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Open mike 20/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 20th, 2012 - 87 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

87 comments on “Open mike 20/08/2012”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Another week, three more pointless fatal casualties amongst our soldiers in Afghanistan. Let’s hope their funerals don’t clash with John Key’s parent-teacher day at Kings.

    IrishBill: The politics of out presence in Afghanistan needs to be discussed but not as thoughtlessly as this. Cool your heels or you’ll get a week off.

    • LynW 1.1

      A heartbreaking waste of life.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/7507715/Three-Kiwi-soldiers-killed-in-bomb-attack

      At the weekend, former Labour leader Phil Goff said more combat deaths in Afghanistan were futile.

      “Sometimes you do things that involve sacrifice, but the sacrifice has to be worthwhile,” Goff said.

      “To me, further sacrifices aren’t going to bring better outcomes for Afghanistan. I’ve been to every funeral for those killed in action and they are terribly sad and your heart goes out to the families. But can I look them in the eye and say your son died because it was critical for us to be in Afghanistan? I don’t believe I can.”

      New Zealand’s Afghanistan deployment over the past five years has cost $185 million, with $32m budgeted this year.

      • AmaKiwi 1.1.1

        Will the caucus approved Labour policy please raise your hand?

        After the previous two deaths Shearer supported Key. Shearer said we should stay.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10824900

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Every report out of Afghanistan says that the internal security situation is deteriorating. We don’t even know what is achievable there any more. Condolences to the families of the service personnel killed. Bring our boys back this year.

          • Bored 1.1.1.1.1

            My son just came out of the forces, I welcome this as I cant trust how this government will deploy our forces personnel: the downside is that he is finding suitable work scarce but has got a job.

            Recently talking to services personnel the common refrain they give is funding cuts, privatized contractors doing core services work, boats tied up for lack of crew, second rate equipment, low moral. I am not sure I want to entrust any of our young people to organisations stretched this way. Who would trust the same politicians from whence this problem originates to make decisions for our young peoples welfare? Why do we allow these politico-ciphers to send our troops into combat zones to perform “reconstruction?”

            My deepest condolences to the families, who will reconstruct their life?

          • lostinsuburbia 1.1.1.1.2

            Yep, our mission there has failed at the cost of many lives and the waste of national treasuries.

            While I support military action when neccessary and also the deployment of rebuilding teams, the campaign in Afghanistan is a failure. With a war that has gone longer than World War One and Two combined, we are facing an enemy that is resurgent and a country that is run by a disorganised band of thugs.

            While there may be some local improvements (judging from some stories about improved conditions in some towns etc), Afghanistan has turned into a strategic defeat.

            Not to say that the Taliban or its ilk are my kind of people, but given the cultural and physical problems facing NATO and its allies (like us) its time to pull out as a “victory” can not be achieved.

            Losing more kiwi soliders to show that we are “one of boys” and a mate of the USA is just not worth it.

    • CnrJoe 1.2

      Bronaghs got a dressage competition coming up in Hawaii?

    • Nick 1.3

      Maybe Key can demand his son, and his sons Kings class mates to join up and go to Afghanistan. Can just see the weaned on pickle Kings parents faces.

      • rosy 1.3.1

        +1 If a war is worth fighting then it’s worth risking your own kids, not just other people’s children… (yes, I know we don’t have conscription, it’d be worth asking Key the question though)

      • AmaKiwi 1.3.2

        I oppose foreign wars but I favor conscription. Why?

        Conscription finally brought an end to the US war in Vietnam. The US war hawks ended conscription after Vietnam so they wouldn’t have the middle class organizing massive protests against future imperialist wars. It worked.

        We would have been out of Afghanistan long ago if the sons of the wealthy and middle class risked getting killed there.

        • rosy 1.3.2.1

          A very good point, AmaKiwi.

        • LynW 1.3.2.2

          Excellent point AmaKiwi

        • Bill 1.3.2.3

          Another argument I’ve heard for conscription is that it dilutes the culture of the armed forces. Meaning that a professional army of volunteers is more likely to accept certain intellectual or moral mores that an army comprised of all types and a wider spread of ‘enthusiasm’ would be less susceptible to, or even resistant to.

