Open Mike 20/11/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 20th, 2017 - 214 comments
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214 comments on “Open Mike 20/11/2017”

  1. Ed 1

    Interesting.

    This is the story of a southern hemisphere country in which China has significant investments in. It has its government changed with the help of Beijing when the People’s Republic becomes concerned that their business and strategic interests are not being taken care of.

    It is the story of Zimbabwe.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11945674

    Be careful Jacinda.

    You are in charge of a southern hemisphere country in which China has significant investments, and your policies are threatening China’s business and strategic interests .

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11924169

    • Ed 1.1

      More on the China connection.

      ‘A visit to Beijing last Friday by Zimbabwe’s military chief, General Constantino Chiwenga, has fuelled suspicions that China may have given the green light to this week’s army takeover in Harare.

      If so, the world may just have witnessed the first example of a covert coup d’etat of the kind once favoured by the CIA and Britain’s MI6, but conceived and executed with the tacit support of the 21st century’s new global superpower.

      China, Africa’s biggest foreign investor, has more at stake in Zimbabwe, and more political influence, than any other state. This is largely due to its extensive investments in the mining, agriculture, energy and construction sectors. China was Zimbabwe’s top trade partner in 2015, buying 28% of its exports. ‘

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/17/zimbabwe-was-mugabes-fall-a-result-of-china-flexing-its-muscle

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        “suspicions”…”may have just”.

        This article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed.

        In other words, this accusation is irrefutable and therefore meaningless. Someone will deny it.

        I can feel a tweet coming: “Xi Jinping thinks he can do raygeem change better than me! Sad! Watch this space!”

        Edit: the notion that Zimbaweans might just have done this themselves is apparently beyond the author(s?) of these articles.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Given that Mnangagwa’s supporters amongst the generals and general staff are Zimbaweans, then yes, it could be claimed that “Zimbabweans might just have done this themselves.”

          Of course, these specific Zimbabweans may, or may not have, checked in with their foreign contacts from the Chinese, US and other governments before and during their decision to do so.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1

            Which is what I’d expect them to do if they’re half-way competent, as opposed to being the set of alleged puppets with zero agency portrayed in Ed’s links.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1.1

              So let me see … if hypothetically say Judith Collins was half-way competent, you’d be ok with her checking her ‘foreign contacts’ before colluding with various senior army types to march into the Beehive and arrest Adern?

              It may read like a preposterous scenario, but then it’s not too far removed from what happened when the UK govt clearly had a hand in the coup against Gough Whitlam.

              OK so no comparisons are exact, but I’m trying to place this coup into a more familiar local context.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I’m not “ok with it”; the whole situation is monstrous and has been for decades.

                The stakes are pretty high: incompetent coupsters don’t last long. Especially if they’re nothing but puppets.

                • RedLogix

                  And my modest reading of what’s happened is that the Chinese (with a major economic stake in the country) have agreed that Mugabe had reached his ‘use by date’ and gave clear support for regime change; along with the Americans and British signalling they’d keep out of it if things went smoothly.

                  None of this story will be simple, there will be a convergence of many factors. Mugabe and his wife Grace appear to have triggered much of the crisis themselves, and everyone was completely over the seemingly endless incompetence, corruption and waste of the Mugabe regime.

                  Still having one of the chief plotters make a trip to China just one week prior isn’t something you can readily hand-wave away. It almost certainly has significance, and points to what happens when a nation hands off too much of its economic sovereignty to a bigger power.

                  In this instance the outcome may have been relatively benign, but there is no rule that says such entanglements will always be so. You only have to look at the USA’s sorry record in this respect to see how what started as a game of good intentions post WW2 ended up a nightmare decades later in Latin America.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I’m not “hand-waving it away”, I’m looking at it in the context of “the Americans and British signalling they’d keep out of it”, the clear internal momentum for change, and that being presented as something China did on its own, by “flexing its muscle”.

                    what happens when a nation hands off too much of its economic sovereignty to a bigger power

                    …might be a better alternative to being a British/Rhodesian colony, depending on your perspective.

                    • RedLogix

                      And it remains to be seen if being a Chinese ‘client state’ works out much better.

                      It will of course be different to the British version; the Chinese generally prefer exerting indirect economic power before all other options … but then it’s early days in this cycle of expansion for them.

                      They certainly haven’t held back from military options in the South China Sea for instance.

                      (When in Laos about 18 months ago, every conversation with a local, quite unprompted by me, got around to expressing some form of anger or contempt with how Chinese money was buying up their country with zero respect for the Laotian people.)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      As in NZ, it is locals selling out local interests to foreigners for a quick ¥ ¥ ¥

                    • RedLogix

                      Actually it’s worth enlarging a bit on my experience in Laos. I was working at a gold mine site in the mountains near the Vietnamese border. Ostensibly owned by some local elites (the gap between rich and poor is a monstrous, staggering gulf), but backed by Chinese money.

                      The mine itself was probably the most incompetently run site anywhere. Huge amounts of capital injected, yet on the numbers we could see they had to be hemorrhaging cash. And I won’t even start to dwell on the bizarre operational issues from senior management downward.

                      I was working with a far more experienced guy who was mightily intrigued by all of this.

                      So he started asking questions and it turns out the mine concession came with rights to a huge amount of forested land, that of course was being illegally strip mined of valuable timber. The gold operation was an elaborate front.

                      I recently changed jobs and feel free to relate this incident.

                    • Edit . We’re you helping them convert to a low carbon solution?

                    • RedLogix

                      The serious answer to that question marty is yes. Our process solutions featured low-energy, low chemical and low water consumption innovations.

                      In the context of this particular site our energy contribution would have been minuscule, but many of our other projects were remarkably better than standard industry practice. Sometimes dramatically so.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.2

              “Puppets” was your interpretation, not the interpretation of The Guardian story.

              I’m surprised you read The Guardian piece as anti-Zimbabwean when it is clearly anti-Chinese.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It’s both.

                Reading the text, the headline and story could have been: “Superpowers co-operate with Zimbawean military to remove Mugabe”.

    • Stunned mullet 1.2

      Meh no one will be sad to see Mugabe go – murderous thug that he is. The only matter of interest will be how bad the thug that replaces him will be. If the transition is relatively violence free that’ll be miraculous in itself.

      • Sanctuary 1.2.1

        “….Meh no one will be sad to see Mugabe go – murderous thug that he is. ..”

        His successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is just as bad. He may see a bit of economic reform, but Zimbabwe is now a failed state with an utterly corrupt and brutal ruling elite propped up by their sponsors in Beijing.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.1

          …with the blessing of “the Americans”, according to “diplomatic sources”: see Ed’s link.

          Zimbabwe was a failed state with an utterly corrupt and brutal regime long before it was called Zimbabwe. Different sponsors, though 😉

          Edit: not that that’s any comfort to Zimbabweans, but.

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1

            Zimbabwe was a failed state with an utterly corrupt and brutal regime long before it was called Zimbabwe. Different sponsors, though

            Failed state? Zimbabwe had one of the highest ag/hort farming outputs in Africa under British rule.

            That imploded under Mugabe.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Africa under British rule eh? Something about that concept worries me. Can’t quite put my finger on it. Oh, yes, it’s the corruption and brutality involved. It smells like failure.

            • RedLogix 1.2.1.1.1.2

              Back in NZ my partner got to be good friends with a lady of Shona background. My recollections are that she narrated Zimbabwe to us as a complex story, but in brief, while most people welcomed the end of colonisation … few believed that what has replaced it was an improvement.

              I imagine that today most of the people in that country will feel much the same about the end of Mugabe’s regime … welcomed but skeptical of what may come next.

              • Colonial Viper

                “White flight” was a very real phenomenon from Zimbabwe.

                All kinds of technical, trade and technology specialists packed up and left.

                Farmers saw the writing on the wall after numerous intimidation, extortion, home invasion incidents, sold their farms for what they could (if anything) and left.

                That’s critical national capacity and capability voting with their feet and their family’s feet.

                Like South Africa, the previous colonial regime was intolerable. Like South Africa, the replacement for white colonial rule was intolerable.

                Most in the west don’t even know about the wave of xenophobic violence which swept South Africa after the end of apartheid which targeted the settlements and lives of poverty stricken blacks – who were from other parts of Africa.

                (Turns out that non-white groups can be extraordinarily tribal and xenophobic).

                Or that the number of murders in South Africa rose 6x to 8x under the new post-Apartheid regime, to roughly 40,000 to 50,000 per annum.

                OAB remarks on the “corruption and brutality involved” in western colonial rule – very true. But post-colonial rule the “corruption and brutality involved” has merely morphed in its expression, not reduced.

                Zuma and Mugabe are just the tip of that iceberg.

                But we get to celebrate the end of white rule, and so for some, that seems enough to give the ideological/political thumbs up.

                • RedLogix

                  Most in the west don’t even know about the wave of xenophobic violence

                  The industry I’m in has a lot of white South Africans. While they’re not a demonstrative people as a rule, it’s clear many of them mourn their exile from a land and peoples they still love.

                  And some of their personal stories of just such violence, godawful horrors the western media never reports … suffice to say I’m not going to burden any of you by repeating them.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  morphed in its expression, not reduced.

                  It’s being perpetrated by the same class of people: meet the new boss.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    the new boss is far more “diverse” now so there’s at least that checkbox ticked.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Looking at it through that lens means you should probably take the (allegedly) continuing global reduction in violence (cf: Steven Pinker) and poverty (cf: UN, Rosling, etc.) into account too.

        • savenz 1.2.1.2

          They said that about Saddam…. I guess you need ask the good people of Iraq who they preferred and who now owns and controls their oil reserves.

      • Ed 1.2.2

        It amazes me that neoliberal ideologues are such staunch defenders of the foreign policy of the Chinese Communist Party.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2.1

          Diplomatic sources claim the Americans were happy for Mugabe to be replaced as long as there was no bloodshed, and a smooth transition to the new regime.

          It amazes me when people post links that undermine their own claims.

        • savenz 1.2.2.2

          I’ve noticed the third way lefties seem just as keen as the righties on disabling democracy if it suits them and marginalising any dissenters.

          • red-blooded 1.2.2.2.1

            Just who do you think is disabling democracy here, savenz? Are you truly claiming that Zimbabwe was a democratic state under Mugabe? I think we all know that it wasn’t (the people of Zimbabwe certainly know that), and that the coup that’s now occurring isn’t going to transform it into a democratic state, either. It may be very slightly less awful, or it might not – after all Mnangagwa served under Mugabe for a long time and seems to be fine with the levels of corruption and violence that are embedded into the system of his country. He’s doing this for himself, not as a servant of his people.

