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Open mike 20/03/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 20th, 2016 - 85 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

85 comments on “Open mike 20/03/2016 ”

  1. swordfish 1

    National Party Spin-Meisters telling porkies about Labour Party Polling numbers …

    (I’ll be away for rest of day, so won’t be able to engage in any debate with my Tory chumlies until tonight/tomorrow)

    • alwyn 1.1

      Can I suggest to whoever is responsible for the site you have linked to that it is almost impossible to read. The blog is not improved by having incredible fussy backgrounds to the words.

      • swordfish 1.1.1

        Normally, I’d have a word with the bloke, but I doubt it’d do much good, he’s known to be a particularly stubborn Geezer.

    • weka 1.2

      Those numbers aren’t displaying for me. Can anyone else see them?

    • ianmac 1.3

      What a tremendous effort to compile all that data. Wow!
      And Hooton/Farrar/Key must be in panic mode to feel the need to lie and twist like a scrap of paper in a norwester.

    • Mike C 1.4


      A year ago in the Roy Morgan Poll in March 2015 … Labour Party support was at 31%.

      And in their most recent poll in March 2016 … support was down to 28%.

      Yeap … definitely spin-doctoring. LOL.

      • swordfish 1.4.1

        Cherry-picking your forte ?

        Try re-reading my post without the ideological blinders.

  2. saveNZ 4

    Very good article.

    Yes, he tried: what will Barack Obama’s legacy be?


    • ianmac 4.1

      “Obama had that kind of effect on people, back then. Often they weren’t listening too closely to what he was saying, because they loved the way he was saying it. ”
      I guess that is why Key gets away with it. When we read a transcript of Key’s words the often defy meaning. And on reflection they are so ambiguous that they are useless.
      Often it is the way someone presents that is remembered. Andrew shows passion whereas Key shows blah blah blah.

  3. vto 5

    how can white privilege apply when the community is totally white?

    • tc 5.1

      Dunno more flexible interpretations/twisting/mangling of the language maybe….it’s white but not as we thought it to be ?

    • miravox 5.2

      It probably depends where you’re drawing the boundaries around “the community”

      • vto 5.2.1

        tc and miravox, Yes I think so. It came to mind when local Christchurch commentator Johhny Moore (son of ex-mayor Garry) opined in a non-conclusive way as to the perplexing manner of this “white privilege” call.. It led me to think.. well here is a local white chap who has made good to a reasonable extent and he is being told he is the product of white privilege. But the problem is that Christchurch is effectively white, and he has made himself within this white community. So how can it be?

        curiouser and curiouser …

        • BM

          She’s pretty pale in Christchurch, not a lot of diversity.

          Six out of seven people in greater Christchurch identify as European The majority of greater Christchurch residents identified as European at the 2013 Census (85.9 percent). This ranged from 93.8 percent in Waimakariri district to 83.9 percent in Christchurch city.


        • miravox

          Effectively white???

          There’s white privilege right there! Let’s just vanish the 10 or more percent who aren’t Pākehā/European (which appears to be what you’ve just done)

          Then I guess he’s talking about privilege when comparing himself with his peers. Who are Pakeha/European.

          So he probably has an incomplete and poorly made point. That 10 percent of the population doesn’t just disappear from the community – just his community of interest.

          As a Pākehā from a poor background who also had ‘made good’, I’m fully aware that someone without my ethnicity would not have had the same life chances.

          This discussion is not worth having on the grounds you’ve laid out.

          • weka

            “So he probably has an incomplete and poorly made point.”

            Vto has a substantial history on ts of misrepresenting current affairs. He doesn’t link, but many is the time I’ve chased it up and then found out that what was being reported was different to what vto is claiming. Just saying.

            • Colonial Viper

              What is up with this character assassination? Jeeezus. Do you think it makes you look better to slide in the knife like this?

              He has a “substantial history of misrepresenting current affairs”???

              Two recent examples please, or please withdraw your attack.

              • weka

                I don’t know of any recent ones, but I’ll post some examples later.