          And I can see the logic, but remain firmly opposed to conscription. And in a NZ context, I’m not sure I see much, if any, reason for having armed forces. I imagine that if another country wanted to invade NZ that they could succesfully do so whether or not there was any defence force. And since defence forces are presumably for defence and not offence, then I’m willing to accept that NZ isn’t interested in invading anyone else.

          Meanwhile, if there is a desire to send people to help on genuine humanitarian projects, then can that not be done without guns and whatever other army paraphernalia? If I was going to be compelled to walk around Afghanistan or some other such like place where people looking just like me had been responsible for inflicting bloody mayhem, I’m thinking the last thing I would want is to be kitted out in army fatigues with a gun strapped over my shoulder. Might as well just put a big day glow target on me with ‘target practice’ stamped across it in the local language.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2.3.1

            And in a NZ context, I’m not sure I see much, if any, reason for having armed forces.

            We will need the ability to defend ourselves for the foreseeable future – unfortunately, ours can’t being configured incorrectly and dependent upon imported weapons. There are sociopaths, they do get to be in positions of power and they do invade other countries – especially if the other country is perceived to be weak.

    • Carol 1.4

      So sad. Condolences to the families, and friends of the dead soldiers.

      And New Zealand troops are there because…..???? …. because the the US is there….?

    • Dr Terry 1.5

      Irish Bill: You call comment from Sanctuary thoughtless? I should think he reflects the way many people will be thinking right now. Key’s recent decisions are hardly beyond question, surely? Naturally, however, we have great sympathy for families of the bereaved.

  2. Richard Mayes - Wellington 2

    What the hell’s wrong with you Sanctuary?

    Three New Zealand soldiers have died, while fighting to free a nation from the most hideous religious oppression you could imagine, and your first reaction is to turn that into a barbed comment about Key.

    Have you seen that Time magazine photo of a little Afghani girl who had her nose cut off because she offended some principle of sharia law?

    THAT’s what our soldiers are fighting. If you think that’s “pointless” then you have a pretty fucked up view of the world. Grow up.

    • It’s time for our soldiers to come home Richard.  Their presence in Afghanistan is not helping.  The country is on the ropes because of continuous foreign meddling over the past few decades.

      It is time to bring the soldiers home and see if aid and compassion work better. 

    • Zorr 2.2

      Do you even remember the reason Afghanistan was invaded? It WASN’T to free the country from the grip of religious extremists because we wanted to save little girls like that – it was to pull down a structure that provided refuge to Al Qaeda. As much as the story of the little girl is horrible, it is not our duty to prevent every horror in the world, nor is it even possible, and risking the lives of our soldiers in a futile pursuit is disrespectful of their families as we are risking their lives needlessly.

      If you think it’s that important to go over there and fight to protect Afghanistan, where are your sign up papers for the army? Or why aren’t you over digging wells in Africa? etc etc

      Feel free to stop being a keyboard warrior and go out and be a real one if that is where your heart lies because at the moment your words ring hollow

    • rosy 2.3

      You do realise Richard, that the U.S. is negotiating their exit with those very same people?

    • IrishBill 2.4

      There are better ways to fight religious oppression than war.

    • Morrissey 2.5

      An ignoramus writes….

      Three New Zealand soldiers have died, while fighting to free a nation from the most hideous religious oppression you could imagine

      To “free” a nation by sending hundreds of thousands of troops to kill thousands and thousands of its civilians? Where have we heard that one before? Poland in the 1940s, Algeria in the 1950s, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the 1960s, Chechnya in the 1990s, Iraq in this century…

      Have you seen that Time magazine photo of a little Afghani girl who had her nose cut off because she offended some principle of sharia law?

      Have you seen this picture? It wasn’t published in the semi-official Time magazine for obvious reasons. THAT’s what the Afghans are resisting…..

      http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2012-03/12/131462619_11n.jpg

      By the way: your use of foul language does nothing to diminish the impression of massive ignorance.

      http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2012-03/12/c_131462622.htm

    • millsy 2.6

      Richard – About 10 years ago I saw a photo of a woman who had her eyes gouged out and her nose cut off by her husband in Pakistan, I have also seen photos of women in Bangladesh who have had acid thrown in their faces.

