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Open mike 20/03/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 20th, 2012 - 73 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

73 comments on “Open mike 20/03/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    “Keep The Coal In The Hole”

    Please circulate throughout your lists

    The Frozen Planet, is a disappearing world

    David Attenborough, Episode 7, On Thin Ice

    Are you concerned about global warming?

    Do you want New Zealand to give a global lead?

    Show John Key Your Opposition To Coal Mining On Conservation Land!

    This Wednesday 21st March, 5 pm, 1 Willeston Street, Downtown Wellington, John Key will officially open Bathurst Resources’ new New Zealand office. Bathurst Resources plan to develop New Zealand’s largest open-cast coal mine on conservation land and we plan to oppose it every step of the way.

    Join Coal Action Network Aotearoa, Forest and Bird, Greenpeace, 350, Ora Taiao, Generation Zero, and other concerned groups and individuals from around the country to say ‘NO Mining Pure NZ’.

    In May 2010, over 50 000 people marched up Queen Street in Auckland to protest the Government’s proposal to open up National Parks and other protected areas, after which the government executed a remarkable backdown and committed not to mine in National Parks and other significant conservation areas protected under Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act.

    They also stated that “significant applications to mine on public conservation land should be notified”. In November 2011, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson advised that the application for Australian-owned Bathurst Resources to have access to mine the fragile and unique Denniston Plateau will not be publicly notified.

    Bathurst’s proposal for a resource consent to mine coal on the Denniston Plateau on the West Coast is currently under appeal to the Environment Court. This proposal is the thin edge of Bathurst’s wedge which would see a unique ecosystem destroyed and the volume of coal exported by New Zealand increase by 40% and more in the future if we don’t stop this.

    So bring your placards and help give John Key and Bathurst Resources our simple message: “Keep the coal in the hole”.

    Find out more here
    Or email: coalactionnetwork@gmail.com

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Around the time Brent becomes $140-$160/barrel, I predict that the popularity of coal is going to skyrocket through the roof. October or November probably, during the northern hemisphere winter.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        Around the time Brent becomes $140-$160/barrel, I predict that the popularity of coal is going to skyrocket through the roof. October or November probably, during the northern hemisphere winter.

        Colonial Viper

        No doubt you are probably right CV. And vested interest and their government toadies will be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect. We might as well tcelebrate the victory of greed over nature and throw the last Hectors Dolphin onto the fire to use the little store of blubber these creatures possess to stoke the flames, as the acidification of the ocean caused by burning all that coal will kill them eventually anyway.

        Do I sound bitter?

        Last week I asked the editors at ‘The Standard’ to give notice of the above public event protesting against open cast coal mining on the Deniston Plateau. A proposal that if it goes ahead as well as destroying a unique eco-system will increase New Zealand’s coal exports by 40%.

        Nothing but silence.

        I again sent a request to put up a notice about this event to the editors last night, fully expecting to see something today.

        To admit to the problem but not want to do everything in your power to help those who want to do something practical about it. In some ways is worse than being a denier.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          The $60K-$120K pa middle classes want their creature comforts, cars and their consumption.

          They have been promised by many cohorts of marketeers, politicians and economists, and they will not be denied.

        • Fortran 1.1.1.2

          Can’t make it to Denniston Mine protest – cost too much in petrol and exhaust gasses.
          Its a hell of a long way to nowhere, even from Westport, to seed some snails

    • Jenny 1.2

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Why?

  2. Bored 2

    As an exercise in nausea I visited the national party 2011 election website. Looking primarily for the things Key did not mention they would do after the election. We all knew he would sell the SOEs off but we had nothing there about the more extreme rightist policies.

    Charter Schools anybody? Hear about that from National pre election? Ditto private prisons? Whats next?

