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Open mike 20/03/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, March 20th, 2015 - 161 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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161 comments on “Open mike 20/03/2015”

  1. Ennui 1

    Read an article on theautomaticearth.com today that mentioned the severe criticism by the European Central Bank of Greece €200 million poverty alleviation legislation. These same banksters made the criticism from the comfort of their newly opened €1.3 billion building in Stuttgart. Meanwhile outside thousands of protesters clashed with police protecting the well healed. This should be a Marie Antoinette moment, but no. It has been cancelled in the minutae, the dross of the little stuff that we bicker over.

  2. Paul 2

    The Herald leads with actual news.
    Stop stealing our harbour.

    Maybe they could add ‘and our country.’

    • tc 2.1

      That and skycity non story just in case the name suppression is lifted.

      The headline should read ‘we are stealing your harbour’ as granny assists NACT in its sell off of nz and Dirty Politics tactics on central and local issues before we look at the soapboxes Hide etc get.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        The Ports of Auckland is attempting to run a commercial enterprise to assist in the development of the economy of the wider Auckland region. If you don’t think they should be running a business in the heart of auckland then it would be best if they sold off the land and moved to a location where they will be less disruptive to others.

        • Skinny

          Yes I like what ya mate Hooton has been advocating, which is the deep water port of Marsden Point rather than spoiling the benefits of opening up the Auckland harbour.

          It is surprising Team Key hasn’t already rolled the pork barrel into the harbour debate so to speak and floated this policy. Snake oil Joyce is a mug not too as it would be very popular with Northland & Auckland voters, may even give the rightwing Mayoral candidate a big leap in fortunes.

          On another note, I would be very surprised if Hooton heads dirty Lenny’s campaign, Matthew is use to plugging for succesful winners like the ACT Party.

          • Gosman

            Auckland would probably be better off if it sold off the assets of the POA company and used the money to help fund transport infrastructure (which may include better rail connections).

            Currently it has the worst of both world. It is lumbered with a commercial enterprise that it has many people demanding restict attempts to operate within Auckland. It is kind of like the Government owning a coal mining company when people argue we shouldn’t be mining coal.

            • lprent

              Typical Nat short-term thinker. The point about the Auckland port company is that operates within a city and is intimately tied to the local economy as effectively a monopoly provider of the bulk goods required to power chunks of the local economy.

              There is often an argument that PoA has competition, which it partially does. However that is almost entirely for shipping goods out of the country, which has Tauranga and to a lesser extent Whangerei shipping locally produced goods out. But Auckland ports are far more important as a nett importer to the local industries.

              Natural monopoly companies like that invariably need a strong regulatory body. In this case the city that depends on it not ratcheting prices or demanding excessive privileges via economic blackmail to advantage their shareholders dividends and managers salaries. Business people have an excessively short-term perspective and would do long term harm seeking personal short term benefits. The city and the state have generational responsibilities and act like it.

              It is exactly the same logic that causes the city and state to retain large ownership stakes in airports, rail, roads, electricity, and many other infrastructural assets.

              For examples of why private ownership of this type of asset is a problem, you don’t have to look far past the massive increases in power costs since the early 90s at the same time as power usage and investment in capacity has effectively been diminishing. Effectively price gouging by shareholders has been forcing poorer energy choices. Similarly the silly and ill fated privatisation of the rail lines caused a massive downstream cost in maintenance for track because very little was done for more than a decade.

              • DH

                “But Auckland ports are far more important as a nett importer to the local industries.”

                I don’t believe that’s true any more Lprent. Where a port is located isn’t really that relevant to importers, all they care about is the cost and efficiency. A few extra hours on a train isn’t going to hurt any schedules, goods are on the ship for a week or more. I’ve had shipments come from POAL and Tauranga and it didn’t matter a whit to me, cost was the same.

                POAL is using land which is extremely valuable for other uses, at present it’s value one the books is low because of it’s council rating. The real value of that land, for tourist & other business uses, is way higher than its valued at so that’s a lost opportunity for Auck.

                Freight also has to go through high traffic areas which greatly disrupts Auckland traffic and costs transport providers significant sums in lost time.

                There’s a very strong economic argument to move a big chunk of the port activities out of Auck. You’re a jafa like me, imagine what Auck city would be like if we had the whole waterfront for public use.

                • lprent

                  Those are more reasons to move the port area outside of the centre of the city – not out of the harbour. But you are wrong about the logistics. Having the port close makes a hell of a difference to the industrial systems. We (in my MBA OR hat) are always extremely sensitive to delays because they cause significiant capital costs in terms of inventory and planning. Generally businesses with heavy equipment and materials will migrate to the shortest distances from the.

                  Having it at the junction of rail and road systems on the Auckland isthmus is a hell of difference as well. Moving those junctions will be ‘interesting’ and very very expensive. In Auckland it is damn hard to see where you could put them near a deep water area. It is pretty bad in Tauranga with the continuous dredging.

                  I seldom go downtown for any reason, and that isn’t likely to change much. It is pretty damn boring and usually a pain in the arse.

                  The likely result of moving the port away is just that private interests will use the space for commercial purposes – just as has happened on the other port areas here. It will add a massive extra cost to everyone using it for incoming, and businesses will tend to follow the port.

                  • DH

                    Maybe but I’m not so sure about that.

                    Most seafreight is packed in containers as LCL or FCL cargo. Importers usually get the container delivered direct if its FCL, if it’s LCL the container goes from the wharf to a logistics company where its unpacked, sorted and goods then trucked to the various consignees. Moving the port shouldn’t really change much of the logistics except where the containers are being picked up from.

                    Most seafreight passes Whangarei on the way to Auckland anyway so there shouldn’t be much of a delay if containers are railfreighted from there instead of shipped by truck from POAL.

                    It would, of course, require an efficient rail service and since Govts constantly meddle with our rail that ideal may just be a fantasy.

              • greywarshark

                That should be a text in the textbooks or written in stone on tablets for pimply-faced young people and hoary old people too. A clear exposition of the important aspects that should be considered. Thanks – good to get some clear thinking on something important when the right opportunity presents itself. So much stuff we get every day is fuzzy without the logic.