      Are you suggesting we send troops to those countries as well?

    • prism 2.7

      Richard 2
      You need to grow up. There is a constant flow of news of disgusting
      treatment of people. Some of them perpetrated by armies ‘saving’ the country.

      We are not in Afghanistan as a crusade to save people from turning on each other viciously, after all we haven’t managed to do that in NZ. We are in Afghanistan because the USA asked us and we have tried to make a positive contribution to the people.

      That’s all we can do. Grow up yourself and put your energies into supporting positive groups attempting to aid people made by more needy after this war. Better still go yourself. The personal input and zeal and ability to find a way through the powerful philosophies different from our powerful philosophies could make a great difference in the location you operated in.

    • Vicky32 2.8

      Have you seen that Time magazine photo of a little Afghani girl who had her nose cut off because she offended some principle of sharia law?

      All due respect to you, Richard, but I would not take the word of TIME magazine for anything!
      Frankly, I am with Sanctuary…
      Listening to TV3’s coverage of it all – disgusting. War porn!

      • Vicky32 2.8.1

        Memo to Mike McRoberts – a tragedy is when anyone is killed – not just one of the American invaders…

    • Daveosaurus 2.9

      And in another theocratic shithole, religious terrorists murder medical staff. So should we invade them as well?

      • Morrissey 2.9.1

        So should we invade them as well?

        If Richard Mayes was anything other than a ranting hypocrite, he would say, “Of course we should.”

  3. Carol 3

    So the new youth benefit system starts today. RNZ News said something about a private company managing it…? Another ticket clipper creaming off money that would be better spent on those in need?

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/113721/new-benefit-payment-system-for-young

    Essential bills will be paid directly from their benefit and they will receive $50 per week on a payment card.

    Labour says many young people don’t know about the payment card.

    Work & Income says no individual will be transferred to the new regime until they have had the changes explained to them.

    And also from today teenage women on benefits can get financial assistance with contraception….long term…. that slipped in quietly????

    https://provider.midlandshn.health.nz/news/financial-assistance-for-female-beneficiaries-contraception

    The new grant

    The grant can help with additional costs for accessing the following types of subsidised LARC:

    *Depo-Provera injection
    * Contraceptive implants
    * Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

    Financial assistance can only be given for additional associated costs for LARCs that are subsidised by Pharmac. This could include:

    *Medical or nurse consultation fees
    * Reasonable travel costs getting to and from a consultation
    *Prescription charges
    *Any unsubsidised cost associated with accessing LARC.

    It does not include contraceptive pills or condoms.

    Who can get the assistance?

    The grant will be introduced in two phases.

    From 20 August 2012, it will be available to young women aged 16 to 18 years of age who are:

    *receiving Youth Payment or Young Parent Payments
    * partners of main beneficiaries and who are subject to the youth activity obligations

    From 15 October 2012 it will be available to:

    *women on a benefit (excluding Unemployment Student Hardship)
    *beneficiaries' female dependent children aged 16 years or older

    Payment

    GPs will receive payment for LARC services directly from the client. This may be via a payment card.

    • Bored 3.1

      Nanny State replaced by Big (Step) Sister state. Cinders may never get to the Ball.

      At-least Nanny might have embroidered Cinders dress and given her a lift to the Ball..Step Sis Paula wants to keep Cinders scrubbing the floor. Paula does not need to go to the Ball to expose her ugliness.

    • rosy 3.2

      So they’ll give teens a controversial long-acting contraception with significant side-effects, including osteoporosis, delayed return to fertility and an increased risk of STDs … but nothing to protect against STDs and HIV infection.

      There is so much wrong with this picture.

  4. I feel like an extra on the set of a huge splatter/zombie movie being directed by Bill English and Steven Joyce and the Smiling Assassin taking the lead role. I’m sure Gerry Brownlee’s cosy relationship with Sir Peter Jackson had more to it than just screwing over a few actors.