    What we are seeing is a creeping rash of extreme right policies: what I am not hearing is a dialogue from Labour as a leftist (or even centrist) counter. Must we all whistle Dixie whilst Shearer considers a response rather than a minor display of visceral anger and opposition? Get a spine Labour, stop Shearer from appearing like a filleted jellyfish.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.1

      Don’t hold your breath Bored. The response is probably going to be along the lines of:

      “We are putting bad prison guards and badly run prisons on notice.”

    • RedLogix 2.2

      NACT have one term left and they don’t care about being re-elected.

      I was going to write an article on the local govt reforms but Gordon Campbell has done it much better. Worth a read.

      There are some elements of the proposed legislation that are potentially good. It’s not all bad, especially around the possibility of making it easier to create larger more efficient council structures. But the real weasel is in the first section of the document released yesterday:

      1. The Local Government Act 2002 will be amended to replace references to the ‘social, economic,
      environmental and cultural well-being of communities’ (the four well beings) with a new purpose for
      councils of ‘providing good quality local infrastructure, public services and regulatory functions at
      the least possible cost to households and business.’

      The important words in the new purpose statement are ‘local’ to differentiate from services better provided by central government and ‘public’ to clarify that councils should not try to replace services provided by the private sector. The proviso requiring least cost is to emphasize the need for efficiency. The definitions will make it plain that ‘least possible cost’ means costs now and into the future, to ensure decision makers do not take a narrow, short term view of cost effectiveness.

      The crucial loophole here is that it is entirely a matter of interpretation … presumably the discretion of the Minister… as to what is a public or private activity. And given that the Minister is given drastic new powers to intervene in Local Government then he can impose his intepretation however he likes.

      If the Minister for instance deems that a Port operation is a ‘private sector business’ then he can force a Council to sell it. If he deems Water Supply to be the same.. the same applies. There is no limit to what the Minister can impose.

      Especially if the political cost is irrelevant to him.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Especially if the political cost is irrelevant to him.

        Then other pressures can and should be imposed on the Government by the local communities which are dictatorially affected, beyond purely political ones. After all, political costs come in many shapes and forms.

      • mickysavage 2.2.2

        Can you imagine how Auckland feels with this announcement.  One of the super city reforms required the Council to prepare a “spatial plan” the purpose of which was to “contribute to Auckland’s social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being through a comprehensive and effective long-term (20- to 30-year) strategy for Auckland’s growth and development.”

        The plan was not a wish list.  It had to “identify policies, priorities, land allocations, and programmes and investments to implement the strategic direction and specify how resources will be provided to implement the strategic direction.”

        Now Smith is telling Auckland not to bother with the social, environmental or cultural well beings.  He could have saved a lot of work and bother by excluding them from the start.

      • Bored 2.2.3

        The key line from Campbell sums it up This reform is not about ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’. It is about imposing a right wing strait jacket on communities and their elected councils, in order to further commercialise the provision of quite basic needs..

        You might ask the questions:
        1. How much do all of the services put out to tender to the private sector under the LATE legislation etc cost?
        2. How much does it cost to do in-house?

        I suspect that the difference is the “profit” that has to be paid to the private sector. If we were to total the cumulative profit implicit within LATE contracts since the Bassett legislation in 1987 (25 years) how much I wonder would that offset the council debt loadings?

    • prism 2.3

      @Bored How about threatening to call him Doctor John Zoidberg the fishy intellectual with lobster arms from Futurama?

  3. Kotahi Tane Huna 3

    No doubt this will need to be pushed through under urgency.

    “Councils would be steered away from spending on social and cultural activities in favour of “core” activities such as key infrastructure, regulations and public services.”

    The whole Objectivist playbook.

    • Bored 3.1

      Lets face it bigger is better, bigger is cheaper, bigger is more efficient……fuck these bastard rationalists really give me the heebies. Show me the evidence.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Not rational to ask them for scientific evidence when their decision making is ideological and profiteering in basis, not scientific.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1.2

        First order of business for the next left government. The “Reversal Of Every Single Piece Of Legislation Passed Over The Last Six Years Bill”. To be debated under urgency, naturally.

