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Open mike 20/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 20th, 2010 - 105 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

105 comments on “Open mike 20/12/2010”

  1. Bored 1

    One News Poll……Goff……draw your own conclusions.

    • Logie97 1.1

      I see the Colmar Brunton poll on MMP includes the undecided.
      Shame they aren’t a little more consistent and show the “undecided” on preferred
      Party polls – particularly as we have an MMP system of election – would like to see what the actual party percentages are.
      Might make for much more interesting reading.

    • Carol 2.1

      It shows, what many of us guessed at the time, that the US government was putting pressure on the Clark government, using the desire for “free” trade to get NZ to send some troops to Iraq. It was evident at the time, that after each of senior Clark ministers & Clark’s meetings with key US government people, that the NZ government position on Iraq & Bush’s “war of terror” softened.

      The article shows up how much pressure the US government puts on the NZ government, and how little respect they have for the independent positions of of governments & electorates that disagree with them. And the cables point to a traitor in the midst of NZ’s MOD officials.

      The cables show the US government in a pretty poor light.

      • prism 2.1.1

        Carol Pretty much what we already knew or guessed. The release of wikileaks info is a good test of our understanding of the true state of affairs through the obfuscation fog.

      • Interesting 2.1.2

        Carol your blind faith in Helen and Labour without thinking they did anything wrong is worrying. You cannot seem to see the Forest for the trees.

        It is great that you support Labour, but you do not seem to be able to see or admit that sometimes they got it wrong and that sometimes they are as much to blame for these things as others are.

        My suspicion is that if this same story was published but it said National government instead you would be hanging the Nats out to dry saying how terrible they were. Sometimes you need to look at a story and put aside political preferences and say, “how would I react to this story if my political opponents were the ones who did it?” That way you have a balanced and fair response to a story rather than a biased response.

        I think that this site would be all over Nationals back if it had have been National who had done what this cable says Clark and co did.

        Yes, USA did pressure them. However, they did not do it just because of that. Sometimes principles are compromised.

        I would rather say: What pricks the USA are for asserting pressure on us, but what a shame that Labour put a corporate before its principles.

        However, in saying that, how many jobs may have been lost if Fonterra had have lost the contract? However, would that be a good enough reason to send the troops in regardless?

        Just some food for thought. Have a great day.

        • Carol

          Interesting, nope, you characterise me totally incorrectly, and your comment has produced a distorted stereotype of opponents of NAct. I have criticised the Clark government on blogs in the past. I was not a total fan of them, and voted for the Green party in the last few elections. The Clark government took on board too many pro-corporate, neoliberal principles and policies for my liking.

          But, whatever their faults, they were never as hardline pro-US, and fully neoliberal as the National party & government. For instance, National wanted NZ to send troops to participate in the frontline of the Iraq invasion right from the beginning. Clark & Labour resisted sending NZ frontline troops to Iraq, and caved on their principles somewhat. The fact that they kept some distance between NZ & US militaristic and financial imperialism is one of the things I like about the Clark government

          But I always new they caved to US pressure on Iraq (and the instigation of “anti-terrorist” laws). It was evident in the Clark government’s decision to send support troops to Iraq. But the main new evidence exposed by Wikileaks, is the nature and extent of the pressure from the US government to get the NZ government to bow to its demands, along with the compliance of some MOD person.

          And the spin & distortion coming from the righties here, is that the Clark government bowing in this way, is worse than the (way more compliant and pro-US) policies of National – and the spin is that, in this, Labour was worse than Key’s personal egoism in wanting to get onside with Obama, and the extent he went to to try to score photo-ops with him.

          And it looks like there’s an attempt here today, to bury the far worse exposures about Key in wikileaks, by a splurge of over-exaggerated posts about the Clark-Fronterra-Iraq mentions in the cables. I’m just responding to the spin-by-exaggeration-and-diversion of the righties on this today.

          • Jilly Bee

            If my memory serves me right – I think Keith Holyoake was pressured in the same way to send troops to Vietnam.

            • Colonial Viper

              At least they didn’t have to pressure Key to keep the SAS in Afghanistan.

              A whiff of the chance at a meeting with Obama and Key folded on the spot.

  2. jcuknz 3

    Some more ‘good news’ …. US Navy and Marines working on 50-50 bio-fuels which do not come from food sources.
    An expense of war … getting a gallon of fuel to troops in remote afghanistan can cost around $400 plus lives lost in the supply column.


  3. Sanctuary 4

    If I’ve missed the post this I apologise, but I think we should all spare a thought for the United States ongoing torture of Bradley Manning.