            • savenz 1.2.2.2.1.1

              I was meaning it in general terms not about Zimbabwe but more Ed’s comments of so many lefties defending Chinese government involvement in issues.

              China is not a democracy and has pretty serious human rights violations but you would not know it by so many so called lefties being comfortable with that and the spreading of Chinese government influence around the world. You are pretty naive if you think that once ducks are in a row the Chinese will not flex their muscles and implement what they think is right which is how they run their country and start taking greater control in countries of strategic interest.

              And also the lack of interest in democracy in local issues here in NZ around zoning and land use which is a hot topic.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3

      Ed, if you read the second link you will find Helen Clark saying “New Zealand must engage with major powers in its region, but that it should not be naive in its interaction with any of them.”

      I guess if Jacinda Ardern becomes Robert Mugabe in forty years time we should probably call the army.

      • The problem in the second link is that Ardern almost ignored the report about growing Chinese influence even though Don Brash is one of those influencers and is fully supportive of it. Neither seem too concerned with NZ losing its sovereignty.

    • So began a global power play against Mugabe, known as “the Old Man” throughout Zimbabwe. With the Chinese pledging to back the new regime after the coup, both American and Russian intelligence were also told of the plans.

      Diplomatic sources claim the Americans were happy for Mugabe to be replaced as long as there was no bloodshed, and a smooth transition to the new regime. (Britain, scandalously, had helped prop up Mugabe for years over fears of instability if he was ousted, having helped to install him in 1980.)

      With key global players in agreement, the secret strategy to deal with Mugabe – which The Crocodile was told must appear to the world not to be a coup – was activated.

      China does seem to have got permission from the other world powers first.

      And that, too, should be a serious concern. When all the major powers are working together to deny a nation it’s own self-determination then smaller nations have to be careful.

      EDIT:
      That article shows this coup as being a Good Thing and isn’t a scathing denunciation like what we saw after the Fiji coup. That itself is very telling.

  2. Ed 2

    Great article on the Daily Blog questioning RNZ’s support for blatant propaganda about Manus.
    The notorious guard.

    ‘…so what Radio NZ are asking us to believe is that member of staff from a group with a long history of abusing refugees should be listened to when they warn us we shouldn’t take any.’

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/11/20/rnz-believed-manus-island-staff-but-why-should-we/

    • Stunned mullet 2.1

      Hmm who is more believable those with first hand experience albeit some likely bias or that paragon of truth and measure Martin Bradbury?

      • “First-hand experience” – big whoop. The camp guards at Belsen had plenty of first-hand experience of conditions there too. Funnily enough, no-one was interested in hearing their stories about how it was all the inmates’ fault.

      • Incognito 2.1.2

        Ah, the so-called credibility of the source AKA “shoot the messenger” as the discerning fact or factor in ‘deciding the truth’. People should stop pretending to be ‘rational’ and simply state the question, in all honesty: whom do I want to believe most because it is (most) consistent with my own biased views and least likely to have consequences, in thought or action, that may cause internal friction & conflict? That would be a refreshing and more truthful approach, wouldn’t it just?

        • greywarshark 2.1.2.1

          Incognito at 7.40am
          Nice one. It would pay to copy this and keep it for reference when making judgments on complex issues.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.3

        So your response to Bradbury’s argument is to attack Bradbury. It’s the same argument I’ve been making. Wilson “Security” has been offering hush money: this is a matter of public record.

        If you think anonymous Ian is a credible source, that’s on you, not Martyn B.

        • Pete George 2.1.3.1

          “So your response to Bradbury’s argument is to attack Bradbury. It’s the same argument I’ve been making.”

          Irony or admission? You attack far more than you argue.

          “If you think anonymous Ian is a credible source…”

          That’s pure hypocrisy.

          [3 day ban for flaming. Even in Open Mike you have to make some attempt to debate the politics and not just have a go at someone you disapprove of – weka]

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.3.1.1

            I’ll always attack your beige drivel Peter. The mods here are alert to pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others, so if you think they’re doing a poor job I suggest you take it up with them.

            When I assert a fact I provide supporting links, so I’m not a source of anything. Reference to “anonymous Ian”, by the way, is a clue that he’s as credible as I am: which is to say, not credible at all without supporting material.

            Have a lovely day 😈

      • Ed 2.1.4

        You really pick your friends stunned mullet.
        First the apparatchiks of the Chinese Communist Party, now brutal guards running a concentration camp in the Pacific.

        [3 day ban for flaming. Even in Open Mike you have to make some attempt to debate the politics and not just have a go at someone you disapprove of – weka]

    • Psych nurse 2.2

      I have colleagues who have worked in Australian refugee camps, the Medical and Nursing staff are mostly New Zealanders. All describe the inmates as incredibly damaged individuals, initially by their conflict experiences but then compounded by incarceration.Anyone showing empathy and advocation was soon sacked by the Austalian administration and flown out. What you had left were the sycophantic and psychopathic as evidenced by the ex guard now gaining a voice on RNZ.

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    Way to go Queenstown! $2.00 bus fares – to solve Queenstown traffic and transportation gridlock.

    RNZ reports:

    The flat rate began this morning along with increased routes and frequency of services while parking charges in the centre of the resort are being hiked.

    The move is being promoted as a boon for struggling service workers, which will double bus usage and fix the resort’s chronic traffic problems.

    Queenstown mayor Jim Boult said the old bus service was expensive and infrequent, and the $2 flat fee is was a “pioneering game-changer”.

    It is part of a wider package of measures that the council is promoting as it tries to quickly lift patronage.

    That’s what is needed in NZ’s bigger cities, too!

    • savenz 3.1

      A good start and frequent and reliable trains/buses also needed to make it work in larger cities.

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        Jim Boult, Queenstown.
        Yay – for a voice of change and problem-solving. More please, now we know it can be done, so let’s do it! New Mayor, new ideas.

        • Graeme 3.1.1.1

          Yeah, he’s a major step forward from actoid V van useless….

          Jim’s got a strong record of getting things done, had a couple of miss-steps but generally done good.

          All vvu did was look after her mates. And let 5 Mile fill in Hendo’s hole which was going to be the park & ride hub, giving us a slight chance of getting a viable public transport system.

    • The Chairman 3.2

      Sounds good.

      Although, I hope they aren’t expecting bus drivers to cover it (i.e. lower wage increases going forward)?

    • Graeme 3.3

      It’s going to be very interesting to see how this plays out. The current operator pretty much trashed what was starting to be a quite good service under the previous operator. Patronage and service had plummeted. You saw more people hitching at bus stops than waiting for a bus.

      On the way into town this morning there seemed to be more Ritchies busses on the road, but still people at bus stops with their thumb out.

      The commitment by both councils and operator seems to be tepid at best. The busses are pretty old and seem pulled in from wherever they can find them, no local branding, and no commitment or even plans for park and ride. This limits the service to only those that live on the routes, commuters coming from more affordable areas like Cromwell or Kingston / Athol are still forced to park in central Queenstown because there’s even less parking in Frankton or Arrowtown than Queenstown. And what there is, now sports restriction or tow-away signs.

      • savenz 3.3.1

        Maybe they want it to fail so they can proclaim that lower fares are not the answer?

        Bit like how they ran a few trains a day at non peak times and used that as a basis that trains were not viable in parts of Auckland.

        • Graeme 3.3.1.1

          I don’t think failure is really an option. The situation is beyond dire, Frankton Road will hit design capacity in 7 years and since there are no upgrade options due to topography the bus option has to work or we stop. In about 20 years even the most wild projections of bus patronage won’t keep things moving and ferries on the lake are the only option. The NZTA report below paints a pretty grim picture of where the lace is heading if we can’t do something about getting traffic demand down, fast.

          http://www.qldc.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Council-Documents/Full-Council-Agendas/2017/28-September-2017/10a.-Attachments-Queenstown-Integrated-Transport-Strategy.pdf

          Several cycles of zoning growth, out beyond actual demand, followed by speculative development , have got well and truly ahead of not just the current infrastructure, but what is physically possible in the space and terrain. The last few years of SHA madness has just been taking the piss of the roading network.

          PS. NZTA did have an alternative to ferries, a gondola, which i can’t see having the capacity or speed to be of use. At least they didn’t try suggesting a monorail

  4. eco maori 4

    Yes I think we should provide free dental care for our youth till they turn at least 20or 22 . As when they leave the nest there diet changes less good food and more alcohol and those soda pop drinks just rot there teeth realy fast the drinks will start attacking any damage in ones teeth . I think we consume to much alcohol . Before my children venture on there journey of life I made sure they new what the effects of alcohol had on them in a safe environment.
    I have told all my children your are what you eat this information goes in one ear and out the other they will learn that what I’m saying to be fact one of my clients told me about his change to a high fiber bread 90 % whole meal flour. I would get all the greens I could but they very expensive and am not in a situation to grow them they are easy to grow I used this bread and my health improved a lot
    I like to eat a lot of peppers tomatoes mushrooms onions and peppers are nice raw in salads
    The first reason why I am encouraging OUR people to give up smoking is so they can live longer to guide there family’s up there ladders of life and tell them about the hinue on there ladders of life well you no what I mean.
    The second reason is one does not take politics seriously until they start going silver on top . And from my observations most of the national voters don’t smoke so they live longer and get to vote longer.
    Alot of OUR left voters are smokers and a high % don’t even make it to retirement so our left elderly voices is no where as loud as national elderly have.
    And I no that the puppet masters behind the seen of national no this and will manipulate it to there advantage. I.E after I endorse vapors the attack ads on vapors start .So come on lefty’s get a vapor of any thing and stop smoking so we can guarantee OUR moko’s have a wonder full bright future .
    Yes I’m a big fan of cryptocurrency the only problem is I got no money to invest in this new currency I have been following Elon Mus for years to I would have Invested in his company’s If I had some spear money. And I see why Elon does not like to be compared to Steve Jobs as in my view Elon is far superior Jobs would not use modern medical practices to extend his life and Jobs was about himself and not much thought about the rest of OUR world I.E his actions would have convinced a lot of people to make the wrong Health choices . The President of the USA has figured out that how he behaves and what he says influences the way a lot of people behave in the USA He is OK at lest we no hes a strait up and does not bullshit around . P.S Jack don’t you get his humor he new whom Jacinda was he would have making a little joke that He did not recognise her I no he gets briefed on everthing and I back him on his view that 2 of OUR super power should get a long and trade as they have the buttons that could destroy our world so this is good logic. I believe that all the country’s of OUR beautiful WORLD should get along forget the old wars and look after THE PEOPLE. Kia Kaha

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      Totally agree with free dental care for young people. And the importance of a healthy diet. Good food should be affordable by all.