                And Skinny’s backgrounding is helpful too. But the different factors need to be combined and work as a region for the best outcomes. Perhaps there should be a Northern Region infrastructure group that encompasses Tauranga, Auckland and Whangarei sea and feed-transport to ports business.

                Then make Auckland supercity smaller so its an effective unit not spread so wide. And more manageable, presumably.

                This I see from the Ramtops!

              • Gosman

                Does that mean you support of oppose the proposal to increase the size of the port? If you do oppose it are you stating that you think there should be a restriction on how much business the Auckland Port should be able to do?

            • Skinny

              The large shipping lines are dictating to port companies globally with super sized container ships, which means dredging shallow harbours like Auckland.
              Port of Tauranga are commencing a 50 million dollar dredging program after just signing a 10 year deal with one of the shipping lines.

              It’s just a matter of moving their operation further North, they already own 50% of Marsden Point. A rail link to the port and an upgrade of the North Auckland line and their away.

              Solves a number of issues like inner city housing, maybe a new stadium, even a logical place for a convention centre, and open space for the public.

              • Gosman

                Agreed completely. Use the freed up land to help resolve Auckland’s housing shortage. Of course people like Lprent might prefer to keep the Port in some sort of restricted state of economic activity.

        • DH

          “The Ports of Auckland is attempting to run a commercial enterprise to assist in the development of the economy of the wider Auckland region.”

          You’re just full of crap Gosman. POAL is attempting to make more profit by taking what management think is a lowest cost option. Nothing more to it than that, it has no remit to assist in developing Auckland’s economy.

          Extending wharves out a further 100mtrs is outrageous. That is a hell of an encroachment into what is already a narrow harbour. It sure as hell won’t ‘assist’ the economic development of a city that used to be labelled ‘City of Sails’ for a very good reason.

          • tracey

            NZ has too many Ports… they keeping under cutting each other to get a relatively fixed pool of clients…

            • Gosman

              Would you agree it would be a good idea if POAL shut down and sold the land off to be developed for housing then?

              • felix

                I don’t care what they do with it as long as it remains publicly owned.

                • Gosman

                  Do you want Auckland council to be heavily involved in inner city property development? That is quie a risky investment potentially. It could lead to billions of dollars in losses. If you are willing to take on that level of risk good luck. It would be embarrassing if the Auckland council went bust as a result though.

                  • felix

                    Yes, viewed through your tiny little fundamentalist keyhole it would be a risky thing to do, because they’d be operating as a profit-seeking commercial enterprise.

                    Dumb idea.

              • tracey

                NZ has too many Ports… they keeping under cutting each other to get a relatively fixed pool of clients…

                • KJT

                  I would say we do not have enough, but we need to develop them as feeder ports for smaller coastal ships. Gisborne-Napier for example.

                  The fake competition between ports is probably just going to lose us the hub port to Australia, to the detriment of NZ as a whole..

                  We have too many all trying to be “hub” ports.

                  The big conference shipping companies are constantly playing one off against the other, as you say, which only benefits them.

                  Auckland waterfront could be developed as a feeder port for cargo in and out of the Auckland region only, Freeing up valuable public space.

                  Marsden point not only has the land for container yards, at present, but has the room and draft for larger ships.

                  Of course, some just have their eye on making a profit out of selling it off, port land, for development.

                  It is a strong argument for ports, like rail and roads, to be run as public infrastructure.

                  Imagine if we said we should sell off the roads for development, because they are worth more as sections, than as roads.

                  Having said that, the main use of space at POAL at present appears to be new cars, not containers.

                  • Once was Tim

                    plus we need to resurrect rail – not just napier-gisborne, but what was intended damn near 100 yrs past (and when we got half way there (gisborne – tauranga; taupo – rotorua – tauranga in the north, and a few links in the south).

                    • KJT

                      If trucks had to pay their full costs it would happen naturally.

                      That would be the good capitalist solution…………..

                    • greywarshark

                      Don’t trucks pay on the kms counted up by their odometers? Is that not enough to pay for their share of the roading? I would be interested to know if you would be interested to advise.

                    • KJT

                      It pays for about half of the costs of a truck using the main roads.

                      Then there is the costs of local roads, they use, which are paid by rates.

                      Then there are the indirect costs of carbon emissions, which we will have to pay under Kyoto, but the trucking industry does not pay.

                      I wonder how many of Nationals, bridges, are on log truck routes?

                      And how much road re-surfacing on highway 1. Nationals 750m? spending on Northland roads, would be necessary without the log trucks. Carrying logs past a railway line from Moerewa, going to Marsden point.

                      Trucking is one of the largest industry donations to the National party. They wouldn’t bother if they were not getting something from it.

            • Murray Rawshark

              We need to bring back coastal shipping and rail. This would expand the pool of clients and help a huge amount with road maintenance.

              • Of course M.Rawshark.
                Should have been done years ago . The sooner it is done the better for NZ ,However all must be State owned .Right-wingers would love to get there gruby hands on all our ports and docks.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  Yep, all state owned with some mechanism to prevent them ever being sold without 90% support in a referendum or something. You and I can count the votes.

                  Someone below mentions 14m draft at Marsden Point. I thought it was actually more than that, but apparently the entrance is the problem rather than the berth. I just googled a bit and Marsden Point can handle 14.7m dynamical under keel clearance. Auckland is 10m and I hate to think of the effect on the Rangitoto Channel of dredging another 5m.

                  To me it’s simple. Bring the big stuff in to Marsden Pt, then put it on rail and smaller ships to other ports.

              • Gosman

                Wouldn’t that generate more demand for the Port and therefore they would require even more land to cope with the increased work load?

                • tracey

                  NZ has too many Ports… they keeping under cutting each other to get a relatively fixed pool of clients…

                • KJT

                  Not if the “hub” was Marsden point or Tauranga.
                  Marsden point is cheaper long term. (Already can take 14m draft and has a big swath of industrial land inland)..

                  Tauranga is limited unless you take off the end of Matakana Island and dredge extensively. And much of the available land is already in use.

                  The logistical problems of Auckland as an export port get worse the bigger Auckland city gets.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  No. See above.