        • prism 3.1.2.1

          @Kotahi Tane Huta
          😀 I see this government and its moneyed coaches as repeating the taking of the commons land from the English lower classes back when the moneyed classes there decided they could do better with the land than the poor people who relied on it.

  4. I’ve talked about attacks and abuse here before, most of it is really quite tame. Especially compared to what I’ve been witnessing elsewhere online over the past few weeks.

    Confronting the real abuse

    I have been witnessing an online campaign of abuse, false and unsubstantiated accusation, character assassination, misrepresentation of identities, attempts to shut down speech, attempts to shut down organisations. It has ranged from annoying to disgraceful.

    And that’s not the worst of it. Others have linked some of this to criminal and mental health histories, death threats, even incest. This is associated with people who present themselves as working against abuse – some of them are the worst of abusers.

    It puts political bickering into perspective, although it does show how bad fighting and abusing can degenerate on an unregulated web.

    [It is one reason why we moderate this site…RL]

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      PG are you now promoting a ‘regulated web’ where statutory bodies have a direct say over what can and cannot be communicated over the internet.

      • Pete George 4.1.1

        I haven’t said anything like that.

        • mickysavage 4.1.1.1

          Um petey you are saying an unregulated web is a bad thing and implying regulation is needed.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            He doesn’t really think this stuff through to the end does he, MS.

          • Pete George 4.1.1.1.2

            I didn’t imply anything like that Greg, if you had a legal background you would understand what an implication was.

            I said there are problems with an unregulated web, nothing about what could or should be done about it.

            RL – yes, I agree that the sort of thing I’m talking about wouldn’t be allowed here. A degree of regulation isn’t always a bad thing.

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.2.1

              A degree of regulation isn’t always a bad thing.

              In fact a degree of regulation is always a necessary thing. Politics is essentially the art of striking a desirable balance between too much and too little.

            • Rosemary 4.1.1.1.2.2

              Whatever, Wormtongue.

    • Well, they’re protecting us against big bad terrorists by filtering them big baddasses out of being able to get on planes so regulating the net is gonna help against bad words too. I reckon. Good on ya George for being such an obedient MSM regurgitator.

    • vto 4.3

      Pete George, try a little more thinking first …. “I have been witnessing an online campaign of abuse, false and unsubstantiated accusation, character assassination, misrepresentation of identities, attempts to shut down speech, attempts to shut down organisations.”

      Start with your own ambition and types Pete – Parliament and politicians…

      abuse … feral inbreds on the west coast
      false and unsubstantiated accusation … Winston Peters tirades under the shade of privilege against any number of private people – shameful.
      character assassination … Bennett in exposing the private details of the Auckland women.
      misrepresentation of identities ….
      attempts to shut down speech … NZ on Air contorting to only show certain programs last year to aid election of incumbent.
      attempts to shut down organisations … kim dotcom

      I am sure others would be aware of more and better examples but the bottom line is that it is your own arena Pete George which is the most abusive and should be better regulated. Think first man.

      • Tigger 4.3.1

        PG – I find your trolling here to shill for Dunne abusive.

        • muzza 4.3.1.1

          It is also dishonest as PG the eternal fluffer attempts to inflate or is that fellate, the leader of his pack, with truth bending, missleading and flat out denial of facts on this blog as a start..

          The word offended is far too soft when used towards PG the Dunny Brush supporter on this site…its flat out insulting!

      • Pete George 4.3.2

        Curious that I’m getting attacked and abused (mildly) here for posting that.

        • vto 4.3.2.1

          Oh how pathetic. And you stood for Parliament?

          And no answer I see.

        • Rosemary 4.3.2.2

          With respect, Pete George, please fuck off. We’ve had enough of your ideologically driven duplicitous bullshit. You’re a very dangerous man, and as long as you keep spouting your ill-thought out pseudo-intellectual clap-trap, we’ll continue to tell you so.