    From salon.com http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/14/manning/index.html

    “…From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day — for seven straight months and counting — he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he’s barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions…”

    This is the environment that Julian Assange would be sent to if the torturers of the United States government were ever able to get their hands on him, and it is a scandal that Manning is being kept in these conditions.

    Regardless of the outcome of any judicial process in relation to his leaking of the wikileaks cables the current conditions of Bradley Manning’s incarceration has to be condemned by any decent person on grounds of simple humanity; no one – guilty or suspect – should be driven mad by psychological torture of the kind being inflicted on Manning, and that includes anyone from the victims of the KGB in the Gulag archipelego to the inmates of a U.S. “SuperMax” prison.

    To me, there is a wider principle of legal, civilised behaviour by democratic governments at stake here. To my mind, casualised supra-judicial torture is inimicable with the rights and liberties of all citizens in a free society. When torture can be done to one person by the state without fear of be held to account, it can be done to any one of us just as casually and just as easily. And hold no doubt that the sort of torture being inflicted on Manning will, eventually, find its way into the civilian penal administration. Can one REALLY trust the maliciously punitive Judith Collins to not look sympathetically on “the lights of perverted science” that infom and instruct the torturers of the United States government and seek to implement it’s revolting practices on New Zealand prisoners?

    I think it is worth quoting, in full, Sir William Holdsworth’s “A History of English Law” on the threat to all of us of the judicial torture of Bradley Manning and of people like Judith Collins who might seek to extend it us:

    “We have seen that the use of torture, though illegal by the common law, was justified by virtue of the extraordinary power of the crown which could, in times of emergency, override the common law. We shall see that Coke in the earlier part of his career admitted the existence of this extraordinary power. He therefore saw no objection to the use of torture thus authorized. But we shall see that his views as to the existence of this extraordinary power changed, when the constitutional controversies of the seventeenth century had made it clear that the existence of any extraordinary power in the crown was incompatible with the liberty of the subject. It is not surprising therefore, that, in his later works, he states broadly that all torture is illegal. It always had been illegal by the common law, and the authority under which it had been supposed to be legalized he now denied. When we consider the revolting brutality of the continental criminal procedure, when we remember that this brutality was sometimes practised in England by the authority of the extraordinary power of the crown, we cannot but agree that this single result of the rejection of any authority other than that of the common law is almost the most valuable of the many consequences of that rejection. Torture was not indeed practised so systematically in England as on the continent; but the fact that it was possible to have recourse to it, the fact that the most powerful court in the land sanctioned it, was bound sooner or later to have a demoralising effect upon all those who had prisoners in their power. Once torture has become acclimatized in a legal system it spreads like an infectious disease. It saves the labour of investigation. It hardens and brutalizes those who have become accustomed to use it…”

    Freedom, rule of law and liberty cannot coexist with torture. It is as simple as that, and the stakes are as high as that. Regardless of the question of Bradley Manning’s guilt or innocence that is why we all have a stake in demanding our government demands he be treated better.

    Of course, the chance our American worshipping prime minister doing anything on the basis of moral principle are less than zero.

  4. jcuknz 5

    Santi … I like the final para “”Still, our first-world contacts continue to encourage us to, in the words of a senior MOD official (strictly protect), help us get out of the hole we have dug for ourselves.”

    Yes I agree we should help the States come to their senses.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      One has to wonder what the hell our senior officials were thinking. Did they have leave to brief the US diplomats on the most sensitive discussions held by our Govt – or did they act as inside informants for the US.

      It would be very interesting to know what the US Govt knew/did around the recent issue of Warner Bros, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit and big tax cuts for the American company.

      • grumpy 5.1.1

        Most unusual but they were probably only putting the interests of NZ ahead of a flaky administration – who could change their minds at the drop of a hat for the high principles of selling a bit of butter.

      • Carol 5.1.2

        This doesn’t exactly answer your question, CV, but it does add some evidence to the issue:


        Official documents and emails confirm the Government changed industrial law under urgency to ensure The Hobbit was filmed in New Zealand.

        Documents obtained under the Official Information Act reveal there was a push from both the American backers of the film and from Sir Peter Jackson to change the law.

        Other documents, obtained under the Official Information Act, reveal the Warner Bros. executives who came to New Zealand in October to negotiate a deal, were worried about being questioned by journalists.

  5. Janice 6

    Further to the “Electricity Privatisation Begins” post yesterday. Is it significant that the Chairman of Genesis is the Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley, DNZM?

  6. joe bloggs 7

    up until now I’ve thought of Julian Assange as a kinda wierd guy with an anti-authority complex…but he’s not all bad.