              • Once was Tim


  3. greywarshark 3

    Good news. Wool growers private and Landcorp, have ‘stitched’ a deal with a Danish firm to use our wool in their indoor shoes/slippers.

    New Zealand Merino’s Marketing Manager, Gretchen Foster, said the contract was worth around $1.5 million dollars to the growers, so it was a valuable new market for their wool.

    “So the price is a good price, and it’s reflective of the fact that Glerups receive some certainty in terms of getting the quality that they need and also support from a marketing perspective.
    “Prior to this deal, they used to source wool from auction.

    We have been advised in the past, to find niche markets and by having quality and understanding and meeting the customer’s needs we differentiate ourselves and supply right and become part of the essential supply chain.

    • rawshark-yeshe 3.1

      shame we are not making them here though — we are just not skilled at adding export value ! googled them .. they look just so comfy and easy to wear .. basically padded washed or beaten wool I think .. and in merino ? yummy sez my toezes 😀

      • KJT 3.1.1

        Yeah. What happened to UGG boots.

        Not very pretty, but nice to wear.

      • weka 3.1.2

        “shame we are not making them here though”

        NZ apparently pays people too much. Look at Icebreaker. Grows the merino here, ships it to China to make into clothes, ships the clothes back to NZ to be sold. Classic example of global market ideology trumping common sense.

  4. Pasupial 4

    Threat to outpatient’s wellbeing used to screw hospital kitchens workers:

    outsourcing… plans to truck frozen meals on wheels from Auckland – prompted concern and criticism in the community. The plan to truck meals on wheels such a distance struck many people as unwise.

    Asked about the public concern, Mr Butterfield was not convinced it was all that high…

    ”Unless staff can come up with a proposal that goes a long way towards meeting the gains that the Compass proposal does, it is likely that we will adopt the Compass proposal, but we’ve got to wait and see what staff come up with.”

    That the board delayed the decision for a month, until May, to give staff representatives more time was evidence it had an open mind, he said.

    ”If we’d have had a closed mind, we’d have said `get stuffed, we told you to be in by a certain date and that’s it’, so I think that’s some evidence.”

    Mr Butterfield said he did not want to ”debate” the merits of the proposal, and could not discuss issues such as Compass’ plan to subcontract the meals on wheels portion.


    • tc 4.1

      Theres plenty in the health sector that ryall setup to get stuck into, I’ve no idea who opposition health spokesperson is as they seem to have knocked off for the term.

    • millsy 4.2

      This is essentially privatisation by stealth.

    • b waghorn 4.3

      It would be interesting to know whose going to profit from the meals being made in Auckland and shipped down.

    • David H 4.5

      Oh joy and if they have a problem. Then now it’s spread ALL over the country rather than just in one place. The first case of food poisoning will see that idea canned.

    • Bill 4.6

      Excuse my, perhaps, extreme naivety, but since when were hospitals and the service they provide meant to generate profit? Compass ain’t doing this, either out of the goodness of their hearts, or for no return to their shareholders.

      From Joe90’s links below at 4.4 which should be clicked on …in my humble opinion 😉

      Compass, the world’s largest catering group, announced today it had agreed to pay to up to £40m to settle two lawsuits brought against it for allegedly bribing a UN official to win contracts worth millions of pounds to supply UN peacekeepers.

      Then there’s the listeria (that whacks unwell people more) and the horse meat…

      And what about that patient in bed 7 who requires a special diet? Fuck knows, the vagaries of dietary requirements get fucked up enough as it is, when the kitchen is located in the same building/complex.

      • tracey 4.6.1

        I think you think you live in a different country… your brighter future will be served shortly… but make sure you have a personal taster.

      • weka 4.6.2

        “Excuse my, perhaps, extreme naivety, but since when were hospitals and the service they provide meant to generate profit?”

        Sorry to answer a rhetorical question, but there is an answer to this. National in the early 90s reformed the health system precisely because they wanted hospitals to use a business model. They started by sacking the democratically elected Area Health Boards and replacing them with appointees and then continued for a decade to systematically make core changes to how the health system was run. This included replacing clinically experienced managers with managers out of business school backgrounds (hence the high CEO salaries now).

        (Someone with a longer direct memory than me can comment on how well Rogernomics set that up in the 80s).

        Health costs in leading OECD countries were always going to rise (due to increases in tech costs and increases in chronic health and poverty related illness), so the neoliberals had the ideal justification. But they basically monkey wrenched it badly enough that it’s hard to see now how it can be fixed. Too much time has passed and it’s embedded in the culture. There will now be whole generations of people working within the health system who don’t know any different.

    • greywarshark 4.7

      I read your comment and found an Alice feeling coming on. The Southern District Health Board is I think in one of those time loops that seemed to operate at The Tea Party in the Alices Adventures in Wonderland book. I imagine the Board sitting round the table cogitating –

      The March Hare [Board Chair] took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, ‘It was the best butter, you know.’
      Alice [the bemused Otago and Southern Public] had been looking over his shoulder with some curiosity. ‘What a funny watch!’ she remarked. ‘It tells the day of the month, and doesn’t tell what o’clock it is!’

      Ergo, the SDHB wouldn’t know the time of day.

  5. Clemgeopin 5


    Says if people wanted change to happen in Northland they needed to vote for National!

    Doesn’t this dork know that Northland HAS VOTED National for the last seventy or so YEARS and has been left to languish as one of the MOST neglected regions in the country? Who is English trying to fool this time? You?


    • Corokia 5.1

      The quote from Osbourne seems to show he thinks politics is about brute force and throwing your weight around.

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.1

        He’s a total idiot. They need to upgrade the bridges because NAct has allowed bigger trucks on the roads? Well then, cut them back from 54 to 20 tons and the problem is solved.

        • KJT

          Yes. Over a hundred logging trucks a day has nothing to do with the bridges, of course.

          Don’t even get me started on that! When there is a rail link from Moerewa.

          It would be all the way to Marsden point, if National had got off their arse.

    • Bearded Git 5.2

      Reads like pure pro-Nats propaganda. The MSM doing its best for Key as ever.

    • Which begs the answer CLEMGEOPIN ,why the hell do these plonkers vote National or worse ACT ? / I have pondered on this for years ,the only conclusion I have is that some people just love to suffer .