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/national-making-huge-slashzombie-movie.html

  5. Chris 5

    Is p bennett going to do the inaugral injection/ implant/IUD. You know,”I declare this ……..”

  6. belladonna 6

    Someone rang talkback radio over the weekend claiming that 3 horses died unnecessarily during the filming of The Hobbit. Is Peter Jackson not subjected to the same animal welfare rules as everyone else? If this is true, the media are keeping very quiet about this.

    • tc 6.1

      That’s what closed down ‘Luck’ in it’s second season shoot which had a stellar cast incl Dustin Hoffman/Michael Gambon and quality scripts.

      But then they have a media of sorts in the US whereas here….move along sheeple, nothing to see.

  7. Morrissey 7

    British state radio hack shows how to play the game
    Radio New Zealand, Morning Report, Monday 20 August 2012, 8:35 a.m.

    Brave little Ecuador is calling for expressions of support from all of the countries in the OAS. Will Grant, a reporter for British state radio, told host Simon Mercep with epic seriousness that not all the Latin American states are as “left-wing as Venezuela and Bolivia”.

    Of course it would have been more accurate for Will Grant to say they are not all as committed to democracy and free speech as Venezuela and Bolivia, but you don’t get far with the British state broadcaster by speaking plainly and honestly. Far easier to use the imprecise, vaguely worrying, almost meaningless “left wing” label to diminish the stand of Latin America’s champions of democracy.

  8. millsy 8

    Richard Prebble finally admits it.

    Rail is obsolete and has no future.

    • Bored 8.1

      Prebbo the myopic hand maiden of rich snouts in the public trough..aha might he pronounce the same of the roading projects that underscore the tax funded “subsidising” of the trucking industry?

      I am of course looking forward to the huge capital destruction that will be the idle roads built to manage multi-ton trailers, and the out of diesel tractor units littering transport companies yards. A few more years and we shall remember Prebbos words as we catch the electric train and watch the freight wagons roll by…………….

    • tc 8.2

      IF ‘Prebble’ THEN ‘No Credibility’…END.

    • Morrissey 8.3

      Prebble? Isn’t he the fellow who wrote that book with the world’s most dishonest title?

  9. Seen this?

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/powerful-us-senator-town-push-controversial-free-trade-deal-ck-126166

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement?

    What sort of ‘partnership’ EXCLUDES THE PUBLIC?

    BEWARE!

    FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS = PRIVATISATION!

    FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS ARE FOR INVESTORS – NOT THE PUBLIC MAJORITY!

    WHERE IS THE ‘TRANSPARENCY’ IN THE TPPA NEGOTIATIONS?

    Where are the ‘minutes’ of the meetings?

    Whose interests is John Key serving?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  10. prism 10

    lprent
    Hope the move went fairly smoothly – shame about the rain. I guess you or someone else hasn’t changed the format of the blog. I have lost the grid system suddenly.
    I have been advised to use Firefox so will start that but meantime – has there been any change from your end?

    • r0b 10.1

      Only Lynn can say for sure, but there’s no visible changes that I can see…

    • lprent 10.2

      No changes. In fact no updates at all. That is in the CSS, so I’d guess that you have a cache issue. You’ll probably need to tell the cache to flush.

      Move was pretty good, and the rain held off on Saturday. Despite having employed some very active movers, I still did enough back crane work packing / unpacking to have a quite sore back by sunday afternoon. This getting older is a real pain in the back.. damnit.

      We moved back into my old apartment now that Lyn’s film has mostly finished being edited, festivaled, shown on PBS, and the distribution networks have been set up. We don’t need the extra office space because there aren’t people working at our home anymore. Also the leaky building work is all over…

      But I’m loving the polished concrete floor – apartment feels a lot bigger and a hell of a lot easier with a single surface. We had the carpet and tiles all pulled up and the concrete polished. Left the bathroom in lino (got rid of the tiles there during the leaky building). A lot more functional especially since we tripled the amount of storage to cope with having two of us in there.