    At least his activities are exposing some of the the more distasteful practices of the fifth Labour Government that have been covered up until now.

    I’ve been particularly revolted by Labour’s troops for butter trade with the USA. Is it any surprise that they dealt with our allies and trading partners, their own supporters like Owen Glenn, and the people of New Zealand with such distain, when they measured the value of our defence force in pats of butter? Utterly, vilely disgraceful.


    • Carol 7.1

      And some people can’t help but spin the wikileak cables to their own political ends, and ignore the main meanings conveyed by the cables.

      Clark’s government bowed somewhat to the heavy pressures from bloody US imperialism. As Peter Dunne says, the cable on this just confirm what we already know. But at least Clark resisted the US empire a bit, and kept some of our independence. OTOH the cables show that Key has gone running to the US government, offering them whatever they want, in exchange for more pics for his “when I was NZ PM” scrapbook.

      • g_man 7.1.1

        Carol: “And some people can’t help but spin the wikileak cables to their own political ends, and ignore the main meanings conveyed by the cables.”

        Followed by:

        “Clark brutalised by the US, but still she fought valiantly”
        “Key smooching up to the US”

        How is it you don’t see the irony here?

        • Carol

          Keep spinning, g_man. No irony. That’s pretty much how it is. Though the word “brutalised” is a bit of an over statement.

          I’m pretty sure that there is explicit mentions in the cables of Key being more pro- the US government than Clark.

          • g_man

            No, I’m not the one spinning. You’re the one that chooses to interpret the cables in a certain way, I simply commented on your comment.

            But as for Key being more pro-US?

            A cable from March 2, 2007, states that “Prime Minister Clark …has a broader agenda … to improve the tone of her dialogue with us and to send a message to the NZ electorate that cooperating with the U.S. is normal and advances New Zealand’s interests … Clark has over the years developed a deeper understanding of the breadth and benefits of the US-New Zealand relationship … She recognises that sound bites matter, and in response has begun to modulate her public statements to be more positive about the relationship.”

            And here’s a lovely quote: “She also strenuously avoids saying anything critical about U.S. policy. Although a strengthened centrist domestic political opposition may motivate Clark to be more open to us, most of her efforts to improve bilateral cooperation have not been made public, indicating genuine commitment. Over the past year, she has quietly filled a number of key positions with officials who are well disposed towards the United States, and she and her Ministers now treat official meetings with us as opportunities to advance common agendas rather than either public relations coups or something to deny.”

            You think John Key sucks up? “Clark … participated in the Embassy’s 4 July reception even though she never attends national day events … mindful that her 2003 remarks about the Iraq war have not been forgotten, Clark now slaps down her Cabinet Ministers for similar offenses … when Jim Anderton issued a blistering critique of the President’s plan to send more troops to Iraq, Clark quickly disavowed the comments and removed Anderton from duty within the day.”

            Link: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10693849

            • joe bloggs

              There are none so blind as those who cannot see. Except perhaps for those who choose not to see.

              g-man we’re battling the dark side here – just make sure you don’t hurt yourself hitting that unseeing brick wall called Carol

            • grumpy

              Don’t be too tough on Carol g_man, like many lefties, these Wikileaks have them struggling to come to grips with the fact that their hero was just another self serving politician.

              It must be a bit embarassing.

              • joe bloggs

                It must be a bit embarassing.

                You got that in one Comrade Grumps.

                In the past year we’ve seen more and more of the flaws, vanities and weaknesses on the Left that they attribute to the Right.

                The vile manipulations of truth, the rorts, the gaffes and stumbles, the shallowness, … all the scurrilous accusations made by LWNJs on this site have been revelaed this year, in context – the context of a hand mirror help close to the face of the Left. And it’s not a pretty sight.

                Turns out all the weaknesses that the Left indignantly point to on the Right are actually the failings of the Left.

                How mortifying for them! How absolutely mortifying! Little wonder they’re fighting amongst themselves, fragmenting and running like scared rabbits…

                Has the word Hubris got a superlative form? For surely the Left is now revealed for being the most hubristic of us all!

                • Colonial Viper

                  Right handed sock puppets galore.

                  Turns out all the weaknesses that the Left indignantly point to on the Right are actually the failings of the Left.

                  How mortifying for them! How absolutely mortifying! Little wonder they’re fighting amongst themselves, fragmenting and running like scared rabbits…

                  Hehehehe this is why mass movements in politics – including the grassroots and the workers unions – are so important: to return power and voice to the people.

                  After all when it comes to the many and the few – there aren’t that many of the ‘few’ are there 😉

          • joe bloggs

            I’m pretty sure that there is explicit mentions in the cables of Key being more pro- the US government than Clark.