  6. greywarshark 6

    A sad story about a forestry company failure. Up to 1200 forestry workers may be out of a job with at least one owed much money. What is particularly sad is that the Ngati Hine people had much hope invested in a business they are running and were in conjunction with HarvestPro as an experienced company. If Harvest Pro is in trouble this will upset their carefully planned enterprise.

    Harvest Pro has a USA connection and was entering into arrangements with Japan and is connected with GenPack which is making bio degradable food containers and green products. Also there is another name Kiwi Forestry International Ltd. referred to. I haven’t found anything more about him.

    But the Chinese growth has slowed, inevitably, and it seems that has big consequences to requirements in the world for raw materials. No doubt the price for wood has fallen and this may have affected things here.

    Nick Smith got some legislation passed protecting contractors pay didn’t he. Does somebody know if it has any relevance for these forestry workers out of pocket here?
    It upsets me that workers wages are effectively being used as a line of credit by firms in strife and for being sterling people holding a company together as their reward they are kicked in the butt.

    • tracey 6.1

      I don’t know, but am sorry to hear it…

    • North 6.2

      I personally know at least 20 people employed by Harvest Pro. My heart is heavy for them. On a daily basis I see what not having a real job does to people in the North (as everywhere of course). And their partners, their kids – their totality indeed. Hopefully an existing Kaikohe based contractor (an excellent employer its principals good people) can expand its base and have the Harvest Pro employees assured of work.

      Heard Chris Wikaira on RNZ The Panel today discussing what apparently occurred when the receiver swooped on Harvest Pro – men arriving at work in the bush 30 kilometres from town in Harvest Pro vehicles obviously – vehicles seized – no concern for how these men were going to get back to town.

      If that IS true, a curse on you receiver for General Finance. Receiver’s duties did not require that. If it’s NOT, sorry receiver. Curse withdrawn.

  7. Northsider 7

    Bill Searle, Police District Connander for Waitamata, and Scott Webb, Area Commander for Waitakere, should be fired for the Ghost Buster scandal.

    They have been in their roles throughout the negligent enquiry. They have given public reassurances that a genuine enquiry was ongoing when that was blatantly not the case.

    They were aware that a copper’s son was one of the suspects. That alone should have required them to keep a close eye on the investigation.

    They have failed miserably in their jobs and are not fit to continue in their roles.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      I’m a big supporter of the police, I believe most of the people who join up do so to make a difference

      The policing situation in NZ has improved over the last few decades and while more needs to be done there are still areas where the police need to improve

      I’d like to see a full on royal comission of enquiry to see what went wrong, why it went wrong, how to improve for the future and to see whose heads need (must) roll for this

      • Molly 7.1.1

        You can frame an intelligent reason why police are required in a society, but if you lead a comment with “I’m a big supporter of the police” then it makes me think that you are cheerleading for a team rather than an accountable institution.

        In the last few years, we have had many incidents where the police have been identified as contributing to a situation or – as in the Roastbuster’s case – being fairly incompetent. And yet no one accepts responsibility.

        Seems like their processes are not up to scratch.

        I think the culture of the police was diminished when they encouraged a lot of the older, wiser heads to perf(?) out in the 1980’s. The balance of experience in training was lost, and those who join the police with a sense of purpose and service experience a different culture now because of that.

        I live in a well-heeled suburb at the moment. A break in to a fairly unsecured home next door that resulted in the theft of a television resulted in a home visit for me from the police, taking witness statements and advising me on home security. Another friend, who lives in another part of Auckland experienced an attack on her house, with stones breaking through windows. Although they called the police while the vandals were still on site, they were advised that it was likely to be kids or gang recruits and that they would be gone by the time the police got there. Of course they were. The police never visited.

        This lack of accountability, inconsistency and lack of transparency does affect the connection the police have with the public. Both to the detriment of the public, the effectiveness of police work and the mental health of the police themselves.

        If you truly supported the police, you would support an environment of accountability, integrity and a culture that ensures they are given enough support and training that they treat everyone the same. A Royal Commission of Enquiry often is framed very narrowly and results in little cultural change.

        • Puckish Rogue

          You can frame an intelligent reason why police are required in a society, but if you lead a comment with “I’m a big supporter of the police” then it makes me think that you are cheerleading for a team rather than an accountable institution.

          I do support the team, I support the people but i’m not blind to the point changes and improvements can be made

          • Molly

            OK, sorry misread the intent of your comment.

            I have relatives in the police, and have watched their personalities change over the years as they have worked. I don’t know how you address that, but from observation police (particularly in higher crime areas) seem to start dividing the world into criminals – and non-criminals. This can then develop into an “us” and “them” mentality.

            I don’t know how this process could be interrupted, so that their initial impulse of service to the community can be retained all the way through their careers.

            I can only think of the connection some community police had with their locals, and perhaps suggest that a rotational system that takes police from investigative work to positive peer involvement in community work would be at least a start. Then their loyalty is not concentrated on the police only, it is divided between the police community and the locals they have got to know on an equal basis.

            • Anne

              Well said Molly.

              The important thing to remember the “us” and “them” mentality is not just confined to “criminals – and non criminals”. It also applies to political, social and environmental issues.

              We had the case of the “animal rights” movement being subjected to harassment and intimidation on and off for years. It may well still be happening. Both political as well as environmental activists have been targeted by police for decades, and I see no real changes occurring in that area either. In short, the police have both current as well as historical issues of which they would not want the public to become aware.

              Yes, there are good cops who do excellent work among their respective communities and they should receive more publicity and accolades than most of them do. But the overall emphasis is one of arrogant authority with, in some cases, psychopathic tendencies thrown in. Without going into the detail of why it happened – except to say it was not to do with any unlawful activity on my part – a few years back I was harrassed by a cop in a police car on an Auckland motorway. For a couple of terrifying minutes I thought there would be an accident. He eventually passed me at break-neck speed (120+kmh) and there was no siren and/or lights flashing throughout the ordeal. I was unable to get his registration number because of the excessive speed as he departed. It was blatant intimidation and they were quite wrong in their assumption anyway. The cop knew who I was, and must have been discreetly following me prior to the incident.