      And, yep. I think the older people who vote conservative, tend to live longer than the less well off people – and that has a big impact on elections, one way or another. And it demoralises many less well off people, who give up on voting because they don’t see anyone much in power who represents them.

  5. Morrissey 5

    GROPERS
    No. 5: Lester Beck

    This creep “Lester Beck” looks like Sen. Al Franken (Groper No. 3 in our series). The first unwelcome touching incident, reminiscent of John Key’s antics, occurs at the 1:03 mark. During the excruciating one and a half minutes from 5:13 he acts like Harvey Weinstein. At 9:47 more Harvey Weinstein. And in the last few seconds, we have Steve Coogan as Garth “The Knife” McVicar….

    (By the way, Leighton “Ummm, errrrr, ahhhh, errrrr” Smith could do with some of the therapy prescribed from the 3:25 mark.)

    “GROPERS” is researched and presented by GroperWatch, a division of Daisycutter Sports Inc.
    No.1 George Herbert Walker Bush

    No. 2 Bill O’Reilly

    No. 3 Al Franken
    No. 4 Robin Brooke

  6. Morrissey 6

    Deadbeat Dads
    No. 3 SIR DOUGLAS GRAHAM

    He seemed like one of the few nice guys in the National Party, but that horrible son of his didn’t just ooze out of some filthy swamp sui generis….

    Evidence included a trove of emails and text messages between Denham and PR merchant Carrick Graham, who helped organise damaging, paid posts about Clague and Kristin School on the Whale Oil attack blog.

    In an email exchange in November 2012, Graham wrote that the campaign had already generated media coverage, forcing the school board to issue two letters to parents.

    “It would be safe to say that Clague has had the blow-torch applied to him in terms of a much wider audience being aware of his actions. In terms of reputational hits he is damaged goods.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11899963

    http://www.noted.co.nz/currently/politics/carrick-graham-without-apologies/
    https://treatygate.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/sir-douglas-graham-in-dock.png?w=158&h=309

    Deadbeat Dad No. 1: Sir John Key
    Deadbeat Dad No. 2: Bill English

    • Johan 6.1

      Why are individuals like Carrick Graham and Cameron Slater not held accountable for the smear tactics used against innocent individuals?
      Is our judicial system too soft in dealing with certain individuals, and/or perhaps do they have friends in high places?

    • greywarshark 6.2

      Wow behind the well-sculpted persona, these people have dirty fingernails. Not bright and shiny at all. In fact is it known whether their blood is red, blue, or green?

      • rhinocrates 6.2.1

        Watery, kinda straw-coloured. Smells a bit.

        • greywarshark 6.2.1.1

          Sounds like our pure river water. Or perhaps these are people who are gradually reverting back to the water animals we were supposed to have been, before we made the big struggle onto land. (I had to stop watching tv zombies and alien stories, they were affecting my thoughts unhealthily.)

  7. The Chairman 7

    Heading in the right direction

    As we know, Labour have no set date for the minimum wage to match the living wage (currently $20.20) and are unwilling to increase core benefit rates.

    Yet, some say give Labour a chance, at least they’re heading in the right direction.

    Well, that’s as comforting as knowing the fire brigade knows your house is on fire, they’re on their way, yet they won’t be there for a number of years.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/99027132/growing-demand-for-food-parcels-shows-poverty-is-on-the-rise-salvation-army-says

    How bad will things become before Labour gets there?

    • red-blooded 7.1

      Labour have been in government for less than a month. It’s hardly surprising that there are no dates yet for complex things like increases in the minimum wage!

      This has clearly been indicated as a priority for the first 100 days. If we get to the end of that time with no progress, feel free to moan and whinge…

      • The Chairman 7.1.1

        “It’s hardly surprising that there are no dates yet for complex things like increases in the minimum wage!”

        That’s incorrect.

        Dates for the minimum wage to increase have been set, unfortunately increases won’t reach parity with the living wage. Moreover, there is no date set for that.

        I’m not moaning and whinging. I’m highlighting this failure and the need (see link above) for Labour to do more now.

        So instead of you accepting this lowering of the bar, making incorrect excuses and moaning and whinging at me, make some noise about this and help me get Labour to up their game.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          I’d agree that labelling the raising of the minimum wage “complex” and using it as an excuse is disingenuous to say the least.

          But it makes sense that raising the minimum wage ‘correctly’ is a big/complex issue if Labour believes in the neoliberal economics briefings from Treasury which will be insisting that the Government has to be wary of setting off “inflationary pressures.”

          What are the chances? 😎

          • The Chairman 7.1.1.1.1

            What are the chances of inflationary pressure?

            It will add upward pressure. But than can (through Government actions) and will (through the market place) be mitigated to some extent.

      • Labour have been in government for less than a month.

        yep, it’s going to take awhile to undo the damage that National have done and things are still going to get worse for worse for awhile because that damage.

    • Robert Guyton 7.2

      Some say, give Labour a chance, they’re heading in the right direction. Not The Chairman though; he says pull ’em down at every opportunity.

      • The Chairman 7.2.1

        I’m not pulling them down, Robert. They’ve taken that position themselves.

        I’m attempting to apply public pressure for them to up their game.

        Why aren’t you backing me?

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          Maybe Robert Guyon believes that major economic moves by Labour like signing the TPPA is “heading in the right direction”? 😛 😛 😛

          • The Chairman 7.2.1.1.1

            Maybe.

          • Robert Guyton 7.2.1.1.2

            Can you name those “major economic moves” by Labour that are like signing the TPPA, Colonial Viper? So that I can test whether I believe they are in the right direction.

            • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1.2.1

              Signing the TPPA is *the* biggest economic move that the new government has committed the country to, to date.

              So please evaluate that.

              • Robert Guyton

                Oh, I see. Did they sign the TPPA, or was it some other agreement?

                • Colonial Viper

                  OMG, you’re really running with the ‘they gave the document a new heading and PR title even though the tens of thousands of measures and clauses in the body are exactly the same, so it’s not the TPPA at all’ line? 😀 😛

                • savenz

                  From Jacinda’s own email….

                  Today I got back from a week in Vietnam and the Philippines, representing New Zealand at APEC and the East Asia Summit. I’ve met with world leaders from right across the Asia-Pacific region – including from China, Chile, Canada, Japan, the EU, India and ASEAN nations – and built direct relationships with the leaders and countries.
                  While I’ve been overseas, the main thing I’ve been doing is renegotiating a new version of the TPP, now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
                  As someone who signed a petition against the previous version of the TPP, I wanted to write directly to you and explain how the agreement has changed.
                  The deal signed by the previous Government sacrificed New Zealand’s interests and ability to make our own choices. That wasn’t acceptable to this Government, or to many New Zealanders.
                  In the three short weeks we’ve been in office, we’ve managed to make meaningful changes to the agreement, so that:

                  The deal continues to upholds the unique status of the Treaty of Waitangi;

                  It preserves New Zealand’s right to make laws in the interests of New Zealanders.

                  Our mutual agreement with Australia, which is the source of 80% of our overseas investment from CPTPP, means Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses will continue to not apply between our countries and other protections will be in place too;

                  New Zealand will introduce legislation to ban overseas speculators buying existing houses here in our first 100 days;

                  Pharmac is fully protected, and no changes will be required to copyright terms;

                  Private companies who enter into a contract with the Government will not be able to use ISDS clauses if there is a dispute;

                  Tariffs will be substantially reduced for farmers and they’ll have access to new markets.

                  These are important changes from previous versions of the agreement. While we haven’t gained all the changes we hoped for on ISDS clauses, we have made significant progress in this area. Nothing in the agreement prevents us from regulating in NZ’s public interest, such as for public health, environment and water. We can also rule out claims relating to tobacco control measures. The Government is clear that we will oppose ISDS in future FTA negotiations.
                  There are four country-specific items remaining to negotiate between the 11 countries. As soon as the text of the agreement is finalised, it will be publically released, before going through a full parliamentary treaty examination process. We’ll be taking the time to have a conversation with New Zealanders about what it means for our country.
                  This is not a perfect agreement, but I’m proud of the work we did to improve it, and I’ve been honoured to represent our great country on the world stage.

                  • savenz

                    I’m personally disappointed they seem to be going to sign it, even though in Jacinda’s own words – not a perfect agreement.

                    New clauses like the treaty of Waitangi – are meaningless – how can Maori interests be preserved if the government of the day – has a different interpretation of what they are entitled to? It may be a right wing government in charge in the future.

                    The ISDS clause only applies to government contracts so Maori and private interests seem to still be subjected to them.

                    etc etc

                    Lot’s of problems.

        • greywarshark 7.2.1.2

          Well then TC
          Let us work out for ourselves that Labour are pulling themselves down. Devote the rest of your apparently boundless time to something positive, invigorating, unlike your vinegary input here. Try spending your time bringing about things of beauty and worth. Or consider spending more time on Kiwiblog or Whaleoil, your writing style will be sure to elevate them to a better overall standard.

          • The Chairman 7.2.1.2.1

            “Let us work out for ourselves that Labour are pulling themselves down.”

            Get back to me when you have worked it out.

            “Or consider spending more time on Kiwiblog or Whaleoil, your writing style will be sure to elevate them to a better overall standard.”

            Well, from the cold response I’m getting from some of you so-called lefties, I may have far more chance getting National to improve their game. If they treated the poor better, they’d get far more voting for them. And now that they are in opposition, they may be more willing to listen. However, it will be another 3 years before they have a chance of regaining power, which of course is far to long to wait. So it’s up to us lefties to apply the pressure on Labour to do more now.

            I hope once you figure it out you’ll come help and join in.

            • McFlock 7.2.1.2.1.1

              I don’t recall you having the same zeal in trying to get national to lift their game when they were in government.

              The fact is that Labour have made significant progress on several of their 100 days commitments. Off the top of my head they’ve announced plans and initial steps on housing, pike river, and tertiary education, with signs of activity on a few other fronts. Much better than national ever were.

              • The Chairman

                “I don’t recall you having the same zeal in trying to get national to lift their game when they were in government.”

                National don’t really represent the poor. And while in power, are less inclined to listen.

                Yes, Labour have achieved a few changes, but have little (insufficient policies) when it comes to poverty.

                So join in and lets see if we can turn that around.

                • McFlock

                  So you felt no need to limit their damage by “lifting their game”?