              • weka

                Open mike 15/05/2013

                Will JT be a Labour MP?

                WIth the second one, seeing as how you and I disagree substantially on the topic, I’ll suggest that you just look at the claims by vto about Michelle A’Court and how later someone goes and looks up what she really said. But in the meantime there was a whole bunch of heated conversation based on vto’s interpretation of her, which later people felt was a misrepresentation. Happened with the first link too, only about Ansell.

                By the time of the second one it was a pattern from vto, of making a comment about sexism or racism (or white privilge) based on something he read or heard in the media that he doesn’t link to. Then there is much conversation until someone goes and looks it up and finds it wasn’t as he said. There are more recent examples, I can’t remember the topics so don’t have any key words to look up.

                I’ve just googled to see what the Johnny Moore thing is about. Can’t find it. Perhaps vto would like to clarify.

                • Colonial Viper

                  With the first comment VTO may have made a genuine mistake about Ansell and then gone off on his own tangent because of that. You may think it was more malicious than that but I don’t think so.

                  With the second re: A’Court, VTO made a couple of brief comments about things which stood out to him; again possibly skewed by his own interpretation but again it didn’t seem like deliberate misrepresentation.

                  And both examples were from 2013. I mean, how long do we want to hold grudges for around here.

                  • weka

                    I don’t think it’s malicious. But vto does have a pattern of making these statements without linking and then later we find out that it’s not quite what he claimed. So when he does it now, I’m cautious until I see an actual link.

                    It’s not a grudge, it’s a response to his continuing to mislead. I’d say he’s done it in the past year, probably the past 6 months.

                    edit, it’s pretty easily resolved by vto linking to what he has read/heard and is referring to.

                • miravox

                  “I’ve just googled to see what the Johnny Moore thing is about. Can’t find it. “

                  I’m pretty sure it’s the first part of this article

                  Johnny’s done just fine despite not being from the pinnacle of Mt Privilege…

          • vto

            miravox, I laid the point out for a theoretical questioning of the “white privilege” claim. You may have missed that subtlety ..

            How can it apply if a community is totally white?

            A second question, in further exploration, is “doe white privilege apply if the community is, say, 90% white?” And if so, how? How does a white person take advantage of their whiteness if 90% of everybody else is also white?

            …. it is another of those logic type questions which will fly over the top of some heads around here in fury at the lack of uncritical acceptance of latest fashion…..

            • weka

              Please give an example of a totally white community so we know what you are referring to.

              “How does a white person take advantage of their whiteness if 90% of everybody else is also white?”

              Firstly, it’s not about taking advantage of. This is an example of you not understanding the core concept you are trying to argue against. Until you get this right, your arguments won’t make sense.

              Secondly, white privliege exists if for instance they benefited from land and resources stolen from the 10%.

              Please put up a link to what you are talking about re Moore so we can understand what you are talking about.

              …. it is another of those logic type questions which will fly over the top of some heads around here in fury at the lack of uncritical acceptance of latest fashion…..

              Not really. You haven’t presented any logic yet. All you’ve done is argued against something you don’t yet understand the logic of.

            • Colonial Viper

              miravox, I laid the point out for a theoretical questioning of the “white privilege” claim. You may have missed that subtlety ..

              How can it apply if a community is totally white?

              IMO white privilege (and male privilege) is steadily eroding in power (though very present of course), being gradually replaced by a slightly more multi-racial and less gendered class privilege/elite privilege that is in ascendance.

              Social liberalism and improvement in diversity in action, lol.

            • miravox

              “How can it apply if a community is totally white?”

              I really didn’t miss the lack of subtlety of you defining the community as white when it isn’t.

              I also didn’t miss you redefining the community as 90 percent white. Maybe, as you appear interested in the question, then maybe you should have done a little fact-finding about lives of Mr Moore’s community of interest compared with the community of interest that now includes that extra 10 percent.