              • Roflcopter

                “The important thing to remember the “us” and “them” mentality is not just confined to “criminals – and non criminals”. It also applies to political, social and environmental issues.”

                Yep, would be awesome if the Police sorted out all the electoral breach cases that they have stacked up…

                • tracey

                  yup, much more important than sexual violence cases. Still they had time for the PM’s personal case in 2011.

              • Molly

                “The important thing to remember the “us” and “them” mentality is not just confined to “criminals – and non criminals”. It also applies to political, social and environmental issues. “

                Agree. I think over time, there is a sequence where it moves from “criminals” to include “possible criminals” to “everyone other than the police or personal contacts”.

                I know that when at protests, and trying to make eye contact or conversation with the police, I don’t feel that they are viewing me as part of the community they are there to serve. My feeling in that instance is that I have already been cast in the role of “the other”.

                • Anne

                  …when at protests, and trying to make eye contact or conversation with the police, I don’t feel that they are viewing me as part of the community they are there to serve. My feeling in that instance is that I have already been cast in the role of “the other”.

                  That used to happen to me. I don’t go on many protests now partly because of it, but also I’m getting too old in the tooth.

                  I well remember the last game of the 1981 Springbok Tour at Eden Park. Setting aside the excessively violent Red Squad, some of the protesters were giving the ordinary cops a hard time. I saw a group of very young cops covered from head to toe in flour (which I have to add looked very funny) and I tried to commiserate with them and let them know that most of us are decent, well behaved people. You should have seen the looks on their faces. They regarded me as a leper who was trying to infect them. It shocked me they were already so immured in the ‘protesters are vermin’ culture, they couldn’t see the truth which was in front of their eyes.

                  • Molly

                    One different response was on one of the documentaries on Bastion Point. Unfortunately, can’t remember which one.

                    I have a vivid recollection of a image of the police being taken, and there is a look of shame on some of the officers’ faces.

                    It would be both interesting and enlightening to have the recollections of some of those police officers who were there on the day, and who enacted the removal of the protestors, if that truly was discomfort and shame of their actions on the day.

                    • Anne

                      In that instance Molly I wouldn’t be surprised if you are right. Quite a lot of police officers have Maori ancestry and it must have been an embarrassment to be treating some off their own kith and kin in such a way. Others would have grown up with Maori school mates and lasting friendships and they would have felt pretty bad too.

              • John Shears

                Did you report the incident at the time?

                • Anne

                  Hardly an incident?? They didn’t respond in any way other than to give me ‘unfriendly’ looks for my effort. As far as I’m aware there’s no law against “unfriendly stares”.

                  However it did teach me to understand that the police culture at the time was to consider all protesters – regardless of who they were – as the enemy.

            • greywarshark

              I share your feelings that the police get their minds clouded after too long working in negative situations with people dragging along at the bottom of society. Your suggestion below is a good one.
              I can only think of the connection some community police had with their locals, and perhaps suggest that a rotational system that takes police from investigative work to positive peer involvement in community work would be at least a start.

        • Murray Rawshark

          Ngati poaka weren’t much cop in the 70s either, well before PERFing. It is not a problem of experienced guys retiring. The experienced guys were often the worst.

          • Molly

            You are most likely correct.

            (The nostalgic view I had pre 80’s might be due to my single digit age at that time, and when my contact with the police was colouring in those handouts they gave when visiting the school and patting their police dogs on those same visits.) 😉

      • tracey 7.1.2

        did you read the roast busters report released yesterday?

      • tracey 7.1.3

        “The policing situation in NZ has improved over the last few decades and while more needs to be done there are still areas where the police need to improve”

        ‘But I formed the view we need to spend money on a Royal Commission without even reading the ICPA report on the Roast Busters investigations.’

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.4

        I’d like to see a full on royal comission of enquiry to see what went wrong,

        We keep having those into the actions of the police and nothing changes – they still act like arrogant, sexist, bigoted arseholes who think that they’re above the law.

    • kenny 7.2

      No police officer is going to be sacked because of this disgrace.

      What I want to know is the following:

      1. What was the rank of the officer whose son was involved? Did he know what was going on?

      2. Was this officer directly involved in the ‘investigation’ i.e. one of the three? Did he influence the investigation in any way.

      3. Who instructed the 3 police officers to proceed as they did? Don’t tell me they acted this way without the OK from someone.

      Answers to these questions will go a long way to explaining why the police acted as they did.

  8. Pasupial 8

    I’m not the biggest fan of Grant Robertson, but he was effective in representing the student body as OUSA president back in the day. The current filler of that role makes me embarrassed to be an alumnus of the university:

    OUSA quit the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations last year, but agreed to pay this year’s $45,000 membership fee, as was required by the national body’s constitution.

    However, OUSA president Paul Hunt this week announced the association’s intention to reallocate the $22,500 second instalment to ”projects that have greater benefits to Otago students”.


    Let’s then compare the activities of the NZUSA vs the OUSA on the Otago campus and decide whose actions; “have greater benefits to Otago students”:

    Under the Education Amendment Act, which came into force last month, the size of university councils is decreased from 12 to 20 members to eight to 12 members and mandatory staff, student and union membership of councils is removed.

    About 50 people joined New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations president Rory McCourt and Tertiary Education Union national president Sandra Grey in protesting the changes and pushing for student and staff representation…

    Otago University Students’ Association president Paul Hunt said the association could not join the rally as it was busy organising the Hyde St Keg Party.


  9. gsays 9

    Hi puckish, the royal commission just for this case?
    How about Peter Ellis first.
    The same culture got peter Ellis banged up as kept the roastbuster predators free from consequences.
    I could also add Louise Nicholas, and Nicky Hager to that list.

    • Puckish Rogue 9.1

      Yes the Peter Ellis case is a travesty and that guy deserves a ful pardon and compensation

    • rawshark-yeshe 9.2

      and please, I want to see Scott Watson freed .. imprisoned with so much evidence ignored by Police. Bigger rort than how they screwed Arthur Allan Thomas, and that is really saying something.

    • weka 10.1

      Here’s an idea, just don’t use them. If it can’t be broken down in nature or recycled, what exactly do you think is going to happen to it?