                  Let’s try a different tack – what specific policies would you put on a wish list for this government?

                  • The Chairman

                    So you felt no need to limit their damage by “lifting their game”?

                    No. I didn’t feel I’d be listened too. Nor would I be largely supported by their supporters.

                    The Living wage as the minimum wage and core benefit increases is where I’ll leave it for now. Don’t want us to lose sight of the discussion at hand.

                    So do you support that cause, the Living wage as the minimum wage and core benefit increases?

                    • McFlock

                      Luckily, people working in child poverty didn’t share your sense of futility. Eventually even the tories were promising to halve it, whereas ten years ago they didn’t believe it was a widespread issue beyond a few bad parents.

                      As for living minum wage and even living benefits, yes I support those policies. And I’ll keep working towards them.

                      What I won’t do is use perceived shortcomings in Labour policy as an excuse to ignore the significant steps they’ve already made, or the other excellent policies in the coalition government pipeline. Because dwelling on the required improvements at the expense of endorsing things we want to sustain just sows discouragement and despondancy. But I suspect you already knew that, concern-o-bot.

                  • The Chairman

                    “As for living minum wage and even living benefits, yes I support those policies. And I’ll keep working towards them.”

                    How so?

                    “What I won’t do is use perceived shortcomings in Labour policy as an excuse to ignore the significant steps they’ve already made…”

                    The shortcomings are real. And it’s got nothing to do with ignoring steps made. It’s about Labour being may aware we’re not willingly going to sit back an accept their shortcomings.

                    If we fail to make a noise about it, it will signal we’re OK with it. And that is not the message we need to be sending them.

                    Labour’s unwillingness to do more now is already sowing discouragement and despondency.

                    So while pressuring them to up their game might ruffle the feathers of a few party cheerleaders, it won’t do more damage than what Labour are already sowing themselves, IMO. Therefore, I disagree.

                    As for people working in child poverty, well poverty extends that of just children. But those folk seldom get a mention.

                    • McFlock

                      How so? Shit I do in real life, both in work and my spare time. And trying to give credit where credit is due, even here.

                      And yes, your activities here have everything to do with what you ignore, as well as what you place emphasis on. Try having a boss one day who constantly whinges and never gives credit for your good work – would that be a workplace you want to stay in, or a boss you’d do any effort for?

                      If you think that your comments won’t do any more damage to Labour, why bother? You can have no effect whatsoever if that’s true – it won’t change Labour’s support one iota, if you’re correct. Or do you expect a Labour MP to go “gosh, the Chairman is correct, we need to ‘lift our game’ on the one or two policy areas he’s decided to focus on today!”. As well as the issue you raised last week. I’m sure that got picked up at the next caucus meeting /sarc

                      Hey, guess what? Solving child poverty will solve almost all adult poverty, because it goes through the parents. And when child poverty is done, there’s no excuse to not address adult poverty. And poverty is now measured formally, can be assessed against benchmarks, and if it can be measured people can be held to account for letting it exist. The vast majority of those gains happened while mr concern-o-bot thought that resisting a national govt was futile.

            • Robert Guyton 7.2.1.2.1.2

              “I may have far more chance getting National to improve their game…”
              Good on you, Chair! There are many here who support your newly expressed aim; will it be Kiwiblog that you’ll chose as your forum? Let us know, so we can visit. We’ll miss you here, sure, but given your perseverance, I believe you will be very effective over there, improving National’s game. All the best.

              • The Chairman

                You forgot about the time frame, hence why it would be pointless at this stage, Robert.

                But if Labour have failed to make any major improvements by then (next election) then it will be time to target both. Therefore, at this stage it’s Labour we require to apply pressure on.

                • Robert Guyton

                  National are toothless then, Chair, without any influence or prospects? Perhaps you should apply your talents to picking them up off the floor and rebuilding in the hope of winning back the seats of power beyond this decade. You’re determined enough and it sounds as though they need someone like you.

        • Robert Guyton 7.2.1.3

          Why aren’t I backing you, Chair? Because I don’t believe that you are, “attempting to apply public pressure for them to up their game”. It looks and smells to me as though you are attempting to undermine the confidence of Labour supporters here with your constant concern trolling. That’s why.

          • The Chairman 7.2.1.3.1

            Labour don’t need supporters at the moment, they’ve already achieved power, Robert. Hence, your logic is delusional.

            And if you are genuinely holding back because you distrust me, make some noise on your on account. Show you are not happy with this and push Labour to up their game.

            • Robert Guyton 7.2.1.3.1.1

              Chairman. Your comments seem… odd today. “Labour don’t need supporters…” – I’m not sure if you’ve thought your statement through very well; every party needs supporters at all times, no matter whether they are in power or not; after all, democracy is supposed to be responsive to the people, and elected representatives need support in whatever they do, I’d have thought. I wonder what you believe I’m “genuinely holding back” from? Trying to erode the confidence of readers here, as you appear to be? It’s not an aim of mine. Have you given more thought to your intention to focus on National and the changes its MPs could make? I support you in that endeavour, for sure!

              • The Chairman

                The democracy we practice only requires us to vote once every three years (general election).

                And as a result, elected representatives tend to do as they and the party wish, regardless if we support it.

                I was referring to you holding back from publicly speaking out and expressing your disappointed and unhappiness with Labour’s unwillingness to do more on addressing poverty. Such as, the minimum wage having parity with the living wage and increasing core benefit rates.

                The question is, do you support these causes (the minimum wage having parity with the living wage and increasing core benefit rates) Robert?

                • Robert Guyton

                  So, it’s ‘go back to sleep, sleepy hobbits, from you is it, Chair? Ordinary folk can’t do anything after casting their vote.
                  Why then, are you trying to do something here? And why are you trying to get others to do something?
                  Your ideas seem…confused, contradictory.
                  I think you are not genuine in your claims. You are a constant negative voice here on TS, bagging Labour for things you claim they won’t do, can’t do, haven’t done.

    • You seem to be like the person who films the fire saying ,’oh know this is bad’ instead of getting in and helping. And when people say that to you you say,’we must have a record of what happened shouldn’t we, why are you trying to stop me recording this, it’s not about me it’s about the fire right behind me’… a voyeur in other words.

    • mauī 7.4

      Labour have gone from wanting an increase in the min wage to $16.50 at the election, to wanting a $20 min wage in three years time with NZ First’s help. That is quite a turn around and it’s only 20 cents off the living wage figure you quote. Not really worth complaining about?

      You probably have a point on benefit rates though.

      • The Chairman 7.4.1

        2021 is when Labour’s (pushed by NZ First) $20.00 minimum wage increase will take effect.

        The current Living wage is $20.20 and increases annually. Therefore, by 2021 Labour’s $20.00 will still be far short of the 2021 living wage. So my point is valid.

        • mauī 7.4.1.1

          Join the Green Party and campaign for a living wage.

          A major establishment party just proposed to increase the min wage by 20% over 3 years – something that never looked likely.. probably in living memory.

          • The Chairman 7.4.1.1.1

            I voted Green, for what little good that has achieved.

            “A major establishment party just proposed to increase the min wage by 20% over 3 years – something that never looked likely.. probably in living memory.”

            Wow! Is that meant to impress me? It still doesn’t meet today’s living wage.

            People are dying out there, a growing number are struggling, hence we require Labour to do more now.

            • mauī 7.4.1.1.1.1

              Oh well roll over and take Bill’s 25 cents increase once in a blue moon which was the alternative. Maybe that would help the people you’re so worried about. “Tui”

    • Gabby 7.5

      I just can’t believe the minimum wage is still below the average wage. What’s with that, Chairmy?

  8. BM 8

    This is getting ridiculous.

    During the election campaign, Labour’s policy was clear – in order to reduce immigration they would reduce the number of international students by between 15,000 and 22,000 a year which represents about a quarter of incoming students,” Mr Goldsmith says.

    “But Education Minister Chris Hipkins has been giving private assurances to the sector that they shouldn’t worry, he has no intention of carrying out that commitment anytime soon.

    “And he is also reported today saying he is ‘not rushing to make changes’.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1711/S00121/govt-u-turn-coming-on-international-students.htm

    • weka 8.1

      Lol, National Party press release based on gossip, made by an MP whose government ran an extractive economy that allowed people to be treated like shit.

    • savenz 8.2

      I don’t have any issues with genuine international students coming to NZ as long as they don’t get residency, citizenship and get work visas to work here. Also it makes more sense should be located in specialist education centres in the Provences where there is enough accomodation.

      English is an important skill and students from Asia who speak it fluently can have it open many doors once they RETURN back to their countries which have more jobs than NZ.

      International students should be win win, not some scam for work visas here in NZ. Chinese students are under enormous pressure and there is so much demand in China to gain a university place, so if used appropriately it could be a win win if international students get their degree here in NZ, if it is a proper degree!

      You don’t see the UK or USA giving every international student in cookery or low level IT a green card and citizenship. No wonder NZ is so popular. We have devalued our international reputation and caused crisis after crisis in our social welfare system from maternity, health, transport, wages and housing. The biggies superannuation is still to come from a decade of stupidity of nonsensical immigration.

      At present the student issues has turned into a rout. Students just coming to get citizenship and work, have kids and then get a substandard degree, (in some cases not even knowing the course they were on, let alone being able to communicate in the course language, let alone pass it).

      Auckland University dropping like a stone in international leagues as they abandon research and dumb down courses to cash in on cash for students. Other universities previously called polytechs not worrying about quality of course just wanting bums on seats. Wages and standards are declining in tertiary education.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        But even as pay and conditions for academics crash, the salaries of senior admin and management staff keep multiplying 😐

      • greywarshark 8.2.2

        Tertiary education in NZ declining as the lapdogs of capitalism sniff out tasty ways of making more money by taking down our fences around high standards.
        Soon our education will only fit us to be National politicians the bottom of the conniving, ethics-free barrel where people don’t know the difference between advantage and advancement.

        • savenz 8.2.2.1

          at the end of the day, an uneducated consuming population is a capitalists dream.

          Everything going entirely to plan then for our low wage economy.

          • savenz 8.2.2.1.1

            Saw this from Granny.

            Feeding a family of four on just $89 a week? Here’s how you do it
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11944806

            The interesting thing is that this poor women makes a pittance in wages $175 p/w (probably contract temp work) so therefore needs so much family credit $510 and accomodation supplement $120, to barely survive.

            So crashing wages and reducing jobs for locals seems to be not only making many people struggle to survive – it also does not really seem to make sense economically…. and not sure how much longer it can go on. Yet still the cheerleaders say they can’t find enough suitable locals for work to work the temporary, zero hour contracts that seem to be so popular, they need more work permits and temporary workers.