  11. Carol 11

    John Key, a “sad fullah” – tell it!

    http://mana.net.nz/2012/08/john-key-a-sad-fullah-is-15c-more-too-much-to-clean-the-pms-office/

    IS 15c TOO MUCH MORE TO CLEAN THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE?

    “Who earns $400,000 a year and has investments of $50 million, but won’t pay his cleaner more than $13.85 an hour? Answer – John Key. What a sad fullah” said MANA leader Hone Harawira.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      John Key doesn’t pay the cleaner personally, they’ll be hired by Parliamentary Services. Therefore this is coming out of taxpayers money, not Key’s. Talking about Key’s personal wealth is an irrelevant distraction.

      • weka 11.1.1

        What are the chances that Key has some employees/workers/staff somewhere in his life on close to minimum wage?
         
        I take your point though. Does Harawira not have an office at parliament that gets cleaned?
         
        Harawira also appears to suck at maths.

        • Carol 11.1.1.1

          Of course Harawira’s statement is not accurate literally, but it’s a point well made – it is succinctly showing up Key’s hypocrisy in keeping minimal wages so low, when he is so wealthy….. and with work that comes so close to him. These things are connected.

          I’m sure Harawira gets his offices cleaned by the same people, but he is asking for them to get more…. unlike Key and co.

  12. WHOSE INTERESTS IS NZ PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY (STILL A SHAREHOLDER IN THE BANK OF AMERICA) SERVING???

    In November 1999, John Key was the Head of Derivatives for Merrill Lynch.

    In November 1999 John Key was also a Foreign Exchange Advisor to the New York Federal Reserve.

    In November 1999 is when the Glass Steagall Act was repealed.

    (The Glass Steagall Act effectively kept a concrete wall between boring, safe commercial banking and risky, dangerous investment banking.)

    The effect of the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act was to leave the derivatives market unregulated.

    What is regarded as the main reason for the global financial ‘meltdown’?

    The collapse of the derivatives market – WHICH NZ PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY HELPED TO SET UP.

    WHAT ROLE DID JOHN KEY PLAY IN THE REPEAL OF THE GLASS STEAGALL ACT – GIVEN THAT HE WAS PLACED IN A PIVOTAL POSITION AT A PIVOTAL TIME?

    Whose interests is John Key NOW primarily serving, as Prime Minister of New Zealand, remembering that he is still a shareholder in the Bank of America?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    _____________________________________________________

    http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/are-kiwi-farmers-the-victim-of-fraudulent-derivatives/#comment-27351

    Are Kiwi Farmers the Victim of Fraudulent Derivatives?
    A fellow blogger pointed me in the direction of the fact that in 2007, 2008 and 2009 Farmers in New Zealand have been sold Derivatives Swaps. In an interesting series the Sunday Star times is shining light about this practice.

    In Britain, it’s being called a scandal. In New Zealand, there’s been barely a squeak.

    But with around one in 10 farmers in dire straits with high debt burdens and devalued farms, claims that complex “interest rate swaps” were missold to farmers who did not understand them are surfacing.

    The swaps, traditionally used by sophisticated businesses with expert finance staff, were sold in 2007, 2008 and even 2009 by some banks to farmers as insurance against interest rates – and hence floating rate farm mortgages – rising rapidly, farmers say.

    But when the opposite happened, the farmers who bought them were left locked in to high interest rates which they could not escape without paying hefty break fees.

    Already heavily indebted, some farmers have lost their farms as a result of the instruments.

    Read more…..

    _____________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  13. Carol 13

    Another very good column from Tapu Misa: this time on “truthiness”, wannabe 3 yr old Paula Bennett and her breach of Work and Income’s code of conduct:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10827994

    Paula Bennett so sure she’s right


    But here is where we’re supposed to let the matter lie. Is there a principle at stake, or does is it all just come down to Bennett’s rock-solid belief in her own rightness?

    Given Bennett’s defiant tone and refusal to acknowledge wrongdoing or responsibility, it was hard not to agree with Speaker Lockwood Smith’s description of her in Parliament last week as showing “less discipline than a 3-year-old child”.