              ” it is another of those logic type questions which will fly over the top of some heads around here in fury at the lack of uncritical acceptance of latest fashion”

              Don’t kid yourself. It really isn’t uncritical acceptance of the latest fashion. Apart from looking at people with clear access to things like money, health and education, for me it’s being aware of where I come and how that impacts on the chances I had, compared with others with similar backgrounds but who are not me – some get more chances, some get fewer chances based on things like being in the majority club (just an example, I’m not defining a community here).

              I know where I stand in this.

        • weka

          “effectively white”

          In addition to miravox’s point, you might want to try running that one past Kāi Tahu. Who not only have marae in the city but were there before all the white people. Quite a long time before.

          Christchurch doesn’t exist in a vacuum, neither does privilege. Even if Chch were totally white (a pretty weird concept), Chch’s prosperity is part of NZs, and Chch’s prosperity is built on injustices done to Iwi over the last 200 years.

          Vto, do us all a favour and either acknowledge that you simply don’t understand what privilge is in a political context, or admit you want white men to retain theirs.

          • BM

            Do white women have privilege?

            Is there like a privilege scale?, where y can vilify z, but can’t with x?

            • weka

              “Do white women have privilege?”

              Of course.

              “Is there like a privilege scale?”

              If you don’t really get the concept that’s probably an ok place to start.

              “where y can vilify z, but can’t with x?”

              If you think this is about vilification you’re as ignorant as vto on what privilege is. Go do your own homework.

            • miravox

              “Is there like a privilege scale?”

              If I thought you were asking a question, then maybe I would say you could begin to find your answer here…


              But I think you’re just being an arse about it.

            • maui

              Is your gender constantly sexualised? Does your gender do unpaid volunteer work to stay at home with the kids? Is your gender at far greater risk of sexual and domestic violence? Does your gender have less opportunity in the workplace? Does your gender recognise the inequality they face, and are therefore more likely to support other groups who face similar inequalities?

        • joe90

          curiouser and curiouser …

          Surprise surprise, ex-mayors son doesn’t realise just how fucking advantaged he is because of his own privileged background and upbringing, denies being privileged.

          Equality can feel like oppression. But it’s not. What you’re feeling is just the discomfort of losing a little bit of your privilege — the same discomfort that an only child feels when she goes to preschool and discovers that there are other kids who want to play with the same toys as she does.


    • locus 5.3


      if there were no other communities against which to compare your ‘totally white community’ then the answer to your rhetorical question might be to compare the level of privielege in various sectors of the white community…. which might be interesting

      however, as it stands, if there are non-whites living in close proximity to your ‘totally white community’ (as is the case in Christchurch), then you should look closely at the vaidity of your definition of ‘totally white community’

      in Christchurch it’s possible that some whites may have fewer privileges than other whites, it’s also possible that some non-whites in the city may have greater privileges than whites

      but if you are talking about Christchurch the socio-economic and demographic indicators show which communities are more privileged and which are less privileged…. and it isn’t rocket science to say that the ‘whites’ are the main beneficiaries of white privilege

      on refelection…..i’m not sure there is actually any value in debating the rhetorical question that you have posed

    • Incognito 5.4

      Generally speaking the answer is yes IMO. Think of gated communities that have restricted access, literally and figuratively. In addition, special privilege that members of a certain community enjoy will have to be ‘defended’ against the rights & demands of other communities and the ‘dangerous and hostile’ outside world at large. I hope this answered your question.

  4. North 6

    “On gaining office, the lion becomes the lamb and he quickly tires of the responsibility.” So says Rodney Hide in his characterisation of Winston Peters as NZ’s Trump figure. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11608608

    How appallingly rich is that ? Love Perks Hide ultimately proved himself a prime example of the bludger his boldly vaunted perkbusting was directed against. Not so much lion to lamb as wolf in sheeps’ clothing.

    Without having to think too hard about it I’d say that if anyone in NZ’s modern political history resembles Trump it’s Love Perks Hide. Mostly because of that big, irresponsible, ‘know-it-all’ mouth.