            • savenz 8.2.2.1.1.1

              I’m not sure Labour policy of allowing foreign speculation on new build residential dwellings is going to be a winner. As you can see from this, it’s the NZ taxpayer also contributing significantly to the rents which will go offshore if the person is not resident. Or maybe the new build houses will just be left empty as in other countries or sold to new residents. Not sure any will solve our housing crisis for the poor. More like keep contributing to it.

              Should NZ taxpayers be subsidising offshore investors to ‘help’ our poor that for some reason can’t be solved without them? Or is that a crock of s&^t?

              • greywarshark

                savenz
                That is a great little logo you have developed in talking about housing. Looks rather like a shelter with temporary roof (probably tarpaulin) s&^t.
                We should adopt it as expressing and representing NZ shelter design and practice.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2.1.1.2

              The interesting thing is that this poor women makes a pittance in wages $175 p/w (probably contract temp work) so therefore needs so much family credit $510 and accomodation supplement $120, to barely survive.

              The government paying for people to have a job. Now, I wouldn’t mind the government doing that as long as it was a government sector job. I’m fully against it when it’s a private sector job. The private sector should not be subsidised by the government. Hell, even the RWNJs say that but they’re also they’re also the biggest suppliers of subsidies to the private sector when they’re in government.

      • AB 8.2.3

        “I don’t have any issues with genuine international students coming to NZ as long as they don’t get residency, citizenship and get work visas to work here”

        That requirement may cause a few private tertiary education providers to struggle badly – because in many of the cases I see, the education they provide is technically inferior to the education the student has already received in their home country. e.g. last week an Indian woman with an MCom degree in Economics and Accounting from a decent university completing a one-year business diploma in NZ. The only reasons for these students to do this study in NZ are:
        – to improve their English
        – to get on a conveyor belt to residency

        And you know what happens when business’s ‘soft’, easy money income streams are threatened. All hell breaks loose.

        • savenz 8.2.3.1

          I agree. I actually employed an Indian student through student job search – she was lovely. I didn’t understand at the time why she was completing the same degree (early education) in NZ when she already had achieved it in India. She then got married in an arranged marriage and the new husband came to NZ. It’s a rout.

          Nice people often doing it, but like in this case, it’s opening a flood gate and I don’t think the new husband turned out to be a very nice man, because she did not look nearly so happy after she was married.

          It’s not the people doing it that are at fault. It is the government for allowing it to happen by not having much much greater controls and valuing our country’s existing residents and citizens and doing what is best for them.

          Not prioritising the offshore banks and the trade agreements and businesses that want cheap compliant labour that they can fire at will and that it’s all ok, just shut down welfare for all and sell off the assets to pay for it, it’s all working dandy. (for them).

          • BM 8.2.3.1.1

            Probably because NZ doesn’t recognize her degree or always puts NZ trained people ahead of her, I’d say she had no choice but to do her degree again.

            • savenz 8.2.3.1.1.1

              Yes but it’s through a back door and an entourage following her. She is doing her degree for residency NOT for educational purposes. It’s a scam. Meanwhile other students are not getting jobs while she studies, other students not getting a degree and I think she will stop work and have kids anyway.

              I know lots of migrants and most of them no longer work in the area they got into NZ in. They either don’t work at all or are doing something completely different because they were often worked like slaves at slave labour rates and they only did it to gain residency. Once they have citizenship, they do something else or leave the country and work overseas. The slave business then recruits more overseas residents and the rort continues.

              But the aged parents and other family members stay in NZ. And the overseas citizens can use the health, super and welfare system in NZ, but actually don’t work here anymore. A ticking time bomb.

        • That requirement may cause a few private tertiary education providers to struggle badly – because in many of the cases I see, the education they provide is technically inferior to the education the student has already received in their home country.

          Which tells us that the education sector is a rort used to bypass the normal residency/immigration process.

          And you know what happens when business’s ‘soft’, easy money income streams are threatened. All hell breaks loose.

          I’m sure if we simply threw the fuckers in jail for the rort there would be less whinging from them. After all, they’re usually the ones demanding that we be tough on crime.

  9. DH 9

    Privileged white jafas showing why us orks are called jafas

    “Mike Hosking: Paying rates based on the value of our house is insane ”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11945699

    “My rates will go up, but the rubbish collection will be just the same”
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/98979846/damien-grant-aucklanders-foot-the-bill-for-councils-borrowed-billions

    I looked at buying a property in Paeroa a couple of years back. Asking price was $160,000 and rates were $2200 with an extra $220 levy on top for environment Waikato. At the same time people back here on the ‘shore in Auck were paying $1600 in rates on $700k houses.

    At times it’s quite hard to come to grips with how venal some people are.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      I used to have the same conversation with my Auckland based father; when I showed him the rates bill on our properties in the Wellington region, the topic of conversation changed quickly. 🙂

      In general it’s more unawareness than venality. But I’m not inclined to give Hosking a pass on this.

      • DH 9.1.1

        Those two would fit the profile of venal I’d think.

        Auckland Council offers a rates postponement scheme where you can borrow against your house equity to pay the rates. For older people who don’t like having debts and enjoy the concept of a freehold home it can be a little off-putting but the fact is they are not put in any forced hardship when the rates go up through property revaluations. They have a choice while others don’t.

        • savenz 9.1.1.1

          Do you actually pay rates DH?

          • DH 9.1.1.1.1

            “Do you actually pay rates DH?

            Yes.

            • savenz 9.1.1.1.1.1

              If you don’t mind me asking what general area do you pay them? You must have a wonderful council.

              Just very unusual that someone is so pro rates rises. Most people I meet actually paying rates think there is a lot of room for improvement. (For a start a large amount of rates seems to go on roading for example.)

              And of course Auckland transport mangers already convicted of fraud and corruption.

              Not just in Auckland but in Northland too, where they pay very high rates in general related to their housing.

              Councils used to own social housing in Auckland. John Banks sold them.

              Now Auckland council “invests” millions in things like Westgate mall to help the developers develop malls. That’s the priority.

              It’s not just the amounts people have to pay for rates, it’s the type of spending the council now seems to be prioritising that upsets people and the types of services they are cutting.

              • DH

                Who said I was pro rates rises? You look to be projecting there.

                • greywarshark

                  It is interesting to see the flow of points that come out when some trigger word like ‘rates’ pops up. And not necessarily connected to the thread in play.

                  That idea of being able to defer rates as a lien on the house value, which would have to be paid on death, but not be onerous presumably as the house value would have risen, is an excellent one for those wishing to stay in their home in their familiar neighbourhood. The family could still inherit, they would just have to pay the deferred rates (I wonder if there is any interest accumulating also).

                  • savenz

                    Yes there is interest accumulating on deferred rates.

                  • DH

                    It is interesting greywarshark, for example when discussing the deferral of rates people instantly assume they’d defer all of their rates. They’re complaining about rates increases, not rates per se, ergo they only need to defer the increase which is a mosquito bite on the capital gains they’ve been enjoying.

                    • greywarshark

                      Hey, that’s true didn’t think of that. And the Council would still be getting most of the rates as usual, and only a portion put on hold.
                      Yep a really good scheme and helping where needed.

                    • DH

                      Yeah, the council borrows the (deferred) rates and charges interest at much the same rate as what they pay for it. They’ll fund to a max of 80% of equity. Naturally the interest would compound but inflation compounds too so the risks aren’t exactly great there.

                      I can understand the elderly not liking the thought of it but when you look at it rationally it is a pretty good idea.

              • Most people I meet actually paying rates think there is a lot of room for improvement.

                And they’d be wrong. They don’t pay enough. That’s why we’re having problems with sewage and stuff.

                Not just in Auckland but in Northland too, where they pay very high rates in general related to their housing.

                Northland suffers from the lack of scale. There’s simply fewer people to spread the cost over while also having a huge area to administer. The effect is that it costs more per capita.

                Now Auckland council “invests” millions in things like Westgate mall to help the developers develop malls. That’s the priority.

                Yes and that comes from the delusional idea that we need more low paid service jobs to replace the high paid manufacturing jobs that we used to have.

                It’s not just the amounts people have to pay for rates, it’s the type of spending the council now seems to be prioritising that upsets people and the types of services they are cutting.

                And the people complaining, and you’re a good example, have NFI WTF they’re talking about.

                • savenz

                  Yes Draco, I think you are coming from the unique perspective of not wanting any individual property rights and the Chinese type system of only government owning land… therefore you seem to be cheerleading for not enough rates the same way as many cheerlead for more taxes.

                  One of the reason’s I think the left are losing ground amongst average people in this country is that they are out of touch with normal people. That has allowed this weird situation of National and Labour agreeing in many areas in principle but they are doing it for different reasons.

                  Labour thinks that you can just keep taxing people along with user pays forgetting that in the past, high taxes were all of it, you didn’t have private companies and COO’s every day extracting more and more profit and you had decent wages and conditions and plentiful jobs so the average person didn’t live day to day without knowing if they would have their job the next year. Services were not means tested such as family benefit and you could get loans off government to buy state built houses. If you got injured ACC did lump payments. There was a balance.

                  National wants to sell off assets cheaply to mates, give everybody a $25 per week tax cut that they borrowed and then watch services plummet so that more can be cut off. The treasury types seem to cheerlead this on as good governance. Likewise 0% tax havens for non residents.

                  They both seem very attached to free trade and globalism.

                  Yes Labour has a lot more compassion, but seriously they need to talk to real people who don’t engage in politics because they will hear what should be obvious. Most people are sick of user pays and rampant revenue gathering. Most people are sick of declining service levels and wasteful spending while being asked for more to prop up the wasteful spending.

                  The holy grail of the left is to want to be more efficient on spending not keep asking for more money… and increase service levels of health and education while not destroying our environment and not be blaming their own voters and citizens for the problem.

                  Labour are trying to do better, but not sure the TPPA is a good start of things to come. It’s a bad start because you can track that local people are getting poorer under the trade deals (apart from those who own a house or land) and that won’t last into the next generation because it will go in retirement charges and rates.

                  • I think you are coming from the unique perspective of not wanting any individual property rights and the Chinese type system of only government owning land… therefore you seem to be cheerleading for not enough rates the same way as many cheerlead for more taxes.

                    Non-sequitur.

                    That rates aren’t high enough is apparent through our declining infrastructure.