            And if there is Carol, all that this shows is that Key operates a more open and transparent government than Clark.

            Because it’s becoming crystal clear that Clark may have dissed the US administrations publicly but privately she was more than ready to suck up to them – and that’s called rank hypocrisy.

            • mcflock

              Yep – open and transparent. What was the phrase about Key on the prospect of meeting Obama – “openly excited”? Sounds like he had a hard-on.

              As opposed to having to be blackmailed by trade.

              There is a difference between working towards engagement and just putting out 5 minutes into the first date. Not that I would expect tories to understand that.

              Oh, btw – Clark was just another right-wing PM as far as I’m concerned. But at least she could play the long game.

  7. Olwyn 8

    What the….? The question, from a Mud House Winery survey, is with who and what would you you like to drink in the New Year? Result:


    Who’s hot

    * John Key
    * Robyn Malcolm
    * Graham Henry
    * Jaquie Brown

    What’s hot

    * Sauvignon Blanc – 42 per cent
    * Chardonnay – 30 per cent
    * Merlot – 28 per cent
    * Pinot Noir – 27 per cent
    * Pinot Gris – 25 per cent
    * Cabernet Sauvignon – 25 per cent
    * Riesling – 24 per cent


    • grumpy 8.1

      Must be great people go to Mud House, if you add all the wine percentages I get 201%, my kind of wine drinker!!!!

    • Bored 8.2

      OK , read the article and drew a conclusion: Robyn Malcolm and Jonkey were evens for prefered drinking buddy. Now given Goffs poll ratings i suggest we get Robyn into replace Goff asap.

  8. MrSmith 9

    How about a piece on the leaky home fiasco , National deregulated the building industry and look at the result, the rate payers are set to pay between $11 billion and $22 billion. This will hurt them and the rate/taxpayers even more. People need to be laying the blame at there feet loud and clear!

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      There was a piece on nine to noon this morning about that. They were saying that no one really knows what it is going to end up costing, and the 11 to 22 billion figure is as good a guess as any.

      Note: the government has set aside 1B, the councils 1B and homeowners are expected to stump up 2B under the current 25/25/50 watertight homes scheme. The people speaking noted that if the watertight homes process were embraced, then because work would actually get underway a lot quicker than people bickering in court, the actual total cost on the long run could end up being significantly lower that otherwise (because the houses don’t deteriorate further).

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Building and Construction Minister Williamson cautions leaky home owners on potential legal costs

      Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson has moved to caution leaky home owners not to get too excited by Friday’s Supreme Court ruling that found the North Shore City Council (now part of the Auckland Council) liable to pay for two leaky developments.

      So, NACT will be rushing more urgent legislation through parliament in the new year to prevent people from suing councils?

      The best thing that could happen ATM is that the government pays for leaky homes to be fixed and then argue about who owes the money later. At least then people would be living in habitable houses and more jobs would be created.

  9. prism 10

    Just a thought. I find being able to sort my own comments useful to keep track. Also useful is that additional comments and replies with my moniker also come up. Can I suggest that practice being used – the reply be addressed to the particular commenter being critiqued.

    This is more effective for following a thread than ticking for emails of further comments on the thread. One tends to get swamped with emails and many may be irrelevant flamewars. I’d like to reply to those critiquing my personal comments without getting all that comes.

  10. “Fefiloi Ana, 36, an overstayer who was ordered to leave the country by today or be forcibly removed, has gone into hiding with her children, Ranford, 12, Mine, 11, and Misipeka, 7. The children, whose father died in a motorbike accident in 2004, were born in New Zealand and are entitled to stay as New Zealand citizens.”

    This is not the way to do it – breaking up families – for what? Pasifica people hiding from the authorities just like during the dawn raids.

    captcha – dollars – once again the oracle has spoken.

    • dilbert 11.1

      They’re not breaking up families, they’re saying that the Mother is not legally entitled to remain in New Zealand and must leave. The mother has to choose whether to take her children with her to where she can remain legally or she must find alternative care arrangements.

      I would be very interested to know how she has been supporting her and her family for the previous 6 years and if she has been working here legally/illegally or via other means.

      • marty mars 11.1.1

        “The mother has to choose whether to take her children with her to where she can remain legally or she must find alternative care arrangements.”

        Ummm – that is what ‘breaking up the family’ means – doesn’t it?

        • dilbert

          Ummmm No.

          The Government/Department isn’t breaking up the family at all, it is simply saying the Mother is not legally entitled to remain in this country. She can return home, with her childrenand there isn’t any issue. If she chooses to leave her children here and return home it is her her is choosing to break up her family.