    Bennett may have good political instincts; I don’t doubt that she cares about the plight of the vulnerable and disadvantaged. But social welfare deserves a more principled and less “truthy” approach.

    • Bored 13.1

      If Labour had people like Tapu Misa in their PR and comms area (as opposed to the Paganis) I would vote for them. This lady is a treasure given where she works. Perhaps cut the bull and give her a safe seat might be a better option.

  14. Mary 14

    Where is the real criticism of Bennett’s new rules for beneficiaries under 20? Surely it’s the thin end of the wedge for passing delivery of welfare over to private charity? First youth, then it’ll be everyone because government will say how “successful” it’s been. It’s then a dangerously short step to moving the whole responsibility for welfare away from government. Nobody’s pointing this out. What’s Ardern saying? -that it’s unacceptable the changes weren’t publicised well enough? Crikey, does this mean Labour in principle supports these changes? Certainly looks like it. Sell outs.

    • Bored 14.1

      Looks like Adern has an aversion to scaring the horses and saying something that might just have a little force. Does she have to run things under the nose of the “pol scientists PR” flunkies?

    • Carol 14.2

      Yes, I looked, wondered and posted about the changes above.

    • Where is all the ‘accountability’ and where are the RULES for corporate welfare beneficiaries?

      How much public monies in tax and rates could be saved at central and local government level for SOCIAL WELFARE by CUTTING OUT THE CONSULTANTS AND PRIVATE CONTRACTORS?

      Penny Bright
      ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

      http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • Vicky32 14.4

      Where is the real criticism of Bennett’s new rules for beneficiaries under 20?

      I heard an interesting (and a bit scary)  item on BBC WS this afternoon – to the effect that they have this system in Oz – scary because they interviewed a woman on the DPB equivalent who sounded somewhat zombie-like as she prated on about how wonderful it all is for her, having a payment card.
      Weird.
      It all adds to my disillusionment with the BBC
       

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    A Republican shows just how out of touch with reality that he, and the rest of them, are:

    A Republican Senate hopeful sparked outrage on Sunday by suggesting that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy due to a woman’s biological defences.

    “If it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down.”

    This is his reason to explain his no-exceptions policy in regards to abortion.

    Just another old white guy wanting to take control of other peoples body and life.

  16. joe90 16

    He’s a creationist loon.

    Associate Education Minister John Banks says he believes the Genesis account of the start of life on Earth.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      …especially in these lamentable times.”

      If the times are “lamentable” it’s because of actions of himself and people like him who keep trying to prevent humankind from progressing and learning.

    • Pete 16.2

      He’s wrong and I already really dislike him, but I’m going to give him a pass on that (i.e. my opinion of him remains unchanged). Religious beliefs – my own liberal Catholicism included – in general are irrational. Maybe he’s reached the point where he just can’t sink any lower. I’ve met a number of creationists and they follow the same range of likeable-dislikeable as the general population. He hasn’t made it a feature of his public life until now. My guess is he’s positioning himself to join the Conservatives in 2014.

      • Carol 16.2.1

        My guess is he’s positioning himself to join the Conservatives in 2014.

        My thoughts exactly – auditioning for Craig et al. Hypocrite – using religion to waka jump! Looking for some way to continue living off taxpayers ‘ money while promoting charter schools with an agenda for the elite.

        • Tiger Mountain 16.2.1.1

          Banksie is without shame, campaigned for Mayor on “bash the boy racers” then promptly backed off that one while getting special parking arrangements for his Bentley. Who did steal his Harley anyway?

          Pete and Carol may well be onto his next opportunist squiggle.

        • bad12 16.2.1.2

          Possible??? a ACT/Conservative merger, it’s either Banks being stupid as usual or the village idiot might be trying to line up the next prop in a long line of them to keep the Slippery National Government with snouts firmly at trough…

      • ropata 16.2.2

        N.T. Wright (Bishop of Durham and renowned scholar) suggests that the mythic meaning of Genesis is far more important than historical nitpicking.