                    And you should probably learn about land ownership in NZ:

                    By way of brief overview, underlying ownership of all land in New Zealand vests in the Crown or is Maori Land. Land titles are classed by the term of their existence. A “freehold” estate has an uncertain duration of tenure, whereas a “less than freehold” estate exists for a certain length of time. While an owner of a “fee simple” title enjoys the freedom of a full, permanent and absolute tenure in land (i.e. freehold), the tenure of a “cross lease” development is generally limited to 999 years (i.e. less than freehold).

                    One of the reason’s I think the left are losing ground amongst average people in this country is that they are out of touch with normal people. That has allowed this weird situation of National and Labour agreeing in many areas in principle but they are doing it for different reasons.

                    What is this ‘normal’ you speak of? Is it National’s ‘mainstream’?

                    Thing is, politicians are out of touch with the majority of people. They pretty much have to be so that they will do what business wants rather than what the people want. And I think you’ll find that both National and Labour are doing similar things for the same reasons (neo-liberal ideology). Labour has a conscience though and does think that the government should be looking after the interests of the general population and not just some of them like National.

                    Labour thinks that you can just keep taxing people along with user pays forgetting that in the past, high taxes were all of it, you didn’t have private companies and COO’s every day extracting more and more profit and you had decent wages and conditions and plentiful jobs so the average person didn’t live day to day without knowing if they would have their job the next year. Services were not means tested such as family benefit and you could get loans off government to buy state built houses. If you got injured ACC did lump payments. There was a balance.

                    Labour really doesn’t think that you can just keep taxing people. And neither do the Greens.

                    Why do you believe National’s lies?

                    Labour doesn’t understand the monetary system. If they did then they would’ve canned the ability of private banks to create money – that would be solely the governments privilege and they’d use it to get done what needs to be done for infrastructure and socially. They would bring back in capital controls.

                    Of course, that would remove the power of the capitalists so watch them scream and make threats as we jumped back to full employment with a health and education system second to none.

                    National wants to sell off assets cheaply to mates, give everybody a $25 per week tax cut that they borrowed and then watch services plummet so that more can be cut off. The treasury types seem to cheerlead this on as good governance.

                    Yep. And then they get surprised, but not concerned, when the economy doesn’t do well.

                    They both seem very attached to free trade and globalism.

                    They’re both committed to a capitalist global system.

                    Yes Labour has a lot more compassion, but seriously they need to talk to real people who don’t engage in politics because they will hear what should be obvious. Most people are sick of user pays and rampant revenue gathering. Most people are sick of declining service levels and wasteful spending while being asked for more to prop up the wasteful spending.

                    Yes they are but is having a good stadium for games really wasteful spending? It possibly does serve a purpose for socialisation and general well being of the populace. We’re not machines.

                    High wages are a concern but, for Auckland which has a multi-billion dollar budget, they’re a small blip compared to what’s needed for all the services and infrastructure needed. To get those up to where people want them then rates need to go up.

                    The holy grail of the left is to want to be more efficient on spending not keep asking for more money… and increase service levels of health and education while not destroying our environment and not be blaming their own voters and citizens for the problem.

                    The Left are more efficient spenders. That’s why the economy usually does better under them rather than under the RWNJs.

                    But they’re still following that neo-liberal ideology about capitalism and competition being better despite all the new research showing that government services provided by government are better and cost less.

                    Labour are trying to do better, but not sure the TPPA is a good start of things to come. It’s a bad start because you can track that local people are getting poorer under the trade deals (apart from those who own a house or land) and that won’t last into the next generation because it will go in retirement charges and rates.

                    The TPPA is a bad idea. So are all the other FTAs and the WTO and the World bank and the IMF. All of those are, from what I can make out, designed to remove a country’s sovereignty so as to implant global capitalism on them.

                    That bit about land ownership is why we actually need to get rid of it. Piketty and other research has shown that accumulation of wealth over generations is a problem. We need to address it.

                    And, after all that, I’m not a Labour supporter.

    • beatie 9.2

      Gosh!
      I’m paying annual rates of $2400 on a house valued at $140,000. Plus regional council rates of approx $200. I do get a low-income rebate of $600 ‘tho. I guess it’s the price of living in a sparsely populated area. Also the Council have (almost) stopped raw sewage from draining into the river.

      PS If you can cope with the rates, houses are getting cheaper here on the Coast. One in my street, ex state house, garage, excellent condition $105,000

  10. eco maori 10

    Many thanks to the Rock radio for honoring a great Rocknroller Malcolm Young he is a great legend I’m going to get sore ears today Kai Kaha

    • eco maori 10.1

      I reckon they are going to try and pin some bulls hit setup on me now would YOU DO something illegal knowing the they are following you everymove for one thing how would I be able to do anything I can’t fart and they are spreading that story they are pouring on the bullshit today you all no I’m a good guy so what’s blurring there vision on reality I no what is And I sure you can guess was blurs someone mind a these people are corrupted like they are in the Philippines just not as bad many thanks to my Philippines readers Kia kaha

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        There are complex things going on in your life eco maori. Good luck with sorting those things out.

  11. Lucy 11

    My question is about paid parental leave. The maximum is $516 per week before tax depending on your salary. Why would Duncan Garner advocate for fathers to receive this when (a) his salary would reduce considerably if he ever took PPL (b) it does not make economic sense for the major breadwinner to reduce his salary and strain the household (c) if both parents were off at the same time the maximum the household income could be was $1024 before tax. The National changes are an excellent sound bite but if we had any journalists out there one might actually look at the effect of the policy

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Good points Lucy. It is just an attempt by National to paint Labour as being like Santa Claus giving benefits away to curry favour and not be responsible about the effects.

      So Nats in Opposition nudge Labour and goad them as mean in not behaving as National suggest and would wish so they can then condemn Labour as profligate.

      It is very malicious and game-playing and fits in with National’s general policies for citizens – that we are just pawns in their political game and have buttons they can push to get any affect they want. Except when people actually sit down and do the sums and think it through like you Lucy.

    • veutoviper 11.2

      Hi Lucy I cannot answer any questions about PPL as such, but the excellent questions and points you have made are possible examples of some of the issues that Jacinda Ardern referred to when speaking to Duncan Garner this morning on the AM Show. Article and video are in this link.

      http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/11/jacinda-ardern-likes-national-s-shared-parental-leave-policy.html

      An excerpt

      Ms Ardern told The AM Show on Monday she likes the idea – despite the flaws in National’s proposal.

      “I’ve talked to our Minister, we’re going to see how quickly we can do that,” she says.

      “What we’ve tried to pass on to the Opposition is actually when we looked at the idea the officials came back and said ‘actually, there’s this issue and this issue – it’s going to take us a while to work through’.”

      The PM also explained in the video that the intention is to get the current proposed extensions to PPL through under urgency because all of these have already been through the Select Committee process.

      The further changes to allow both parents to take PPL at the same time have not been through Select Committee consideration and for this reason – and the issues raised by officials – she thinks it is preferable to treat the two proposals separately.

      She also indicated that talks were underway to develop the proposal to allow both parents to take PPL at the same time, and to consult with officials and the business community etc to sort out the related issues. They believed that this could be done urgently in the new year to allow a further legislative amendment to be put before Parliament and passed through its various stages during 2018. Apparently there is some consideration of doing this in conjunction with another employment related legislative amendment already in the pipeline.

      IMHO the points made by Jacinda Ardern were well reasoned and sensible. No doubt detractors will continue to spin the opposite.

      • greywarshark 11.2.1

        The ideas that both parents could be off at the same time each time they had children would cause a great envy amongst those without jobs, without homes,. and unable to get enough work to be in a position to wanting to have a break to raise their precious child. When you are sleeping in a car or elsewhere you would realise that your own children are not regarded as precious, and the desire to help the new mother for months while the baby settles is absent for the strugglers. Left behind again,.

        When employers need skilled workers and young adults want time off for baby raising in months rather than weeks then perhaps employing them may be less attractive. Has anyone thought of that. It may be that people in their 50’s would get priority.

        The work remains to be done, the project finished and if it is behind time then very stressful. Employer to male, “Are you part of our team, or going independent? We need you now.” To female there has been an obvious long lead time to this and the real need by baby is understood.

        Single mums already get an attitude thrown at them by males who ask why they should pay for someone else’s kid. In this case males in the team might say why do we have to put in double shifts so that this new father can stay home and not pull his weight alongside us. It is just a dream to have both off at the same time for anything more than a week or two. That should be made clear in discussions. Business just isn’t a cow to be milked for more benefits.
        Remember that we are only the size of a small city and have managed to lose our perspective on this regularly, thus we are in shit street now. Don’t go off on full frontal acceptance of wishful femme/identity/feelgood politics. What about our businesses?- we need to have a mutual nurturing of the good ones.

    • indiana 11.3

      Are you suggesting that people should not have the ability to chose a period of reduced income, if they believe that they can manage their financial affairs during that period?

      • Colonial Viper 11.3.1

        Firstly, the underlying assumption that the man is and should be the “main breadwinner” is nothing but sexist, and while it may still be true for a majority of couples it has been noticeably shifting over time to where more men are “house husbands” with women who are the better educated partner (sometimes by far) with the higher powered career, so it’s time to start shifting these expectations instead of doubling down on them.

        Secondly the inherent notion that men are less important as a parent in the care of both new mother and new baby is appallingly sexist and old fashioned.

        In summary, on this issue Labour has a major “Not Invented Here” dilemma where they refuse to give credit to National for the idea, and where they cannot bring themselves to recognise equality between the sexes in terms of parenting roles.

        • Psycho Milt 11.3.1.1

          1. It’s National and Duncan Garner who are peddling the idea that Labour’s PPL legislation excludes fathers, not Labour.

          2. Is it a “not invented here” problem, or a “no we’re not going to take admentments on something that’s already been through select committees and that we’re trying to pass urgently” problem? My money’s on that second one.

          National’s interest in PPL is nonexistent. The only reason they’ve raised this issue is that they know it’s a stick they can beat Labour with.

        • veutoviper 11.3.1.2

          In summary, on this issue Labour has a major “Not Invented Here” dilemma where they refuse to give credit to National for the idea, and where they cannot bring themselves to accept equality between the sexes in terms of parenting.

          Come on CV, Jacinda Ardern made it quite clear last Thursday (16 Nov) when answering Q1 in Question Time that she was not against the idea of both parents taking PPL leave at the same time at all – but wanted to look into it separately to the PPL extension currently under urgency.

          http://www.parliament.nz/en/watch-parliament/ondemand?itemId=197141

          Since then, she has made a number of further statements on the issue, including on the AM Show this morning as detailed in my comment at 11.2 above – including the reasons she wants to treat the two proposals separately, while also looking at the idea of concurrent PPL leave urgently with a view to introducing a proposal to the House early in 2018.