          At the moment she is trying to manipulate the NZ public by using her children.

          • marty mars

            Well i disagree with your intrepretation as you disagree with mine.

            • dilbert

              Agreed. Merry Christmas to you and your family

            • jcuknz

              Well with three children in the country legally it seems a pity that they need to also leave or go under CYF care because the mother cannot be permitted to remain until say the children leave home. Looks like somebody is trying to save face at the expense of the family. It would be so easy to grant a temporary work permit until the youngest leaves home or a certain age, 18yo? But you must feel sorry for the officials because there are so many wankers around trying to fool them it must be hard to tell the genuine cases.

          • Vicky32

            Oh come on Dilbert!
            What mother would want to leave her children for another country? I am shocked that this kind of thing is happening now – it’s all reminiscent of the 70s…

  11. burt 12

    Finding out that Labour were having their policy written in the US while accusing National of the same is just like finding out Winston used secret trusts and was influenced by secret big business backers.

    I know, it’s different when Labour do it…..

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      No, it’s just as abhorrent but not really surprising that such happened. It’s the problem of following a delusional economic theory – people get things wrong for the right reasons as well as doing things wrong because it personally benefits them.

  12. grumpy 13

    ….and meanwhile, on the pages of The Standard, not a mention of the biggest disgrace in New Zealand…


    Why?… is it just too un-PC to mention – or don’t the left give a damn about kids?

    • r0b 13.1

      or don’t the left give a damn about kids?

      Don’t be so pathetic.

      Individual instances like this are horrific, tragic. And it’s likely, given how flawed we all are, that they will always be with us.

      The large scale systemic issues are the ones we can do more about. Want to give a damn about kids? Kick out this crap government and get one that actually cares about education and ordinary families.

      • grumpy 13.1.1

        What garbage, these cases were the norm under Labour for the whole 9 years of their reign – they did nothing about it except try to pass it off as “society’s problem”, now Labour don’t need the Maori Party perhaps they could come out with something a bit more realistic.

        National are not having much impact in their 2 years but the solutio is “Kick out this crap government and get one that actually cares about education and ordinary families.”, well they didn’t do anything last time and their silence on this issue condemns them.

        • r0b

          these cases were the norm under Labour for the whole 9 years of their reign

          Oh grow up. Individual extreme cases have always and probably will always occur, National, Labour, makes no difference.

          But over all the lot of children in out society is determined by poverty and education. Labour reduced child poverty and invested in early education. National is increasing child poverty and cutting early education. See link in my first comment. You do the math. Goodbye.

          • grumpy

            “math”???? what “math”, all I see from you is failed ideological craptrap.

            How many “individual extreme cases” does it take to build a trend? There are a great many countries with real poverty and poor education without the horrendous child abuse.

            • Colonial Viper

              Wait until increasing levels of child poverty in various sectors of society started showing up in the social statistics grumpy.

              here are a great many countries with real poverty and poor education without the horrendous child abuse.

              So, whats the problem in NZ then and how do we resolve it? We do know that poverty and extreme inequality is one factor. What else?

              • grumpy

                I don’t think you can say that “We do know that poverty and extreme inequality is one factor.”

                The vast majority of people on welfare do not abuse their kids and one ethnic group is more represented than it should be – you may as well say the problem is one of ethicity.

                The “political” excuse of poverty and inequality just hides the issue, the populist “ethic” argument just appeals to the quick fix brigade.

                So, if the cause is so hard to find – why not just crack down hard on the symptoms?

    • joe90 13.2

      Easy grumpy, no one will foster these kids and there’s no money to pay people to look after them.

      • grumpy 13.2.1

        So r0b’s solution is to just give these drongo parents more money and joe90’s is just to give up?

        It would be a start if these pages could actually confront the fact that so many of these poor kids are Maori, and caught with crap parents in the welfare dependency trap.

        • mcflock

          Ah, “welfare dependency”. What tories use to describe social and economic ostracism.

        • Colonial Viper

          so many of these poor kids are Maori, and caught with crap parents in the welfare dependency trap.

          I suspect that the escape path from the trap will need to be more complicated and comprehensive than simply turning the family out on the street with no benefits and no food.

          • grumpy

            True, but don’t you think the availability of “benefits and food” in exchange for kids – and even more benefits and food for even more kids has got us into this situation?

            • Colonial Viper

              What, the situation where we don’t have families living under bridges? But that’s good, yeah?

              All it says is that our package of help and support for some of these families is inadequate and simply cutting their ability to pay rent or buy food is not much of an answer.