      • r0b 4.3.3

        abuse … feral inbreds on the west coast

        Just for the record, that one didn’t happen.

        Clark referred to “some fairly feral attitudes”, and made no reference to “inbreds” at all.

        • prism 4.3.3.1

          Thanks rOb for some facts in this case, the myths blow a lot of dust in our eyes.

        • vto 4.3.3.2

          ha ha, thanks r0b, I wondered if that piece of artistic licence might lure you from your hiding place.

          • r0b 4.3.3.2.1

            I am kinda hiding it’s true – but only because of over work just now. Should pass in just a few more weeks. I hope…

    • Bored 4.4

      Pete, whilst you continue to support that idiot Dunne and his desire to aid and abet the legalised theft of state assets by his larcenous mates in the National party I will continue to “abuse” your viewpoint.

      • Colonial Viper 4.4.1

        Perhaps you could try and disabuse PG of his mistaken viewpoints? Nah, no chance of success.

    • Reality Bytes 4.5

      Hey Pete, welcome to the Internet.

      I’ve read your stuff, and although I disagree with some of the stuff you say, I recon you are a nice person inspite of our ideological differences. But I think you are a little bit naive to think the Internet is some sort of prime time “censored and ok for kids hour” tv slot. People will swear and take the mickey online, mostly in jest and to prove a point about something they are passionate about, and not out of maliciousness. Sure there are trolls and griefers, but I suspect they are dealt with pretty well here. The Internet can be a bit more like a rowdy local pub at times, and that’s why I’m surprised you seem a bit naive considering you’ve been active here for a fair while.

      Cheers.

  5. Food for thought.

    If the chances of dying from a terrorist attack are 1:25.000.000 while the chances of dying from a lightening strike are 1:500.000 than why does this three year old boy in a wheel chair for fuck’s sake have to be terrorised by the TSA on his trip to Disney land?

    Or if you’re not mad you haven’t been paying attention.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Probably because the US is just a year or two away from becoming a “turnkey totalitarian state” able to intercept, decode and store every single electronic message or phone call you make in your life time, anywhere in the world.

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/%E2%80%9Cwe-are-far-turnkey-totalitarian-state-big-brother-goes-live-september-2013

    • McFlock 5.2

      Short answer: if one mixes paranoia with private security suppliers who employ lowest-wage staff, who in turn have no incentive to think for themselves, one can expect things like this, and the occasional shooting of a distressed passenger (or high-multiple-tasering followed by an unfortunate but “unrelated” demise).
           
      But fear is a good distraction from the other -problems in life. 

  6. just saying 6

    ACC minister alleged to have provided a supportive reference for Pullar on ministerial notepaper

    My second attempt at putting in a link the “neat” way. May not work. If not, it’s in the herald

    This story just keeps getting better.

    If this is true, I find it fascinating that, ACC staff have continued to aggressively manage Ms Pullar’s claim despite her pulling some of the strongest ‘contact’ cards in the pack. She must have really pissed them off because I’m pretty sure that most middle-manager types in the public service would, (and probably do) cave pretty quickly in these kinds of circumstances. Seems like a mini-rebellion.

    Key is predictably relaxed about his ACC minister intervening in this way, and said he had known Pullar for years himself, as she had been a National Party official, and that she had often talked to him about her ACC woes at funtions.

  7. Jenny 7

    Christchurch repairs are in danger due to lack of rental accommodation.

    Christchurch Rental Crisis Deepens stuff.co.nz

    Real estate institute Canterbury director Tony McPherson said the repairs were in danger of being delayed and the problem was going to get worse as rebuilds were added to the repair work.
    ”There is huge pressure on rental accommodation in the city from people who have been forced out of the red zone, the large short-term work force in the city there to assist with the recovery, as well as the normal seasonal demand from tertiary students.”

    Moteliers and other accommodation providers were becoming consistently full with displaced families rather than the usual numbers of tourists, which was affecting the business of other industries reliant on visitors spending money, he said.

    McPherson said he understood temporary accommodation opened up by Government was fully occupied.

    ”There is a need for a circuit-breaker if the rebuild of homes is to be carried out efficiently. Without it, the rebuild is in jeopardy, causing further frustration, delay and unnecessary stress on Christchurch people, who now want to get on with their lives.”

    What could this “circuit breaker” be?

    I see that there are hundreds of perfectly good and undamaged homes are on the market in and around Christchurch.

    For a government that has been very swift in bailing out the wealthy, burnt by bad investment decisions to the tune of $billions. How about buying up all this housing stock and renting it out to those in need?

    Unlike the bailout of the rich speculators instead of gaining billions of dollars of worthless junk bonds and making a loss, the government, as well as helping people suffering through no fault of their own, will gain an appreciable asset.

    (And I am sure the real estate agents and sellers would appreciate it as well.)

    Check it out!

    1) Harcourts

    2) Professionals

    3) Ray White

    4) Mike Pero

    5) Nation Wide

    6) Total Realty

    7) GlassMiles

    8 ) Hastings McLeod Ltd

    9) Simes

    10) Blue Sky

    This is just some of the houses available.

    Why don’t the government buy up all these perfectly good houses and rent them out?

    There is no need for anyone at all to go homeless in Christchurch.

    Simple.

    The government can spend $billions of our tax money bailing out millionaires who lost money on investments. Why are they sitting around on their hands doing nothing about the rental crisis in Christchurch?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1

      Brownlee: ” it could have artificially lowered the appetite of private investors to provide a solution that could be lucrative for investors,”

      What a scumbag.

      • Jenny 7.1.1

        It is like Brownlee is reading my criticisms of his government, and giving his reply.

        Either that, or the need to take such obvious action to ease the Christchurch rental housing crisis, must be apparent even to him. So apparent in fact, that he has to come up with his fatuous defence that protecting the market is more important than housing people. Even though the housing crisis is so bad that it is hampering the very recovery and reconstruction of the city which is supposed to be his main responsibility.

        The needs of the “lucrative” “private investors” must come first.

        With this sort of attitude, let’s pray that Brownlee’s government buddies don’t spy another bunch of millionaires that need bailing out.

  8. vto 8

    A starter for 10 …

    What proportion of demolition diggers and nibblers in the Christchurch CBD sit idle all day long?

    • vto 8.1

      Ok, I’ll answer it – try about 80-90%

      That’s right folks. The CBD is like a ghost town with virtually no work going on. All the giant machinery is sitting idle right now, despite a huge amount of demolition work remaining (all the big buildings). There are no workers around, the place is quiet and dead.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        FFS

        Just wait for Treasury to push out the economic benefits from Christchurch reconstruction yet again.

        Better accept it people, building owners are taking their insurance payouts and have mentally already left the CBD.

        • vto 8.1.1.1

          Yes well it surprised me. I have not been into the CBD for some time but it was quiet. Really quiet. And the giant machinery was sitting idle.

          Perhaps it is lack of insurance money flow again. Perhaps it is owners leaving and simply not bothering to follow things through in good speed.

          Either way, there ainto nothing much going on. And there are a large number of the big buildings which haven’t even been started yet. The small old easy ones have long gone, but not the big and difficult ones. The biggest jobs remain.

          The timeframe is going to stretch way out ………………………

          • gareth 8.1.1.1.1

            I’d bet that machinery is being paid for by someone, Other wise it would be somewhere else working/ making money. No one with that amount of coin invested in machinery likes to have it sitting still for long….
            I bet someone’s paying a healthy retainer to have it sitting there….

            • vto 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes. The contractors who took a punt on contracts in Chch and who are about to up-sticks.

  9. Kotahi Tane Huna 9

    We may need to look at providing a commissioner for the environment who can give you a counterview.

    Freshwater report.

  10. aerobubble 11

    Personal responsibility. Take an aspect of everyone’s life, that people have had to live with the consequences of their actions since the year dot, and then claim they could have done better, should do better, and they are parasites on the backside of society that they ever made a mistake.
    Your government hates you.

  11. Grumpy 13

    The other day we surmised on the real target ofvWhale’s attack on Boag.

    Now we have it, Nick Smith. Internal National politics……….

    • tc 13.1

      Paying the price for his ACC levy drop and upsetting Atilla the Hen as he’s always been a compulsive liar and general nutcase so it can’t be that.

  12. Jackal 14

    Think big prisons fail

    So does National have any intention of actually trying to decrease reoffending or are they just interested in jobs for the boys? Building Wiri is most definitely not in the best interests of the justice system, although it’s obviously in the best interest of Fletchers, Serco and National’s coffers…

  13. Fortran 15

    Am waiting to see where the billions of EQC and Insurance Company money is going. To the banks or ?
    I note thet the sale of new expensive cars is up in the Christchurch area.

    • McFlock 15.1

      The sale of new expensive cars in Dunedin took a drop when the ODHB IT guy got done for multimillion dollar fraud. 

  14. Draco T Bastard 17

    The $8 Billion iPod

    The video is definitely worth a watch, but here are a couple highlights:

    The RIAA argues that $150,000 is lost for every illegal copy of a song. Based on this argument, an iPod Classic could carry up to $8 billion in pirated music.
    The MPAA says that $58 billion and 370,000 jobs are lost annually to piracy, yet, Reid argues, only the music industry is down in revenue since 2000 and by nowhere near $58 billion.

    The more I look at the claims of the copyright industry the more I realise that all their claims are complete bollocks.

  15. Campbell Larsen 18

    Anyone else find it odd that Close Up is interviewing an American professor about the ‘terror’ trials?

    I find it irksome that we are turning to someone from the country behind terror laws for comment about the legitimacy of this trial – couldn’t they find a NZ academic?

    • Campbell Larsen 18.1

      Ooops my bad – he has been here since ’72 so probably is a NZ resident – Sorry Bill, but your accent is still the last one I want to hear when commentary on this issue is being delivered – nothing personal.

  16. prism 19

    ms asked earlier why didn’t nick smith cut out the social cultural thing when Auckland was being turned into a smoothie. I think that this government is like a tag wrestling team with some upfront mixing it with the public and others waiting in the wings with their particular maneouvre ready to utilise.

    Someone on jim mora today pointed out the huge burden that large amalgamations make for the CEOs, which explains their huge salaries. Where did economy of scale go? And flatten the management structure and pay most of the saving in salary to the top banana! That’s a sort of parallel book keeping.

    • vto 19.1

      ” Where did economy of scale go? ”

      I think it went down the toilet.

      It costs more money to all shit together than to shit singularly. How did that happen?

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      Economy of scale used to work with factories (back when one factory could be far more efficient than another) – never worked with social institutions.

  17. Jackal 20

    Ongoing nuclear nightmares

    Yesterday, there were more reports of Radioactive cesium levels rising sharply in Fukushima and last week there were a couple of serious nuclear accidents in Canada and South Korea that went largely unreported…

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      last week there were a couple of serious nuclear accidents in Canada and South Korea that went largely unreported…

      Of course they went unreported – there wasn’t any natural disaster to cause them and they were in 1) first world country and 2) US nuclear state friends.

  18. Draco T Bastard 21

    Human Revenue Stream

    The essential public good that Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and now Cameron sell is not power stations, or trains, or hospitals. It’s the public itself. It’s us.

    Which is really what this government is selling with their state asset sales program – us. Selling the power will give a few people a permanent revenue stream from our work for doing absolutely nothing.

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