          Where has JA or Labour raised men being main breadwinners and/or being less important as parents in relation to the PPL proposals?

          I have been following this very closely and have seen no suggestion that Labour is using these as reasons for holding fire for the meantime on concurrent PPL leave.

          Yes, both issues are sexist and old fashioned with actual situations on both changing markedly in recent years.

          While I have seen people like Duncan Garner, Paula Bennett raise ‘fathers being treated as less important’ in an attempt to undermine Labour’s position to hold fire in the meantime, the only time I have seen ‘men as main breadwinners’ issue being raised is in Lucy’s comment – but I read this as being in a quite genuine, innocent way.

        • greywarshark 11.3.1.3

          Gosh CV you need to breathe into a brown paper bag, I think that is the treatment for hyper-ventilating.

          The majority of men would still get more pay than their wives. Rule of thumb idea, but women’s pay has remained about 80% of men’s on average, decades after last wave of feminism. The high-powered women who get more than their husbands, or as much, are a minority and so capable that they can ensure they get legislation they need. If we can think also about the low-powered ones that keep plugging along on not very much and what’s good for them, it would be good to hear from you.

          But what hasn’t changed is that women have breast milk which is particularly good for the baby, and very good to get off the chest for the mothers. So it makes sense for mothers to be able stay home and feed the baby.

          Parents need to have time off for the kids from time to time. Perhaps at the start, the male could stay home for a couple of weeks after the birth so that mother can have some resting and recovery time. After that it would be based on choice and application to the employer.

          • Colonial Viper 11.3.1.3.1

            The majority of men would still get more pay than their wives. Rule of thumb idea, but women’s pay has remained about 80% of men’s on average, decades after last wave of feminism.

            There is no gender pay gap in the under 30’s age group where the majority of men and women marry and start planning for families.

            That 80% figure you throw out, which is highly debatable, doesn’t factor in the massive destruction of good jobs for working class men, nor does it figure the massive tertiary educational and qualifications disparity between young men and women today, with young women being far more qualified on average than young men.

            • Bill 11.3.1.3.1.1

              You got anything to substantiate the assertion that there’s no gender pay gap in the under 30s? Failing that, what’s the reasoning that leads you to that conclusion?

              The destruction of working class material security is a given. But again, even if the argument is that all incomes are sinking, how would that translate into some disappearance or lessening of a gender pay gap?

              And putting aside the whole “underpaid professions” phenomenon (industries “traditionally” employing women paying less) – you reckon a woman with a chemistry degree will get the same easy access to the same remuneration and benefits as a man with a chemistry degree?

              • Colonial Viper

                The Motu study released this year showed that young women <25 are paid more than young men.

                A pay gap of over 10% exists IN FAVOUR of young women.

                http://theconversation.com/women-paid-less-for-same-contribution-to-work-and-sexism-is-to-blame-study-83052

                • McFlock

                  Although that projection actually controls for women being over-represented in lower-paying industries and businesses, rather than simply looking at the basic facts of median income. Useful for analysing what proportion of inequality is due to what factor, but not an outright statement that women in that agegroup are better off.

                  If you exclude the structural pressures that might force some people as a group to “choose” low-pay work, you might find that they are not mistreated at all. Such a finding would not reflect reality, though.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Although that projection actually controls for women being over-represented in lower-paying industries and businesses, rather than simply looking at the basic facts of median income.

                    Yes it does do that but Motu found that was less than 1/10 of the overall gender wage gap they found anyway.

                    Further, far more women under 30 have completed university qualifications than young men, which is a major boon to womens’ job and wage prospects.

                    • McFlock

                      “Women under 30” is a slide – it’s women under 25. And it’s 12% for “industries and firms”, 7% for industries alone.

                      But in those shitty jobs, women were paid slightly more than men, assuming the projections on hours worked were correct.

                      Interesting use of the IDI, but it’s funny that your take-away message from it seems to be “young women are paid more than young men in shitty jobs (provided we ignore why they are in those shitty jobs in the first place as well as controlling for a few other factors), so this means men will be hard done by some time in the future”.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Women under < 30 is about right, given that young women under 25 have a roughly 10% pay advantage to young men.

            • McFlock 11.3.1.3.1.2

              StatsNZ disagree with you.

              It reduces in agegroups below 30, and actually hits zero on occasion from year to year, but only in those agegroups where the median income is close to minimum wage anyway. “Levelling down” is the term…

              • weka

                Does that mean the shittier you pay people the less pay gap there is? Makes sense that that would be happening with younger people.

                • McFlock

                  That seems to be the case, although when the median gets below $20/hr the % gap seems to be within a decent statistical error – in the 2017 year the agegroup with no gap was 15-19yrs, last year it was the 20-24 agegroup.

            • greywarshark 11.3.1.3.1.3

              It just refers to the pay disparity, not educational backgrounds, and other factors that may cause individuals to be disadvantaged.

        • veutoviper 11.3.1.4

          And here you are CV – your own Local paper (assuming you are still down there)

          https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/ardern-open-flexible-paid-parental-leave

          A well written and succinct summary of the situation which pretty much confirms my much rougher comment at 11.2.

        • Bill 11.3.1.5

          Well, if the mother and new baby are both being cared for by the mother’s partner, then that partner is important no matter their gender.

          But if we’re talking about a new baby being cared for, and allowing for breast milk… well, yeah. The mother’s kinda more crucial than the father in that case, wouldn’t you say?

          • Colonial Viper 11.3.1.5.1

            That’s a kind of biological gender essentialism which is no longer in vogue, Bill, and is certainly at odds with the philosophy of total equality between the sexes.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.3.1.5.1.1

              Which philosophy is this now? No, wait, it’s just your jaundiced characterisation.

            • Bill 11.3.1.5.1.2

              Sure, the person capable of producing breast milk is going to tend to be more crucial in more situations than the person who did not give birth and who cannot produce breast milk.

              And the person who gave birth and who can produce that milk may be a man.

              • weka

                As well as the breastfeeding issue, there’s some reasonably solid evidence suggesting that birth and bonding are linked (and thus well being). I don’t have a problem with women being supported to be the primary care giver after birth if that works for them and that’s what they want. Sounds like a solid plan for women and for society.

                That’s quite different than saying that women have to be the primary care giver (keep women at home), or that there are no differences between men and women (treat everyone the same). I don’t think anything I’ve said is particularly controversial although obviously people have their own beliefs about it.

                The idea that men and women are the same, or should be the same, or something, is quaint. Likewise the idea that gender roles should be locked in.

            • Psycho Milt 11.3.1.5.1.3

              That’s a kind of biological gender essentialism…

              Or, as others of us refer to it, “physical reality.”

              • Bill

                I believe the point CV was making (genuinely or otherwise) was that the “physical reality” of a body does not determine gender. And that’s right enough.. When I said in my comment above “the person who can….may be a man”, that’s a matter of fact and wasn’t some statement that’s missing a sarc tag.

                • Personally, I think he was spouting bullshit as usual. Which parent can provide breast milk is a matter of physical reality, not “biological gender essentialism.”

                  • weka

                    I also think it was a bullshit comment and distorting ideas around gender, sex, biology and equality.

                    So what’s wrong with biological essentialism? People use it not just to explain women’s bodies but then, by implication, to make normative arguments about what women are best suited for. One day they’re telling us that women’s bodies are the way they are to make babies. The next thing you know, making babies is what women are meant to do.

                    https://fitisafeministissue.com/2015/01/20/biology-is-destiny-a-couple-of-men-explain-why-women-have-curvier-hips-and-fatter-butts/

                    There’s nothing wrong with talking about women’s bodies having evolved to feed new born babies. Or that “the mother’s kinda more crucial than the father in that case”. That’s biology. And our politics need to take that into account (women have particular needs that are independent of what men need in that situation), as well as making sure that women aren’t economically or socially coerced into a role that just isn’t going to work or is inherently oppressive.

                    There is something wrong with trying to make out that discussions about that are somehow tied into an individual’s theories about biological essentialism especially where that person then skews the politics around it instead of just being honest about their own beliefs.

                    And you know, the whole MRA-lite, ‘men are just as important as women’ argument, especially where it’s being used to deny the specific role that women have in caring for new borns, or the differences that might exist around need. The insistence that men and women are equal being used to assert men’s rights, without particular regard for the systemic issues that are still causing huge problems for women. And so on.

                    Sorry, just been here too many times before.

                    (and yes, the whole trans and intersex people having babies thing, but I’m guessing that’s not what was being referred to).

                    • Yeah, my understanding of it is that bioligical essentialism is about “Evolution says the woman’s meant to look after the baby while I go out and work,” not “I guess only one of us gets to breastfeed this baby and it’s going to be the one with the breasts.” That second one could be incorporated into a biological essentialist argument by someone with an agenda, but in itself it’s just a statement of fact.

  12. Ad 12

    A very close international neighbour of ours, Vanuatu, is heading for a financial clidd now that the Panama Papers have been relaesed and the regulators are really cracking down:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-11-15/the-final-days-of-a-tax-haven

    This looks like one of the world’s weakest and poorest states heading towards a Solomon Islands scenario.

    Sure hope MFAT are tracking this one.

  13. Penny Bright 13

    WHISTLE-BLOWER ALERT!

    (Monday 20 November 2017 – 8.45am)

    GARNET RD – STOP AUCKLAND TRANSPORT (AT) MADNESS!
    STOP THE ‘WAITEMATA (UN)SAFE ROUTE CYCLEWAY’!

    WHERE: Old Mill Rd / Garnet Rd ‘Island’.

    WHEN: Monday 20 November 2017

    WHY: Auckland Transport are building cycle lanes on the grass berms along Old Mill Rd, and (intended) along Garnet Rd.

    UNSAFE FOR CYCLISTS AND DRIVERS! These cycle ways which cut across driveways to private homes, are dangerous because drivers will reverse out of their driveways directly on to the cycleway.

    Auckland Transport, in a letter from David Nelson, Group Manager, Major Projects, dated 2 November 2017, to Lisa Prager, response to CAS-598750-Q7L3V0 – Engineering of West Lynn Shops:

    “…. It is not safe to have cars reversing out into a cycle lane. …”

    UNSAFE AND UNSUSTAINABLE FOR TREES!
    Trees have already been chopped down in Surrey Crescent on Old Mill Rd.
    Locals are also protesting to save local trees.