              • grumpy

                So why do some families have no problem getting by on the welfare payments provided and don’t beat their kids (in fact giving them a good upbringing) – while others claim “poverty” and beat the crap out of their kids?

                • MrSmith

                  Because all people are different and living in different situations , go back to your sheep Grumpy

                  • grumpy

                    So, while some people can get along quite OK on welfare, others need much more money or they beat up their kids and claim poverty????

                    That explains a lot, now….is this additional requirement for money, thus avoiding such debilitating poverty that would otherwiseb compel them to beat their children predicated on something……oh, I dunno,….like race, ethnicity or something?????

                    • jcuknz

                      Some people just don’t know how to cope with the bad side of life and they need help, preferably before they beat up their kids.. That is closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. As with the recent case of the nine year old abused black and blue .. family, relatives, neighbors need to sound the alarm before it becomes really serious instead of saying … it’s none of my business.
                      The ‘more money’ may not need to be given to families with problems but to CYPs to employ more so each worker can spend more time with helping individual clients. That is so obvious why isn’t it happening?

              • grumpy

                So, what has?

                • mcflock

                  1: more expensive housing, food and electricity/water costs not matched by benefit adjustments;

                  2: The rate of children reliant on beneficiaries decreased steadily until 2008 NZ Childrens Social Health Monitor .

                  3: the rate of assaults on children requiring hospital admission is skewed along ethnic lines (as you seem to fixate on), but is much more significantly skewed along economic deprivation. I love the CSHM: it shows that, too. =”http://nzchildren.co.nz/injuries.php#table1″ title=””> All in the same table.

                  4: the real worry is that rates of assault on children are relatively static, not that they’re “getting worse” as such. The major socioeconomic admission hits seem to be respiratory conditions and general medical problems, rather than assault. There is, however, a socioeconomic bias which needs to be addressed. Assaults might not be as temporally responsive as (say) housing-related conditions, but that might just mean that the trend is more difficult to address after it emerges.

        • joe90

          Telling it like it is grumpy, people will not foster or adopt these kids, year after year budgets have been boned out, support services, facilities, resources and staff numbers have been cut, the numbers of children and families in trouble increases and the case loads of remaining staff hit ridiculous levels.
          Anecdotally, social workers with new degrees usually only last a couple of year working for the state doing the hard shit, statutory social work, and when they’ve got enough experience they head off to the NGO of their choice where the money is better, the work is easier and all the hard shit (statutory social work) gets sent to the state.

          Whanau Ora, the supposed magic bullet, will turn out to be just another opportunity for those in the know to fleece the taxpayer and you’ll still be standing around wringing your hands and squealing about how the ‘gummint’ isn’t doing anything whilst muttering the ‘tax is theft’ mantra.

          Now, what’s your solution grumpy?.

          • grumpy

            Well, stop making excuses for a start Joe90, the only thing that will get these people’s attention is money. If they mistreat their kids, take them off them and stop their “benefit”. If fostering or adoption is not attractive, then change the rules to make it attractive, rather than making excuses for these scum (like blaming a non existant “poverty”), stop paying out extra for additional kids conceived while on the “benefit”

            Of course streilisation may be a step too far, but it and another solution comprising a wall and an AK47, would at least be effective.

            • ak

              Of course streilisation may be a step too far, but it and another solution comprising a wall and an AK47, would at least be effective.

              Right on cue. Drop the “let bugger-all of them starve” faeces and watch the maggots swarm.

              Key’s Orewa 1 for 2011.

            • Vicky32

              “stop paying out extra for additional kids conceived while on the “benefit””
              I know others have pointed it out to before grumpy, but the number of “extra kids conceived on the benefit” is minuscule, almost non-existent.
              I have known thousands of solo mothers on the benefit over the 17 years I was on it, and I know of *one* woman who conceived another child while on the benefit. She did it because she was a bad judge of character (with the man in question) not for money!

  13. jcuknz 14


    [lprent: consider it tested after I fetched it out of spam – I guess that akismet doesn’t like being tested. ]

  14. prism 15

    Grumpy – Why don’t you go and research for yourself grumpy instead of throwing up your questions in the air and leaving others to catch them? Do you think you are the only person to have thought about such problems? Others have and devised policies that help to reduce the problems. Often they are inadequately funded, or don’t solve the problem in three easy steps over 2 years of an electoral cycle and the funding is not renewed.

    • grumpy 15.1

      The reason I raised it Prism is that I would have thought this topic would be a sitter for lefties to wax lyrical about. Silly me, it appears this site is only interested in trying to score petty points on National (and doing a piss poor job of it too when you look at the recent opinion polls).