    • Anne 6.1

      Rodney Hide has an obsessive hatred of Winston Peters going back to the Wine Box saga of the 1990s. I guess it stemmed from his years as an employee of the mad, bad business tycoon, Alan Gibbs.

      Corporate media attack dog no.1 has been let loose on WP. More to follow!

  5. Rodel 7

    Shame when ‘losers’ get their own newspaper column.

  6. Draco T Bastard 8

    Now this is the type of thing that just pisses people off:

    Maori have launched legal action that could sink one of the world’s largest ocean sanctuaries.

    Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Maori Fisheries Trust, has filed proceedings at the High Court in Wellington to prevent the Government establishing the Kermadec ocean sanctuary, north-east of New Zealand.

    No one claimed the Kermadecs until Britain did in 1917 which then got transferred over to NZ. Although Māori used them they never settled them which means that Māori have no standing on the creation of the sanctuary.

  7. alwyn 9

    I wonder what Bradley Ambrose is going to do with his nice little $8,000 windfall?
    I can’t imagine he is going to go ahead with suing John Key if he has to put up his own money. He wanted $38,000 and at the moment he’s only up to about $8,000.
    I have been told that organisation collecting the donations hands over all the money, regardless of whether they reach the target. Can anyone confirm that?
    Perhaps he could pass it on the Hager.

    • BM 9.1

      It depends if someone donates or pledges.

      A donation is money straight into the account of who ever, a pledge is that you’ll donate money if the target is reached.


    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      $8K is peanuts to compensate for the damage that Key did to Ambrose’s professional career.

      • alwyn 9.2.1

        I don’t have the slightest sympathy for Ambrose, and I wouldn’t care in the slightest who it was he recorded.

        He tells us that he left the recording device on the table “by accident”.
        He said he had no intention of recording anything they said.
        He made no attempt to get Key told about the recording device.
        When he got it back he could have erased it, couldn’t he?
        Instead he tried to sell it to the NZ Herald. When the turned hi down, probably because they thought, in my view correctly, that it had been recorded illegally he tried to sell it to a broadcasting organisation. The also turned him down, probably because they also believed it had been recorded illegally.
        Recorded by accident? If you believe that I would suggest I can give you a very good deal on that harbour bridge in Auckland. You sound credulous enough to buy it.

        • Colonial Viper

          You don’t need to have “sympathy” for Ambrose to realise that the PM made a good attempt at destroying the man’s career.

          Also note the DPS: who ensured everything was clear in the area where the PM was – but somehow missed a spying device (recorder) in plain sight?

          That is exactly the kind of thing they are trained for FFS.

  8. Bearded Git 10

    Interesting article by Bernard Hickey on the rapacious banks here:


    Hickey explains well but pulls his punches with the conclusion to protect his Gnat mates. What he should have said is:

    1. Once National came to power it ordered/lent on Kiwibank to back off on lower interest rates so allowing it and the 4 big Aussie banks to up their profits at the cost of the NZ public.

    2. The 5 banks are now further gouging the NZ public by not passing on the Reserve Bank rate cuts in order that they can keep their profits up so that they can pay for the $4 billion of bad dairy debts coming up-loans which in many cases they should never have made.

    It makes Andrew Little’s comments look entirely reasonable.

  9. Colonial Viper 11

    1. Once National came to power it ordered/lent on Kiwibank to back off on lower interest rates so allowing it and the 4 big Aussie banks to up their profits at the cost of the NZ public.

    I don’t think that’s exactly the case. English will have been looking to maximise profits from KiwiBank to bolster his weak looking surplus.

    Extracting more money from Kiwis was the way to make the government’s accounts look more healthy.

    Cullen did much the same thing.

    • alwyn 11.1

      “Extracting more money from Kiwis was the way to make the government’s accounts look more healthy.”
      Hard to see how that occurred, particularly during Cullen’s tenure. The bank had never paid a dividend until last year. It had taken a lot of taxpayer supplied capital and hung on to every penny it made until then. You will also note from the story that it has been a major burden on the Post Office. I trust that no one who is keen on Kiwibank will object to the postage on a letter going up from 80 cents to a dollar shortly?
      All in a good cause comrade.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Hard to see how that occurred, particularly during Cullen’s tenure.