    UNSAFE AND UNSUSTAINABLE FOR WATERWAY (MEOLA CREEK)
    The grass berms – which were increased to make more permeable surface to absorb stormwater, have now been partially replaced with cycleway asphalt – which will arguably increase stormwater runoff down into Meola Creek.

    UNSUSTAINABLE FOR LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS – WHO WILL LOSE PARKING TO MAKE WAY FOR PROPOSED CYCLEWAY!

    No parking – no stopping – no shopping!

    • savenz 13.1

      I agree with more cycleways but have to agree with Penny,, it often feels like it’s being rammed through without any thought of the least way to disrupt the community. They need to think before they concrete everything and destroy local business at Auckland transport. I’m not sure of the full details but someone who is a massive cyclist says it doesn’t even work from a cyclists point of view… something about not connecting up properly.

      • savenz 13.1.1

        I also have a MASSIVE issue with the constant kerb upgrades many of which could last another decade. The paving companies must be good at lobbying. Surely much better use of money that that. It’s also something to do with how roading is funded. If they keep within budget they lose budget but if they spend all their money they get doled out more next time. So theres always a rush to dig up things and spend their budget or they lose money the next funding.

        • Anne 13.1.1.1

          A good example of an unsafe cycleway is Lake Rd from Devonport to Takapuna in Auckland. One day about 12 years ago they started to build it. Few people knew of the plan in advance. We stood up en masse and told the then North Shore City Council of the inevitable consequences. We were told to shut up and do what we were told. Now we have a road that cannot cope with the massive volume of traffic – caused in large part by the removal of one of the lanes to make way for the cycleway – and very few cyclists have ever used it because its way too dangerous.

    • greywarshark 13.2

      And …unsafe for people to be able to walk along the footpath in ordinary alert mode .. without having to worry about close brushes with people who wouldn’t take responsibility for bruises, injury and stressful close brushes with fast-moving machines, cyclists behaving like motorists on pedals, having to constantly step aside for important people on bicycles who are prepared to share with pedestrians as long as they walk in the ditch when the footpath is being used as a pavement.

  14. joe90 14

    Sexually assault women, then spy on them, harass them — and anyone who asks questions.

    The man is utter filth.

    .

    The Observer has gained access to a secret hitlist of almost 100 prominent individuals targeted by Harvey Weinstein in an extraordinary attempt to discover what they knew about sexual misconduct claims against him and whether they were intending to go public.

    The previously undisclosed list contains a total of 91 actors, publicists, producers, financiers and others working in the film industry, all of whom Weinstein allegedly identified as part of a strategy to prevent accusers from going public with sexual misconduct claims against him.

    The names, apparently drawn up by Weinstein himself, were distributed to a team hired by the film producer to suppress claims that he had sexually harassed or assaulted numerous women.

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/nov/18/harvey-weinstein-secret-hitlist-sex-scandal

    • Psych nurse 14.1

      Sounds like someone who was our dear leader, harass a waitress, deny deny, dig dirt and try to publicly dismiss and our media chose not to expose or push the issue.

    • weka 14.2

      This one too, closer to home. Infosec consultant Morgan Marquis-Boire finally being called to account for his long term sexual violence that was enabled because of his favour with the powers that be.

      https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/19/16675704/morgan-marquis-boire-hacker-sexual-assault

      https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/report-infosec-researcher-accused-of-numerous-instances-of-sexual-assault/

      We owe Chloe a huge debt of gratitude.

      The only way this stuff is going to stop is when men stop protecting men, and men start sharing power with women.

      • Psych nurse 14.2.1

        Or in Keys case protected by women.

        • weka 14.2.1.1

          Had the women around Key not protected him, the men protecting him would still have determined the outcome. Because they’re the ones with the power and being empowered by the current system.

          Patriarchal theory isn’t that difficult to understand, and it certainly doesn’t mean men are evil and women can’t do wrong. Don’t know why I have to keep explaining that.

          • Psych nurse 14.2.1.1.1

            Power corrupts absolute etc etc.

            • Bill 14.2.1.1.1.1

              There’s a certain twisted sense of solidarity exists between or within powerful groups of people for sure.

              Think of all the bankers from 2008. As far as I’m aware, the only person who got jail time for ripping people off was Bernie Madoff. Bernie’s mistake was to rip off influential rich people.

              Or think of ex-IMF head investigated for rape of a maid in New York. Every major news outlet and talking head joined in the destruction of the victim. And Stauss-Kahn walked away. That was no accident or one off.

              When you’re “through the door” you’re in, and gender then plays no more of a role than skin colour or anything else. The only thing that counts at that point is the power itself and never doing anything to challenge it or undermine it.

              • weka

                Well in the case of Morgan Marquis-Boire, we’ve seen a decade of women being raped and assaulted because the men in the system weren’t willing to give up power or listen to what women were saying. So I’d say that once one is in the power structure, through the door, gender is most definitely still a major issue.

                And that’s not a dynamic unfamiliar to women at all.

  15. Ad 15

    Nice big feature article on New Zealand’s Predator Free programme in The Atlantic.

    It also has a lot of unnecessary commentary on CRISPR gene editing tools for rats, even though no one anywhere is proposing that here.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/11/new-zealand-predator-free-2050-rats-gene-drive-ruh-roh/546011/

    Much better than the Economist article that roasts our dairy industry.

    • Molly 15.1

      Funnily enough, just had a talk with another local about our own Predator-free project today.

      Considering the estimated cost of making NZ predator free is $9 billion, and the government investment is $28 million the ideas being proposed while admirable are currently not resourced.

      I’ve had a cynicism about National’s far-away slogan rich – Predator-free by 2050 programme, which provided a bargain price exposure to many volunteers and community groups, who have enthusiastically taken the opportunity to get some funding for local projects.

      Without a national framework, and consistent rollout, even it all the projects are invidivually successful it is hard to see how it will work at a national level.

      Missed the Landcare meeting tonight which might have given some indication, but will be talking to the project coordinator next week. But does anyone else have hands on involvement with this initiative, and how do you see it playing out long term?

  16. Stark figures reveal children in fear of poverty, violence

    It shows 89 per cent of New Zealand youth fret about poverty, while 86 percent are vexed about violence against children.

    A whopping 93 per cent worry a lot, or sometimes, about bullying.

    UNICEF’s Child Rights Education Advisor Jacqui Southey is not surprised it’s an issue, but is shocked at how big the problem is.

    “93 per cent of children is very high. One would hope it would be a lot less than that.”

    Meanwhile, 370 children are on Variety’s sponsorship waiting list, with just over half based in Auckland.

    Seems things only get worse under National as they cater more exclusively to the rich. Of course, stats like this have been getting worse since the 1980s when the 4th Labour government introduced hyper-capitalism to NZ.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      The survey results will most likely be bullshit, skewed by what the children thought the surveyor wanted to hear.

      Especially for the 9 to 12 year olds. (How the hell are they going to understand what poverty is, especially since 20% of them will be living in comfortable middle class households?)

      • The survey results will most likely be bullshit, skewed by what the children thought the surveyor wanted to hear.

        Possibly but I’m sure that that would have been taken into account to some degree in the designing of the questions.

        How the hell are they going to understand what poverty is, especially since 20% of them will be living in comfortable middle class households?

        And 70% actually live in poverty.

        Still, it gives a benchmark. Further study needed.

  17. Morrissey 17

    LOONS OF OUR TIME:
    No. 1: Judge Jeanine Pirro

    This woman is crazy and stupid—even for Fox News! She appears here at the 2:00 mark….

  18. greywarshark 18

    Joe 90 turned up on the small screen looking at youtube. For those who remember 1968 puppetry of Gerry Andersen here are some excerpts.

    It shows how Joe 90 got to be so smart.
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4utQWy9heEI

  19. Whispering Kate 19

    To Robert Guyton if you are tuning in today – last year we had a baby blackbird in our garden just fledged with a very gammy leg, it hobbled about but Mum and Dad were feeding it. I phoned the bird lady and she suggested to be humane we try and catch it, place it in a plastic bag and put in the freezer to die a painless death. I was horrified with this suggestion and anyway we couldn’t catch it.

    This season a black glossy male with a gammy leg is busy grabbing worms out of our compost and is flying into the climber outside our bedroom window (which houses blackbirds each year by the way) and feeding a clutch of 3 babies. Along with Mum they are good parents.

    Which shows the blackbird species does not obviously abandon a disabled chick and will watch over it until it can fly out of harm’s way. Great to see this male has wooed a lady and done the deed and is a responsible father. Makes this time of year such fun in the garden.

    • joe90 19.1

      Mervin the fledgling magpie came to us in very poor condition with a terribly mangled leg, an inquisitive heading dog, that had to be amputated. He recovered, thrived and at around six months took wing. He’s now quite the magnificent chap who turns up regularly to be hand fed his fav, Winna, with added garlic oil.

      • veutoviper 19.1.1

        Magpies can be magnificent pets – highly social and intelligent. Friends had one for many years who also had a mangled leg and also little flying ability. He ruled the house and garden, including dogs, cats, humans and parrots. He finally died of old age.

        • joe90 19.1.1.1

          Because of our own dogs and Mervs fear of them, we encouraged him to take wing. And the constant running after him with a sheet of newspaper, too.

          But I’ve come across a few kept as pets and you’re right, they ruled the roost, cats and dogs terrified of them, but not the chooks. One bird in particular was so terrified by chooks, it would flee and lie flat on it’s back in the lap of the nearest human, trembling and squawking murder, murder.

          A neighbours bird would come visiting first thing when it’s people left for work and because Jackie, it’s person would engage in actual pillow talk with it, the damn thing would fly around the the house looking for an open window and then up the stairs, and try to get into bed with you.

          Another living next door to my brother would mimic everything from telephones and skillsaws through to squealing kids and barking dogs.

    • veutoviper 19.2

      Lovely story – I do love blackbirds even though they are not ‘native’ birds – and they really are the best parents of all bird species in my opinion. I have r and r’d injured birds, abandoned babies etc for many years and they are usually the most responsive to treatment. They also rarely abandon babies and are usually close by – and will use distraction tricks to woo any predator away from the chicks.

      The freezer suggestion is used but usually only as a last resort. There are many other ways of euthanazing injured and ill birds before that one.

      BUT I wondered – did you mean to post this in yesterday’s Open Mike (20 Nov ) as you have done; or in today’s Open Mike (21 Nov)?

      • Whispering Kate 19.2.1

        I sure did veuoviper, I felt a bit stupid afterwards and was going to post it in today’s Open Mike. Won’t do this now as you kind folks have commented on our blackbird family. Lovely stories about the magpies although they do make me a bit apprehensive for the dive bombing tactics!!!

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