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        If it can’t be broken down via biological process or recycled then it needs to be banned.

        • weka

          One of the more annoying things about capitalism is the huge wasted potential of R and D around using materials that break down (hemp ffs). So much of out pollution is unnecessary now but the market won’t prioritise this until it’s too late.

        • b waghorn

          ‘If it can’t be broken down via biological process or recycled then it needs to be banned.’
          Couldn’t agree more , capitalism could be used for good things if a government passed a law saying all packaging was to be biodegradable within 5 years the entrepreneurs of the world would be into finding solutions straight away.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Just require stuff to be made in the same region as it is used. Then you won’t need complex packaging designed to safeguard products on a global journey through a 2 or 3 month supply chain.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It is regulation that helps push innovation. Make it so that all new build houses have to meet Passive House standards and a hell of a lot of R&D would be released to make it so. Leaving the standards low as we do ATM means that innovation in house building remains low.

            It’s the exact opposite of what the free-market ideology holds to be true. Put in the correct standards and regulations and people will be forced to meet then or go out of business.

            The regulation around packaging and products should be that it is either biodegradable or recyclable and that the proper processes are in place to ensure that either of those two things happen.

            • Molly


              Submitted as much on the waste consultation for Auckland Council a few years back.

              Which – by the way – did not any variant of your eminently sensible suggestion as an option. Had to add it myself in other comments.

              They did however, have the completely ridiculous option of “adding a surcharge to recyclable containers so that they can be processed”.

              Which would act as a financial deterrent, and send more non-recyclables to the land fill.

  10. Philip Ferguson 11

    This week (Wed, March 18 to be precise) marked the 114th anniversary of the beginning of the Paris Commune, a big event in radical working class history:

  11. ianmac 12

    Jeremy Wells as Mike Hosking in an hilarious parody based on the Key nailing. Clever man that Jeremy.

  12. Philip Ferguson 13

    Marx and Art

    Marx’s ideas about art began to take shape in his 1844 Economic and philosophic manuscripts. But they also recur and are developed further in his later writings, including Capital. We live in an age when artistic decadence has reached its nadir, whereby art as a commodity is the only thing that matters; be that the art of the old masters or today’s anti-art. In other words, it is time Marx’s ideas were re-examined.
    Full at: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/marx-and-art/

  13. The Chairman 14

    The members of the External Reference Group are:

    Michael Barnett (Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce)
    Helen Kelly (President of the CTU)
    Victoria Crone (Managing Director, Xero)
    Prof Tim Bentley (Director, AUT Future of Work Programme)
    Sue Ryall (Manager, Centre for Labour, Employment and Work, Victoria University)
    John Blakey (Chief Executive, Competenz ITO)
    Matthew Tukaki (Chief Executive of EntreHub)
    Linc Gasking (Founder and Chief Executive of 8i)

    Two further members will be added to the group in the coming weeks, including one with experience and knowledge of Pasifika communities.

    The group will meet on a monthly basis, using video and teleconferencing.

    “The Future of Work Commission will focus on five work streams: technology, security of work and income, education and training, Maori and Pasifika, and economic development and sustainability.

    The next step for the Commission is the drafting of discussion papers for each stream that will be part of a nationwide consultation process beginning in May,” Grant Robertson says.


    • Northsider 14.1

      An enquiry in the work place needs actual workers involved. Only Helen Kelly can claim to be a representative of workers. Perhaps Sue Ryall can also, to a limited extent. No line workers!! Why?
      The make-up of this panel suggests that the right-wingers like Nash and Robertson are running the show.

  14. The Chairman 15

    The Government’s 2014 Budget tariff removal bribe was nothing more than a gift to property developers, according to its own officials, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.

    “Advice to ministers from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment last November – and only recently released publicly – states that any savings from the dumping of tariffs and duties on building supplies are “likely to be captured by developers rather than passed on to consumers”.

    “This shows National’s Budget centrepiece was simply more smoke and mirrors, and will do nothing to help Kiwi families own their own home.


  15. The Chairman 16

    Anybody Know Labour’s position on NZ First’s Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill?

    • Murray Rawshark 17.1

      Why not? He doesn’t lose his civil rights because he’s been convicted and sentenced. He can comment on whatever he likes.

      • Puckish Rogue 17.1.1

        Why not?

        Because Brazier physically assaults women so he doesn’t have the guts to fight someone that can fight back yet hes commenting on Cameron Slater getting in the ring

        Cameron Slater knows full well he’ll lose against Jessie Ryder yet hes still doing it whereas Brazier would rather beat up someone smaller and weaker

        Graham Brazier is a drunken, drug-addled coward

        • les

          why does the slug know full well he will lose?He rants on about cowards,surrender monkeys ,macho hunting pursuits ,guns and ‘man cards’….don’t tell me ,he is just a big girls blouse !

        • tracey

          yeah he’s not counting on the pay day or the free advertising…

        • felix

          PR that’s such bullshit. Anyone can comment on Slater, anyone at all.

          No-one has to take such comments seriously if they don’t want to.

          Stop being such a fucking baby.

        • Murray Rawshark

          I’d put money on Brazier in the ring, actually. I think he’d beat Blubber Boy easily.

          As for his assault convictions – I’m not going to comment on that matter until I’ve spoken to him about it.

  16. JanMeyer 18

    I thought there was a race on to win the co leader’s position in the Greens? May I ask where the posts are from TS authors opining on this topic, in what is shaping as a crucial decision for the future prospects of a centre left government in NZ? Red/green, blue/green or green/green?

    • tracey 18.1

      Draft one and submit it as a Guest post

    • I have a post going up shortly* in which I exclusively reveal the shock internal polling that strongly suggests that the next male co-leader of the Greens will be …. drum roll …. Winston Peters.

      *No, I don’t.

    • As a Labour party member who got a bit irritated by Green members waxing lyrical about our own leadership contest, I’m making a conscious decision not to post on it. My opinions about which way the Green Party “should” go aren’t really relevant (and probably not very well-informed).

      There are Green-affiliated authors who may post on the topic, and as tracey suggested you could always submit a guest post about it.