        Not with KiwiBank so much, but with Cullen it was his high tax rates and high SOE power charges.

        • alwyn

          That I am happy to agree with.
          The fact that your first two paragraphs were about Kiwibank made me assume that the rest of the comment was still on the same restricted subject.

      • DH 11.1.2

        “You will also note from the story that it has been a major burden on the Post Office. ”

        God that’s ignorant. Kiwibank has been propping up NZ Post for years, last thing it can be called is a burden.

        • alwyn

          Sorry, I screwed that comment up in the editing.
          It should have said that Kiwibank is no longer a burden on the Post Office.
          It used to be and would have drained Post Office accounts in earlier years and may have contributed to a drawdown in funds leading to an increase in postal rates.
          I don’t think they have ever handed over any money to the Post Office.

          • DH

            Stop talking bullshit, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Kiwibank was never a burden on NZ Post. Even when it was founded it immediately began subsidising the infrastructure costs of NZ Post branches.

            NZ Post’s decline has been entirely due to reducing mail volumes, if it wasn’t for Kiwibank helping amortise its costs NZ Post would be in far worse straits.

  10. joe90 12

    Establishment racketeer pisses and moans about snake-oil salesmen and their scams destroying the Republican party.

    Mike Murphy is a longtime Jeb Bush friend and loyalist, and he’s also the guy who ran Right to Rise, the Super PAC that blew through $100 million in an epically futile effort to sell Bush to the masses. So it’s understandable that he might be a little bitter about the success of Donald Trump, who almost single-handedly destroyed Bush.

    Keep that in mind when you read Matt Labash’s long debriefing of Murphy as he was cleaning up the last remnants of the Right to Rise offices a month ago.

    …Still, Murphy adds, the problem with our current antiestablishment climate isn’t that people aren’t correctly identifying problems. It’s that the problem-solvers they’re turning to are bigger snake-oil hustlers than the ones they’re turning away from….Let’s think through Trump, Murphy says. “He doesn’t understand the presidency. You don’t call up the head of Mexico and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to build a fabulous wall with first-class gold toilets and you’re gonna pay for it.’…He has no understanding of presidential powers. He has no understanding of Congress. It’s like putting a chimp in the driver’s seat of a tractor.”

    ….”Then the problem becomes how are we the world’s reserve currency anymore? We get away with a lot of shit because people think we have a stable system….We borrow a lot of f — ing money. Because people think the number one safest instrument in the world is the U.S. Treasury bond. And if we start making reality-show clowns in charge? Run on the American bank. You think the pissed-off steelworker in Akron has trouble now? Wait until we have a financial collapse and they take 25 percent off the dollar. He’ll be serving hot dogs in an American restaurant in China.”


    So I read the Weekly Standard post and after all his pissing and moaning about snake-oil salesmen and their scams destroying the Republican party, Murphy concludes –

    But ever the happy warrior, Murphy tries to take a sanguine view. “If we have real, creative destruction here with Trump, and we have Armageddon or worse, out of the ruins will come new successes. New movements. And eventually, new rackets.”

    “And I’ll be in on them,” Murphy says with a half-smile. “I admit it, I’m a racketeer.”


  11. adam 13

    Finally, the Coke brothers lies have been swept aside. Now a majority of Americans, get climate change, and that it was made by us.


    • alwyn 13.1

      The “Coke” brothers? Are they people who run a soft drink company?

      • Macro 13.1.1

        Koch Bros of Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company by revenue in the US – mainly oi l- but equally could be soft drink the way the unthinking masses guzzled down what they were responsible for promoting.

        • alwyn

          Yes I assumed that. I just couldn’t resist the typo.
          I like the bit in your comment after ” could be soft drink …”. That’s clever.

  12. adam 14

    Good on the Greens on this issue.

    Great idea from the Chief Ombudsman


  13. Craig H 15


    Labour considering a Universal Basic Income as part of the Future of Work commission.