        Rev. Wright argues that the mythological part has been misunderstood and discarded by many evangelicals in favour of a reading based entirely on questions of historicity.
        “To flatten that [the text of Genesis] out is to almost perversely avoid the real thrust of the narrative … ”

        Wright suggests that questions concerning the historicity of Genesis and the historicity of Adam and Eve get caught up in contemporary cultural issues and miss the larger story [of God making Earth as a home for humanity, where he can also dwell with us, and the Fall as an archetype of the state of man].

        • ropata 16.2.2.1

          (right wing idiocy is not the only religion out there)

        • Vicky32 16.2.2.2

          Rev. Wright argues that the mythological part has been misunderstood and discarded by many evangelicals in favour of a reading based entirely on questions of historicity.

          Thanks for that, Ropata! 🙂

    • tc 16.4

      Banks is so full of shit that whenever he opens his mouth nothing else has a chance of emerging.

    • He’s a raving nut case Joe90.The trouble is he’s in charge of Education.
      and that’s a big worry .Along with his crazy Charter Schools and unregistered teachers our world class education is in serious danger ,State Schools, of course ,his mates Private Schools will not be affected .Lets hope the teachers unions will get organized.
      Anyone who believes that the world was created in six days must be mad that they are in charge of the nations education is madder still,

  17. Tiger Mountain 17

    Religion’s sometimes corrosive and deadly real world effects have had a good airing today via the narco-theocracy of Afghanistan. And then there is our very own Banksie, helpfully pointing out again that other countries do not have all the delusional politicians! … (beat me to it joe)
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828170

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      And who buys all the heroin made in Afghanistan which funds all kinds of Taleban activities…the young people of developed western countries who demand it at almost any price. The irony.

  18. Carol 18

    Greens of 3 countries critical of the TPP.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1208/S00268/joint-statement-on-trans-pacific-partnership-agreement.htm

    Joint Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
    Sunday, 19 August 2012, 7:00 pm
    Press Release: Green Party

    Joint Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, Australian Greens, Green Party of Canada)

    As the Green parliamentary political parties of three nations whose governments are currently in the process of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), we are issuing this joint statement to express our serious concern at the fundamentally undemocratic and non-transparent nature of the agreement. Following the leaking of the draft investment chapter of the TPPA the Greens are extremely concerned that the TPPA agreement has the potential to undermine the ability of our governments to perform effectively. More than just another trade agreement, the TPPA provisions could hinder access to safe, affordable medicines, weaken local content rules for media, stifle high-tech innovation, and even restrict the ability of future governments to legislate for the good of public health and the environment.

