.
                Labour takes out the rest of the Maori seats, Maori party doesn’t reach the threshold and bye to them.

    • DoublePlusGood 4.2

      There’s some unusual political comment at the Herald of late (yesterday’s comments on the poll, for instance), and this is an example of this – I don’t think it’s a valid assumption to assume that most of Te Hira Paenga’s votes would go to Hone Harawira, for instance.
      (It’s also probably not a good idea to assume that most of Annette Sykes’ votes would go to Te Ururoa Flavell either)

  5. Carolyn_nth 5

    Oh good, an actual leftie on today’s RNZ “from the left and right” spot this morning at 11.05am-ish.

    11.05 Political commentators Sue Bradford and Matthew Hooton

    Matthew Hooton and Sue Bradford talk about the Mana and Maori Parties joint plan for winning the Maori seats and the latest Colmar Brunton poll.

    Sue Bradford tweeted:

    I’m on RNZ politics 11.05 this am for 1st time since joining Mana in 2011: ironic that the Mana/Maori deal’s today …

    I can’t remember when I last listened to that slot. I’ll try to listen to it today.

  6. adam 6

    Ah private prisons – stupid idea, just more information why. Also enjoyable to watch.

    http://www.trutv.com/shows/adam-ruins-everything/videos/the-shocking-way-private-prisons-make-money.html

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Headline is:
    Stoned driver crashed into woman at 200km/h in New South Wales
    Actual information is:

    Judge Mark Buscombe said Lawson ‘giggled’ when police spoke to him after the crash.

    He told them, “It worked, it got rid of the car.”

    Lawson was taken to hospital suffering ‘psychosis’, the court heard on Friday.

    He spent seven months as an involuntary mental health patient following the smash.

    Judge Buscombe said Lawson had paranoid delusions.

    Medical assessments found he had undiagnosed schizophrenia and was smoking three ‘cones’, also known as ‘bongs’, every day in the 12-months leading up to the crash.

    We don’t know if he was stoned or not when the crash happened but we do know that he has mental health issues.

    Talk about misreporting.

    Interestingly enough, it was this type of misreporting that launched the War on Drugs. Of course, back then they would have gone heavy on the racism as well.

    • repateet 7.1

      Did a stoned driver crash a into woman at 200km/h in New South Wales?

      In the Trump age we like to tell it like it is.

      • Molly 7.1.1

        Bearded white male crashes into a woman at 200km/h.

        Blue-eyed blond crashes into a woman at 200km/h,

        P-Plater crashes into a woman at 200km/h,

        Skateboarding hitchhiker crashes into a women at 200km/h,

        Man with undiagnosed schizophrenia was thought to be having a psychotic episode when he crashed into a woman at 200km/h.

        All of these statements are true. But the last reports the most pertinent information to give an indication of that particular situation.

        As any child knows, selective reporting of true facts often can give a false impression of what the whole truth is.

    • greywarshark 7.2

      And what condition was the woman in after all that? A very glaring example of lack of empathy for one another, and concentration on correct reporting of cause. The victim is a woman, end of interest.

  8. locus 8

    How quickly the msm divert their attention away from Flynn, Trump and his aides lying about their communications with Moscow ….. towards a stupid story about Sweden

    Bannon is laughing his socks off

  9. repateet 9

    Had the poll come out last night with good news for National Kiwiblog would have been instantly in action with big positive headlines and lots of blather.

  10. adam 10

    This is interesting, seems kiwis don’t like the idea of one corporate media outlet controlling all the news.

    https://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/451/disbelief-d

  11. Cinny 11

    WTF? This is obscene.

    New Zealand’s highest-paid public servant received a 36 per cent pay increase against the objections of Prime Minister Bill English and the State Services Commission (SSC).

    Documents obtained under the Official Information Act show NZ Super Fund chief executive Adrian Orr received the pay rise last year on the back of a 22 per cent salary hike only two years earlier, with his annual pay packet now over $1 million.”

    Well it turns out that English has some explaining to do, can he not control his minions?

    “Board members are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance. The Minister’s recommendation follows nominations from a committee, independent of the Guardians, which is established by the Minister.”

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Why I say that we need to put a cap on the pay of public servants. It’s not in our best interests to make them rich while they make us poor.

  12. Molly 12

    Horizon poll comments on merger proposed for media makes interesting reading.

  13. ianmac 13

    Kim Dotcom will be on with J Campbell in a minute, re a ruling that there is no Copyright Law to justify the original arrest or the original charges.
    But is liable for fraud deportation. Kim reckons it is a major win for him.

  14. repateet 14

    To update that Kiwiblog does now cover the latest poll. In a most pointedly down in the mouth, downmarket way.

    Had things been positive there would have been orgasmic splurges last night followed by the metaphorical, cigarette today, with cooly blown smoke rings. Regardless of remarks directed at my reaction, I like displays of childish petulance by the spited.

    • inspider 14.1

      Kiwiblog has been doing less in the way of commentary on polls since Late Last year. this is no different. Maybe he felt he was giving away his income as a pollster.

  15. greywarshark 15

    co ops might be the idea.
    https://nz.coop/

    Starting a Co-op
    Looking to build an enterprise that’s freely established by a group that provides mutual benefits? Here, NZ Co-op can show you how to start a Co-op and how to benefit from the activities of the enterprise, not just from primarily investments.

    Since taking on the CEO role at Cooperative Business NZ in April 2016, Craig Presland has received many requests for assistance with setting up new co-operatives. With this in mind, Craig has produced a User Guide for all those considering whether to set up, or otherwise to join, a co-operative. In this document we answer the following questions:

    Start Up User Guide for new co-ops, mutuals and societies

    How do we progress from a group of individuals with an idea, to forming and registering a company, to drafting a constitution and business plan, to holding our first general meeting, to holding our first AGM 12 months later?
    What is a co-operative and how does this vary from standard companies (publicly and privately owned), mutual companies, incorporated societies, building societies, industrial and provident societies, credit unions etc.
    What is the history of co-operatives in NZ, and globally, and what other NZ co-operatives are there?
    Is the co-operative business model the right one for us?
    Which type of co-operative is best for us?
    How do we set up a co-operative including best practice governance?
    Is our idea business-worthy?

    This Start-Up User Guide provides a good level of information relevant also to established co-operatives.
    Let’s Get Started Manual 2017
    https://nz.coop/start-user-guide-new-co-operatives/

  16. North 16

    I feel so sorry for the poor downtrodden predominantly white trash “Deplorables”. Now they gotta deal with the fact they gave their all to a crazy man.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11804361

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