  17. Bearded Git 19

    Voted in Northland by-election 18th/19th March 1818
    Voted on equivalent 2 days in General Election 593

    It’s going off in Northland.

    I think (contrary to Rob Salmond) these are mostly pro-Peters votes coupled with much greater awareness of advance voting.

    • Chooky 19.1

      lets hope there is no vote rigging…John Key Nactional is desperate enough that a very close eye will have to be kept on this

      GO WINNIE!

  18. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 20

    Malcolm Fraser, Former Australian Liberal Leader & PM

    Thanks for the book, ‘Dangerous Allies’.

    {On New Zealand’s decision to ban US nuclear-armed or nuclear-powered warships: ‘I was opposed to it at the time but I think New Zealand was right.’}


    “Malcolm Fraser today believes Australia should cut all military ties to the US” – interview at:


    • Chooky 20.1

      +100…thanks…. very interesting that he has had the courage to change his mind and speak out about it…and give very good reasons

      • Philip Ferguson 20.1.1

        On the left we often notice former leftwingers who pass over to the right, but there is a trail of people who were very right-wing who have critically reflected. I guess the standout in NZ in recent years is Ross Meurant. Red Squad leader during the 81 tour, National MP and then founder of the shortlived ROC (Right of Centre) Party and ended up saying that the Urewera raids and arrests were wrong and a result of police paranoia and becoming quite a critic of police practice.

        There are a few people who used to be supporters of neo-liberalism in the 80s and 90s who changed their minds too.


    • Olwyn 20.2

      Last year Whitlam – this year Fraser. The end of an era. It is said that although Whitlam was incensed at Fraser’s part in his sacking, they became good friends post politics. In some ways his path has been a bit like Winston’s here – right wing when the argument was about differing conceptions of the public good, not so right wing when US dominance and neo-liberal economics politically sidelined the public good.

    • Murray Rawshark 20.3

      Fraser ended up being much better on most things than Labor. RIP.

  19. Old Mickey 21

    Another view on the Kauri debate.

    From: Julie Bevan
    Sent: Monday, 16 March 2015 5:02 p.m.
    To: GRP AC Resource Consenting – All Resource Consenting
    Subject: Information about kauri tree issue last week

    Dear all

    Most of you will have seen or read the media coverage on the issue of the kauri tree at Paturoa Rd in Titirangi last week, in which the decision to give consent to fell the tree to clear a building platform was hotly debated. As always, a lot of context and accurate information was missing. Here’s a summary of what happened:
    Two resource consents were granted by Independent Commissioners for the construction of two houses on adjoining sites in Titirangi. The sites are bush-clad and are zoned Bush Living – which is a residential zoning in the Waitakere section of the District Plan. It is also a Significant Ecological Area under the Unitary Plan and the removal of vegetation and trees for an access way and building platform is provided for within this overlay.

    When the consent application involving the section with the kauri tree was processed, the council had communication with the local board and received the opinion of two separate arborists, ecologists, a landscape architect and an engineer. The applicant contacted iwi. Careful consideration was given to a range of options for locating the building platform that would cause the least impact on the bush, and ensuring the shortest driveway to minimise effects, etc.

    The final proposal placed the house close to the road, leaving a large area of trees and bush undisturbed at the rear of the section, allowing a “green corridor”along the rear of a number of properties which preserved the habitat of birds and fauna. However, that did mean that a kauri tree closer to the front of the section would need to be cut down. This kauri tree is estimated by several arborists to be approximately 150-200 years old. There is no evidence to support the claim that the tree is 500 years old. There was a thorough assessment of options to retain the tree, but it has a lean on it and if it was left, it would be susceptible to wind effects, and would be so close to the house it would be considered hazardous.

    There are two larger kauri trees at the road berm which will be retained, as well as other trees at the rear of the section, including an old Puriri tree.

    After having considered all options, council presented its recommendation to an independent commissioner for a decision. The independent commissioner agreed with the council recommendation and the consent was granted subject to strict conditions around construction, including intensive monitoring during the building process.

    Another story appeared suggesting that a council staff member presented a report with a different recommendation – the reality is that an initial report, based on limited information presented by the applicant, did have a different recommendation. However, when our landscape architect assessed the comprehensive information given during the consenting process, the recommendation was changed. This recommendation was confirmed by the commissioner.

    On Thursday last week, the Auckland Development Committee debated the issue and decided to have an independent review of the process. They wanted to make very clear this was not a revisitation of the decision, but rather a review of the communication process with iwi and Local Boards. The Mayor Len Brown, the Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, our COO Dean Kimpton and various councillors explicitly expressed their support of staff and acknowledged that balancing issues of development and environment is frequently challenging.

    I would also like to express my support of staff at the Western office, especially our arborist Natalie Marsden, team leaders Matthew Wright and Lee ah Ken, business coordinator Michelle Tomkins and the unit manager David Oakhill. David has spent long hours last week in meetings, media briefings and councillor sessions discussing this consent. He has remained clear, calm and resilient in the face of significant pressure.

    Our work often involves challenges and situations where there are differences of view and position. Our role is to carefully work through the relevant plans, processes and procedures in a professional and ethical way.

    I thank you all for doing your job and for doing it well.

    We will keep you informed as the review gets underway and I know if asked you will assist in any way.

    Kind regards


    • tracey 21.1

      ” The applicant contacted iwi. ” (claims the developers and Auckland Council).

      “We consulted with the local board and iwi and the final decision to grant the application was made by independent commissioners and we are very aware of the challenging aspects of the decision,” says Mr Kimpton.”


      And can they release the result of that consultation from the perspective of the Iwi? I wonder why that wasn’t leaked to Slater Old Mickey. Perhaps you could ask him at his site.

    • Murray Rawshark 21.2

      An internal email leaked to Whalespew? Haha. Not even a good attempt.

  20. Philip Ferguson 22

    Amusing, but too brief, little take on Shakespeare on Len Brown, from the events following the last local election: Lenardo of Auckland

    And while the InternetMana fiasco still has some left defenders, here’s an amusing little song from the time, to be sung to the tune of the Kinks’ ‘Lola’:


  21. ianmac 23

    Maybe this time it will be concluded for David Bain but Mr Callinan will have to be very prepared to be attacked by those MPs who will disagree with his findings!