    • alwyn 15.1

      Well, although they have managed to stretch out something they could have covered in 300 words into 14 pages they haven’t said very much. People who commented here about the proposal shouldn’t get to excited. Fainting at the idea of paying anything that could be lived on at even the most basic level seems to be the order of the day.

      • ianmac 15.1.1

        You are Breathtakingly good at ignoring realities alwyn. How about serious critique?

        • alwyn

          Well how about this one.
          From what this says, and what Grant Robertson has been saying, everyone getting National Super is going to take a massive hit.
          Anyone trying to stay alive with only National Super as their income might as well get used to buying cat food and going to bed very early on cold days.
          Won’t worry Grant of course. He will be getting about 4 times this amount being put into his Super fund every year.

    • ianmac 15.2

      Fascinating reading. Pros and Cons explained. good on futureofwork@labour.org.nz
      Wonder how long it will be before English/Hooton/Key/ etc attack it particularly since it is Labour’s work.

      • Stuart Munro 15.2.1

        They often do more damage by innuendo – complex positions are not very viral.

      • whateva next? 15.2.2

        Can imagine them all sat around the table with Crosby and Textor teleconferencing in, brainstorming soundbite “off the cuff” remarks to try and ridicule Labour’s constructive ideas, comme d’habitude.(I am so weary of seeing this, saying it in French makes it easier to bear.)

      • pat 15.2.3

        about 5 mins after it hits MSM is my guess

  14. Chooky 16

    This is pretty sickening!…what does this say about a society that supports this?

    ‘Tigers ‘starved to death’ to make $500 aphrodisiac wine with their bones’


  15. joe90 17

    According to the app below, had the Syrian conflict occurred here 57,234 people, 11,447 a year, would have died, over 3 million would be without potable water, nearly 2.5 million would be in need of health care, 1.8 million without sufficient food, over 2.2 million would be displaced, nearly 1 million would be refugees and another half million would be without adequate shelter.


  16. joe90 18

    Ted Cruz 101 with Samantha Bee (slightly nsfw)

  17. cowboy 19

    Changing the subject up, I thought Grant Robertson did pretty well on Q&A this morning. Ive never really been a fan but credit where its due.


  18. Macro 20

    China’s forest recovery shows hope for mitigating global climate change;

    .The vast destruction of China's forests, leveled after decades of logging, floods and conversion to farmland, has become a story of recovery, according to the first independent verification published in today's Science Advances by Michigan State University (MSU) researchers.


    In the future, it is important to quantify how much China’s forest gain and improved carbon sequestration may be a loss for places like Madagascar, Vietnam and Indonesia. Those are among the countries that are chopping down their forests to sell products to China. And the global increase in greenhouse gases and loss of biodiversity may have just changed addresses.

    Viña noted more research is needed to document the broader impacts of forest degradation and recovery around the world. He also noted that the voracious appetite for natural resources — both timber and the agricultural products grown on converted forestland — is not just China’s issue.

    “We are all part of the problem one way or another,” he said. “We all buy products from China, and China has not changed their imports and exports of wood at all. What has changed is where timber is coming from.”

    They forgot to include New Zealand and Canada in the above list of where the timber is now coming from. Success for China – but hardly a success for the rest of the world.

    • maui 20.1

      Lucky China or anywhere can’t have continuous growth:

      China imported softwood logs and lumber valued at 498 million dollars during the month of November in 2015. This was 26% lower than the same month in 2014 and the third lowest monthly level in three years

      The reduced demand for both overseas and domestic wood products in 2015 has been a consequence of the slowdown in the Chinese economy, which has not only reduced construction activities but also consumer spending on home remodeling and furniture.

      Also of note is that “value added” thing the left keep talking about (although I’m not sure why those imports would go up when the economy is going down the hole):

      It is interesting to note that the Swedish and Finnish sawmills, which are selling into the high-end market in China, actually increased their shipments to China during 2015 as compared to 2014.

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  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
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