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  • Wave of support for Kiwibuild continues to grow
    Apartment builder Ockham Residential has become the latest voice to call for the government to build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Helen O'Sullivan of Ockham has now joined prominent businesspeople like EMA ...
    1 day ago
  • Cuba Si Yankee No – Fidel Castro and the Revolution
    The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba. For younger ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Government slashes observer coverage, fails snapper fishery
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 day ago
  • ‘Exemplar’ Māori Land Court under siege
    TheMāori Land Court, hailed as an “exemplar” by the Ministry of Justice chief executive and Secretary, Andrew Bridgman is under siege by the Government through Māori land reforms and a Ministry restructure, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 day ago
  • He Poroporoaki ki a Te Awanuiārangi Black
    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    2 days ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    2 days ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    2 days ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    2 days ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    2 days ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    2 days ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    3 days ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 days ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    3 days ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    3 days ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    3 days ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    3 days ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    3 days ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    3 days ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 days ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 days ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    4 days ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    4 days ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    4 days ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    4 days ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Swimmable Rivers tour – Ōkahukura/Lucas Creek
    When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Wellington business relief package needs flexibility
    The Government’s Wellington business support package is welcome news but needs to be implemented so that all affected businesses get the help they need, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. “Wellington businesses will be pleased that the Government ...
    5 days ago
  • EQC’s staff cuts show disregard for quake victims
    The Earthquake Commission’s stubborn insistence on slashing its workforce and its operational funding by nearly half shows callous disregard for victims of the Kaikoura earthquake and the thousands of Cantabrians still waiting to resolve claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan ...
    5 days ago
  • Maori Land Court job losses must be delayed
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must request that pending job losses at the Māori Land Court are put on hold until the Māori land reform process is resolved and the risk of losing centuries of collective institutional knowledge is ...
    5 days ago
  • Financial support needed for urgent earthquake strengthening
    The Government must provide urgent support to residents for important earthquake strengthening work so that it happens quickly, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  "I support the call from Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to bring forward work to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour welcomes equal pay
    Labour has long appreciated the value of women’s work and welcomes the Government’s decision to address pay equity for women, say’s Labour’s associate Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Sue Moroney. ...
    1 week ago
  • Surgeons’ letter a damning indictment
    A letter from Waikato Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeons claiming that hospital managers are stopping them from making follow-up checks on patients is a damning indictment of the health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s terrifying that one woman’s elective ...
    1 week ago
  • Out of touch Nats continue state house sell-off
    The Government should be focused on building houses for families to buy and more state houses for families in need, not flogging them off, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National’s state house sell-off does nothing to help people ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce drags feet while Capital businesses suffer
     Wellington businesses affected by the earthquake are continuing to struggle while the Government drags its feet on getting a business assistance package up and running, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  “Steven Joyce needs to front up with an assistance ...
    1 week ago
  • Health and Safety Act fails to reduce work fatalities
    After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • What is the point of education?
    The proposed Education (Update) Bill is the Government’s statement about what the point of education is, and what it means to people. This week we had a day of Select Committee hearings in Auckland on the Bill. It’s a huge ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Earthquake exposes training shortfall
    Kaikoura’s earthquakes have exposed the Government’s under investment in critical building and construction skills training, says Labour’s Building and Construction spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Government needs to urgently ramp up the training of Kiwis in construction and engineering in the ...
    1 week ago
  • More cops needed to get P off our streets
    National’s cuts to Police funding and drug enforcement officers has seen a surge in cheap P on our streets, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    1 week ago
  • Who’s calling the shots? Bye bye surplus
    I would love to know who is calling the shots in the National government’s cabinet when it comes to deciding how best to spend taxpayers’ money.  On the evidence of the last few weeks, it definitely isn’t Finance Minister Bill ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 week ago
  • Urgent rethink needed on workplace safety
      An urgent rethink is needed on the Government’s new workplace safety laws with the number of deaths this year already at the same level as at the same time in the 2015 calendar year, says Labour’s Associate Workplace Safety ...
    1 week ago
  • Rubble and rubbish: spending time in post-quake Kaikōura
    I visited Kaikoura over the weekend – basically to see how the community was coping with all the rubbish and rubble created by last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and to see my brother Rob. I may have mentioned before that ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Time to pull the plug on state house sell-off
    The collapse of the planned sell-off of state houses in Horowhenua is an opportunity for the Government to call time on its troubled state house sell off policy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury sounds warning bell – but National’s not listening
    Today's long term fiscal outlook issued by The Treasury is a welcome wake-up call on the need to dramatically improve and diversify our economy and properly plan for the future, Grant Robertson, Labour’s Finance Spokesperson says. “Through our Future of Work ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Don’t believe the hype – debt has skyrocketed under National
    The reckless dangling of tax cuts by the National Government is all the more irresponsible when it is put alongside the failure to pay down debt or put money aside for future superannuation costs, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our kids deserve better
    We don’t know how many children are affected by having learning support needs. I do know that far too many children are not getting the support they deserve for conditions like autism, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. When these conditions are not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Talk of tax cuts is plain crazy
      John Key’s talk of tax cuts when the Government has $63 billion of debt, superannuation costs are rising by $1 billion a year and the cost of meeting another natural disaster, is just plain crazy, says Labour Leader Andrew ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green policies support Labour’s housing plan
    The Green Party’s housing package is a welcome complement to Labour’s plan to fix the housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s clear that, to get the affordable homes we need and save the Kiwi dream of ...
    2 weeks ago

Today is the day of the Mt Roskill by-election. To be safe under the legislation, there will be no further comment on that election until after the polls close at 7pm. Transgressors will receive lengthy bans.