      • prism 15.1.1

        grumpy – Look up The Standard archives for items on Social issues and then choose families. You will find some comments there that represent some of the concerns that this site has about beneficiaries and perhaps even grumpy old men?

  15. joe90 16

    change the rules to make it attractive,

    But…but..money isn’t the solution…..and all you’ve got is throw more money around and just like that people will be queuing up to foster someone kids. Wake up grumpy, people don’t want to foster or adopt someone else’s kids.

    stop paying out extra for additional kids conceived while on the “benefit”

    Right, no one wants to adopt or foster kids so when a child is born into a beneficiary’s household your solution is to cut the money off and then what?.

    Of course streilisation may be a step too far, but it and another solution comprising a wall and an AK47, would at least be effective.

    Eugenics is out but summary execution is in..okay…..not much to be said is there?.

  16. Bored 17

    Wikileaks latest http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12028084 US Banks refuse to handle payments to Wikileaks. Corporate finance scumbags joining the US government in trying to shut down the embaressing truth from seeing day light.

    • Bored 17.1

      And this may be why….Wikileaks has recently said it will soon release documents that will point to “unethical” practices” at some US banks.

  17. grumpy 19

    Jesus Christ! You wouldn’t want to be married to that Robyn Malcolm would you? Cost the taxpayer $48million to keep her amused and sort of employed – and then she goes and costs us another $30million trying to shaft the NZ film industry.

    • The Voice of Reason 19.1

      Nope, it was “Peter J” that cost us the $30 million dollar bribe and it seems, our sovereignty.


      What an A grade suck up Jackson turns out to be and oh what a craven dolt John Key is for saying yes. Brownlee remains terminally confused, so we shouldn’t blame him for his boss’s Quisling tendencies.

      • Pascal's bookie 19.1.1

        But Radio New Zealand’s political editor has told Checkpoint the email – signed “Peter J” and sent to the office of Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee on 18 October – says there was no connection between the blacklist and the choice of production base.


      • Colonial Viper 19.1.2

        Yeah i want the wikileaks version of what happened.

        Further does anyone here find it even a little bit strange that the Govt managed to cough up tens of millions more in tax breaks for half billionaire Jackson and his Hollywood hangout?

        I always thought the idea was to give to the poor, but I must have that back to front.

        • prism

          Pity to see the we hate Peter campaign still has life. Remember that he is going to use that money in a job-rich environment with wages that will flow and trickle down all over NZ. It will be more beneficial than the RugbyWC and the problems that will arise from that.

          • The Voice of Reason

            Here’s the timeline from the press releases:

            16 October:

            Oscar winner Peter Jackson to direct The Hobbit in two installments

            The two films based on “The Hobbit” are now greenlit and will begin principal photography in February 2011, under the direction of Peter Jackson, it was jointly announced today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema, Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. and Steve Cooper, co-Chief Executive Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

            18 October (according to RNZ):

            Peter J confirms in an email to Brownlee that the union blacklist is not the problem.

            20 October:

            Richard Taylor calls urgent meeting of all film technicians, 5pm today (Wtgn)

            I am writing based on a understandable concern that we all share around the status of The Hobbit and the ramifications this will have on our future careers within New Zealand.
            f you can make it, could you please gather at Stone Street Studios A Stage in Miramar at 5pm today (Wednesday 20th October) so that you have at least understood more fully the issues and details surrounding this production, and that you have had an opportunity to share your opinion.

            From there we go to the full anti-union campaign, when it was, according to Peter J, not an issue.

        • Carol

          There’s more details and the full report and analysis by Brent edwards in the audio file @ 17.26


          I heard it live. I thought Edwards said something about, that he had requested a relevant report under OIA, but was refused. Yet, it seems from wikileaks that Warners got to see a copy of that report.

  18. Armchair Critic 20

    Oh dear, the masses haven’t got the message
    Time for a big ad campaign, Mr Shirtcliffe?

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      Thank god for that but it’s certainly no time for sitting around hoping that that won’t change. We need to get the message out that MMP is the only fair form of representative democracy. All others push the power in to minority control.

    • Pascal's bookie 20.2

      Too close for my liking, given the breakdowns turnout will be crucial.

  19. Logie97 21

    Funny how the style and manner of some commenters on this site give an indication as to whom they might be in real life while trying to hide behind a pseudonym. One might be an occasional newspaper columnist for example and may have a spot on national radio. Only a hunch. I am sure that someone in the ether is watching and knows who we all are.

    captcha: burying

  20. just saying 22

    I’m off.
    Wishing all the bloggers, moderators, sysops, readers, contributors, providers of cool links, lurkers, and hecklers a Happy Silly Season!
    And if happiness isn’t an option, and for many it isn’t, think Teflon-mind and ‘this too will pass’.