    “David Bain: Retired judge to head compensation claim

    A senior retired Australian judge will head the inquiry into David Bain’s compensation claim – and will report back within six months on whether he believes Mr Bain has proven his innocence.

    Hon Ian Callinan AC QC, a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, has been appointed to the crucial position, Justice Minister Amy Adams announced.

    He will conduct a fresh inquiry into Mr Bain’s claim for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

    “Mr Callinan is a distinguished and highly respected member of the Australian legal fraternity,” Ms Adams said.”

    • tracey 23.1

      They will have checked first that he will conclude as they wish, surely? otherwise why bother?

      • ianmac 23.1.1

        If Collins sticks her talons in what a bloody mess that will be. She will desperately seek vindication.

    • millsy 23.2

      I am not convinced of Bain’s innocence, but this is getting a bit silly. What happens if the government gets a report it doesnt like? Does it try someone else? and someone else?

  22. greywarshark 24

    Looking at a Nelson Council newsletter and in an aricle about the library somethings about faciiites. One says that thre is a Community Corner for groups ‘to meet with the passing public’ (groups must be non-profit, non-political).

    Is that reasonable in a democracy. What are they afraid of. They could say that groups, must respect the library quiet atmosphere, and behaviour. But why non political. Is this an indication of how lacking in awareness we are of our need to discuss and refresh our political culture?

    How supine and scared we are of any discussion that might seem to get the boat rocking? It seems unhealthy that a public library is scared of any political talk. What are they afraid of, that people might not act in a well-bred manner even though they are well-read?

    • tracey 25.1

      How do they stay that high…

      • b waghorn 25.1.1

        Beyond me but I’ve never voted for them .
        The fact there support parties can only muster 1% between them in my view means once the slide starts the one legged national tower will topple 20% in 2017 for them.
        Those results made me think the greens should approach Hone Harawera they have a fear bit in common

      • The Murphey 25.1.2

        Polls can be and are rigged

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Not to mention that people like me consider it our civic duty to lie to pollsters.

    • Sirenia 25.2

      Wrong poll. That is the last one. The Nats are down in the new one and Labour is up a little.

      • b waghorn 25.2.1

        Just went there and they’ve changed it to the march one I did wonder when it said Feb in the title.

  23. saarbo 26

    Apparently there is an article in the NBR that Fonterra “begged” Key not to go public with the 1080 matter.

    • tracey 26.1

      1000 people kept a secret for over 3 months and then… Key ordered an instant investigation of where the leak came from, opening up the PM’s office for the first scrutiny…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 26.2

      …which (unless there’s evidence of actual tampering) is also the best practice according to the risk management crowd.

  24. Clemgeopin 29


    National admits spending $70m on by-election whim. Transport Minister Simon Bridges has admitted he didn’t ask for or receive ANY advice from his transport officials on 10 Northland bridges before committing $70 million to their upgrading as part of the Northland by-election campaign.

    Written Question 02053 (2015):

    What were the dates and titles of all reports or briefings, if any, that he or his predecessor received on the double-laning of ten bridges in Northland as announced on March 9 2015?

    Portfolio: Transport Minister: Hon Simon Bridges

    Date Lodged: 11/03/2015
    Answer Text:

    I have not requested or received any specific reports, from the Ministry of Transport or the NZ Transport Agency, on the double-laning of ten bridges in Northland.


    This is GROSS negligence, incompetence and blatant corruption. He can not be allowed to continue to remain in a position of responsibility to make decisions involving government money. Bridges need to resign or be sacked or be hauled before the parliament privileges committee asap.


    • b waghorn 29.1

      That’s a trickey one isn’t it, because any party that comes out to strongly against bridges bridges will get hammered as anti northland.

      • Clemgeopin 29.1.1

        No, I am not against the bridges, but Bridges. Against the corrupt stupid way that Bridges made the announcement on a whim purely as a by-election bribe without doing any due diligence, case study, financial reports, planning or expert advice. THAT is the highly irresponsible dodgy bit that he has indulged in for which he needs the immediate sacking.

        • b waghorn

          I wasn’t suggesting you were against them, I was just chucking the idea out there that it will be hard to get the headline reading masses to understand how dodgy bridges/national s behaviour is with out it being twisted into labour or greens are against them.

        • tc

          Bridges bridges come from other projects so pure pork barrelling at the expense of already planned work to bribe an electorate.

  25. Keith Locke 30

    Feel free to sign the petition below I initiated on the change.org website (see the link below). It is in the form of a people’s apology to several Asian and Pacific Island governments for the GCSB spying on them.
    Cheers, Keith Locke


    • mickysavage 30.1

      Thanks Keith. Will do …

    • Clemgeopin 30.2

      Done. And sent the link to a few other people I know. Thanks for the link.

      This is what the petition says:

      NOT IN OUR NAME spying petition. Please sign this petition to demonstrate that many New Zealanders are opposed to the Government Communications Security Bureau’s illegal spying on the communications of friendly governments in Asia and the Pacific. According to recent revelations from the Edward Snowden documents the GCSB is intercepting the phone calls, texts and emails of many nations, including Japan, India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu and French Polynesia. This spying is illegal, contravening the Vienna convention which prohibits the interception of diplomatic communications. It is also an unacceptable intrusion into the privacy of both the governments and people of friendly nations in the Asia/Pacific. It is clear from the US National Security Agency documents, now made public, that the GCSB’s Waihopai spy station is engaged in a “full-take” collection of the phone and email communications passing through the targeted Pacific satellites. This information is then passed on in bulk to the NSA. Such GCSB spying is both objectionable and not in the political or economic interests of New Zealand. It seriously erodes New Zealand’s reputation as a peaceful, independent nation. We will communicate the results of this petitioning to the Asian and Pacific governments mentioned above.
      Letter to
      the governments of Japan, China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Pacific Island nations

      We ask that you accept this apology from concerned New Zealanders for our government’s illegal spying on your nations’ electronic communications. It was done without our knowledge and damages friendly relations between our countries.

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  • Rt. Hon Winston Peters: Budget Speech
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  • Funding boost for Defence
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  • Major expansion of school lunch programme
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