  21. Irascible 23

    The Hobbit Saga continues with yet another Key sourced lie exposed in the latest release of information under the OIA.
    Nothing to do with the Union action but everything to do with Warner Bros buying the NZ legislature from a terrified John Key and quivering Brownlee.
    Warner Brothers used the threat of filming The Hobbit movies elsewhere to gain changes to New Zealand’s employment laws, it was reported tonight.

    An email obtained under the Official Information Act showed the production company wanted “stability” to film the movies in New Zealand and was worried about “grey areas” of employment law, Radio New Zealand reported.

    The Government secured the movies in October by an urgent amendment which prevented independent contractors from claiming entitlements as employees, as well as an agreement to increase the tax concession for big screen productions.

    The report said the email was signed “Peter J” — apparently director Sir Peter Jackson — and was sent to the office of Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee who was involved in the negotiations with Warner Brothers.

    It said there was no connection between union action against The Hobbit movies and choice of location, which contradicted government statements at the time which were that Warner Brothers was concerned about strife caused by the blacklisting of the movies because of a row over collective pay conditions.

    Union opposition was withdrawn after an outcry from New Zealanders who would lose their jobs if the movies were not made here.

    The report also said Warner Brothers executives who came to Wellington to negotiate the deal were worried about being questioned by journalists.

    Another email to Mr Brownlee’s office said they wanted to enter through the Beehive basement to avoid the media.
    The negotiations took place in Prime Minister John Key’s official residence, Premier House, with the media excluded.

  22. George.com 24

    Based on the hobbit information, here are a few questions I’d like to hear from John Key and Peter Jackson about:

    1. Why did John Key tell us the Union black list WAS the reason Warners were looking to change the location?

    2. Why didn’t Jackson come out PUBLICLY and clearly tell us the fact that it wasn’t?

    3. Did he have anything to gain in remaining silent?

    4. If the union was not to blame, why all the hysterics and histrionics from Richard Taylor whipping up the film technicians?

    5. If Taylor did not genuinely know the information revealed in the email above, why did not Key AND Jackson make urgent public statements to tell Taylor to climb down off his soap box?

    6. If the reason was the law, why wasn’t it raised by Jackson long before?

    7. If the reason was the law, why wasn’t it sorted by Key long before?

    8. If the reason was the law, why did Warners walk away with $30 million plus of extra tax payers money.

    9. Why doesn’t this email fit the stories told to us by Key and certain parties within the film industry?

    10. A legal opinion about the validity of the actors union seeking to secure a collective agreement was provided to Warners (though not the media). Was it provided to the union? If not, why not?

    • Jim Nald 25.1

      That was very good. Energised me for the evening. Thanks.
      No need to be restrained for this kind of ‘shameless’ promotion.
      It is the shameless and disgraceful greed of the rich pricks that should be shunned.

  23. Draco T Bastard 26

    Cablegate: Protected sources

    Over on Dim Post, Danyl asks an interesting question:

    Can someone explain to me the difference between a senior defence official named as a protected source by a foreign embassy who briefs them on confidential cabinet decisions, and a spy?

    Like him, I don’t really see one. The information may be political rather than defence-related, but at its root, these people are working for a foreign government, rather than us. And that means they really shouldn’t be working in our public service.

    It is most interesting to find out that the US has sources within our public service that they want protected at all costs and as I/S and Danyl point out, these people are spies working for the US government. Isn’t it nice to know that one of our close friends (Jonkey’s and Nationals words, not mine) is spying on us.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      No doubt this is just *some* of the human assets that the US Govt uses. Imagine the technological assets that they use to enable them to listen in, intercept and confirm what their human assets are telling them.

    • ianmac from Prague 26.2

      Seems strange how so much is made of the discovery of a foreign spy but somehow a NZ spying on his own country is acceptable. Used to call them traitors?

  24. M 27

    The Dominion Post’s political cartoon for Monday, 20 December perfectly captues Key’s character – worth a look.

    • felix 27.1

      Is it online?

      • M 27.1.1

        Had a search, but no – It had Key as a boxed doll a la Barbie christened 2 face Key – Pliable Figure of Fun with the captions ‘another toxic toy made in China’ and ‘Poison the kids this Christmas’.

        This will adorn my wall at work.

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  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
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  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
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  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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  • Advance payments to support contractors
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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  • State of National Emergency extended
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  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
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  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    1 week ago
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  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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  • COVID-19 updates
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago