Open mike 20/12/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 20th, 2015 - 157 comments
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157 comments on “Open mike 20/12/2015”

    • sabine 1.1

      Us humans living contributes to climate change. Simple as that.

      To blame omnivores, carnivores, vegetarians or vegans in any particular way is dumb.
      What we need to look at and understand is a. how is the food that we consume produced, b. where does it come from, c. how does it get to our plate.
      Once we have done that, i think most will understand that industrial large scale meat farming, milk farming, palm oil farming is as bad as large scale industrial quinoa farming in south america and subsequent shipping to our supermarkets. We should and we must start to look at locally prodcued, as organically produced as possible and with the shortest transit time possible. And we need to start eating seasonally again. And maybe teach the young ones to cook. Cause if their parents already don’t know how to cook, how are they going to learn it?

      The only way, and i firmly believe it is the only way is for us to change our attitudes. Do i really need strawberries in the middle of winter? Do I need to upgrade to another ‘smartphone’ when the one i have is only 3 month old. Do i need to drive to the dairy, or should i walk? should my children walk/cycle to school? Do i need that larger tv….etc etc etc and only once we realise that actually no we don’t need to have all that crap, can we stop using is. Cause that is all we do, use resources as if there is no tomorrow, and for the older among us there might be no tomorrow, but go tell that to your grand children. We need to break the cycle of addiction that we have been feeding for the last 30 – 40 years. Namely i want it, now and as cheap as fuck. That is the attitude that is killing the planet and our societies.
      And that counts especially for trees, do we really need to cut down more trees for car parks, when half of our cities are nothing else but car parks that are empty for at least 14 hours a day. Imagen the housing that could be build on some of these car parks. And the clean air that trees help generate. Lovely clean air to breathe.

      • b waghorn 1.1.1

        I can’t see a thing you’ve written there that I don’t agree with.
        But its an impossible sell getting people to give up this comfortable life most in nz and around the developed countries live.
        Science got us into this mess with its great but horrible inventions(think the combustion engine /electricity) and the only real hope is for science to come up with fixes.

        • Sabine 1.1.1.1

          we have to stop selling it , but instead doing it.
          I think the more people do it, the easier it is for others to opt out of the current system and follow.
          Selling is not gonna work when no one has money, so we should just start giving it a way for free.
          It is time to do and also challenge some perception that going from one extreme to the other is the way to go. It is not. Going local is the only way forward.

          Funny thing is, when I first came to NZ in the 90’s there was a big wave of buying locally made and produced. Its time for the second wave.

        • maui 1.1.1.2

          The most likely way I see us addressing climate change is through financial collapse. You’re right people don’t and won’t give up this comfortable life. Even if the Greens were in power their policies would help, but only in a limited way, with an industrialised economy still in place we can’t solve the problem we’ve got. With limited resources and living in the biggest credit bubble of all time we have to go back to living in reality at some point.

          • marty mars 1.1.1.2.1

            “You’re right people don’t and won’t give up this comfortable life.”

            I wonder how much the ‘comfortable’ bit has been constructed, reiterated endlessly, and internalised. Do gadgets make life comfortable or just make it appear comfortable. Are cities comfortable or really just a contrivance to convenience which makes it appear comfortable.

            “with an industrialised economy still in place we can’t solve the problem we’ve got”

            the key to the problem.

            • weka 1.1.1.2.1.1

              And it’s not like a lot of people don’t understand the concept that money and things don’t buy them happiness. At the moment many people aren’t being offered or see an alternative.

        • mpledger 1.1.1.3

          Science didn’t get us into this mess. Science only discovers things. Science discoveries get commercialised and it’s up to the people who regulate the commercial world who are too blame. They set up the specifications for how much pollution goes into the atmosphere, not scientists.

          • b waghorn 1.1.1.3.1

            Arrgh the great evil that is capitalism! The thing is capitalism can be a great tool, imagine if you will a government that had the courage to make laws like, all new cars will be sold in 5 years will be electric or all packaging will be biodegradable in 2 years then the capitalists would see opportunity to profit from R n D .

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.3.1.1

              The thing is capitalism can be a great tool,

              It’s failed throughout recorded history so we can definitely say that it can’t be.

              The problem with capitalism is that it encourages bludging with the bludgers ending up owning and controlling the wealth of the community which means that they own and control the community. The rules are then made to support those owners – just as we’ve seen over the last few centuries.

              • b waghorn

                One mans “bludger” is another mans’ wealth creater ‘( nearly threw up using that term wealth creater)
                It wouldn’t matter what system humans live under there will be people trying to take more than they need , strong honest government is what is needed.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  strong honest government is what is needed.

                  Government of the people, by the people for the people.

                  In other words, we need to get rid of representative democracy and capitalism as it results in a few people being owned by another few people who are calling the shots.

                • Once was Tim

                  “(nearly threw up………)”
                  Glad to hear it.! SO glad to hear it!

                  Don’t do it again! or you’ll have me vomiting on my neighbours Audi – or whatever the fuck it is. He’s a botox and collagen pumper with the ego the size of a bus and the arrogance of both someone that should be standing for National, and who thinks he can make other people beautiful (going forward)

                  BTW – the guy is as ugly as sin and not too dissimilar from Brevik.
                  I’d better check my prejudices however – he’ll probably turn out to be a mate of James Shaw. Stranger things have happened at sea (and to the Green Party)

          • weka 1.1.1.3.2

            Science didn’t get us into this mess. Science only discovers things. Science discoveries get commercialised and it’s up to the people who regulate the commercial world who are too blame. They set up the specifications for how much pollution goes into the atmosphere, not scientists.

            Depends on what you mean by science. If you mean the scientific method, you might be have a point (although I could still argue against that). But if b meant science the practice and culture, then obviously science has culpability.

            In both cases scientists themselves have ethical responsibilities. If someone asks a scientist to develop a biological weapon that will enable them to commit genocide, then if that scientist does that it doesn’t really work to say science doesn’t have responsibility.

            Further, there are plenty of scientists involved in the power and privilege structures of the work, so it’s not just commerce’s responsibility.

            I know people want science to be this nice, clean thing, but really it’s not, and we would do a lot better by and from science if we were honest about that.

            • b waghorn 1.1.1.3.2.1

              I was talking science in its broadest terms.
              The only reason there is 7 billion of us fouling the planet up is because science has allowed us to alter the balance of life on earth in our favour.
              Og the cave man had his science hat on the day he worked out that rubbing to sticks together created fire and we’ve been releasing carbon eversince

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.4

          Science got us into this mess with its great but horrible inventions(think the combustion engine /electricity) and the only real hope is for science to come up with fixes.

          No it wasn’t. It was the economists and the greed of the few that got us into this mess.

          The economists by inventing an economic system that is uneconomic and requires ever larger amounts of resources to be used. The greedy few by wanting ever more for themselves. These two thing feed into and upon each other.

          • Sans Cle 1.1.1.4.1

            Draco, attributing blame to economists is akin to B Waghorn’s broad use/blaming of science for all our problems. Economists didn’t create the current system, it has evolved. Financiers, bankers and insurance companies have invented structures within the evolving system that harness their greed. Many economists, in my opinion, tend to try to understand the system – often with the thought of improving it (of course we all won’t agree on how to, or what improvement actually is). People who want to overhaul or change the system (you included) are no different as you are compelled by a notion of ‘improving’ the status quo. Apologies for long winded way to say that I think your generalization was unfounded!

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.4.1.1

              Economists didn’t create the current system, it has evolved.

              To some degree you’re probably right but then the economists have come up with a theory on how it works and the politicians then put in place policies to implement that theory.

              The present economic theory is nothing more than a justification to continue with the same failed system.

              People who want to overhaul or change the system (you included) are no different as you are compelled by a notion of ‘improving’ the status quo.

              Actually, I’m looking for ways to throw the present system out as it’s an obvious failure.

      • Pat 1.1.2

        but what about “growth”…without growth the ponzi scheme collapses

        • Sabine 1.1.2.1

          seriously, with all due respect, who gives a fuck.

          • Pat 1.1.2.1.1

            who gives a fuck?….probably everybody when they are living in a state of complete anarchy and in an immediate life and death struggle….not saying its an unworthy aspiration but there are practicalities to address.

              • Pat

                anthropomorphic climate change is a direct result of the industrial revolution….that would suggest a viable population for the planet comparable to what it was at the beginning of that change….estimated approx 1 billion, with maybe a small factorial increase due to technological advance.

            • Sabine 1.1.2.1.1.2

              what practicalities? Walking to the dairy? Shopping NZ made? buy local produced fruit n veggies instead of Made in the US? laying of the cheap chinese crap for a while and maybe instead spending a bit of time with the whanau

              We have been splitting hairs for a long while now, must keep up with progress, and nothing can be done with it, and shit. Nah, the time is now for doing. And well if that means that Apple will sell a telephone unit less oh my gosh, i guess they will survive.

              So no, I am for once not giving a fuck about some ‘shareholders’ not getting buck for bang. How many fucking phones, tv’s, shoes and shit does one need to not feel lausy about themselves anymore?

              • Pat

                its not a case of shareholders “getting a bang for the buck”..its the whole system we have developed….you can walk to the dairy if its still there and if it has anything on the shelves and you have something acceptable to exchange for the goods you need…if the ponzi scheme collapses WITHOUT being replaced by something viable then those things will not be able to occur.

                • Sabine

                  you could replace it with a food production made for the population firstly and only secondary to export. you could replace your system with walking, cycling, using trains and even planes as these are all more environmentally friendly then everyone driving by themselves in their cage. You could replace your current system with less gadgets that serve no one and subsequently have less debt.

                  And yes, it is a case of shareholders getting bang for buck, and misery is for all those that buy fucking Canadian air in a bottle as their own is so toxic now that buying fucking Canadian air in a bottle makes sense.

                  so your choice, and it is your choice is simple. Start cutting down on your capitalism and become a bit more local.

                  • Pat

                    so we buy local, drastically reduce our consumption and use private vehicles considerably less if at all…all sounds perfectly sensible….until enough of us actually do it….and the numbers employed in the auto, transport and retail industries (to name but a few) are now employed substantially less and the flow on effects into debt default crashes the banking system….as asked in the beginning …what do we do about growth? as without growth our economic model crashes.

                    • Ad

                      Economic growth can do fine without the ridiculous inefficiency of transport costs.

                      This debate has been covered extensively on TransportBlog.

                    • Pat

                      you miss the point Ad…. growth (economic and otherwise) is the problem ,not the solution but paradoxically necessary.

                    • Ad

                      Sorry I’ve run out of reply buttons.

                      I’m beginning to think we need a whole separate post on the future growth of Auckland and its unstoppable exponential expansion within New Zealand. If you can still question the idea of growth, you’re probably in some outlier province. There’s no possible question about it in Auckland.

                    • Pat

                      the thread is not Auckland property prices however

      • Chooky 1.1.3

        +100 Sabine…our ancestors lived frugally and well

        (our lives were rich because we had free high quality state education , clean rivers to swim in, free camping holidays, free/affordable state health care , affordable quality state houses)

        …it was vulgar to be too wealthy or own too many houses….we looked out for the poorest especially the children

        ( now jonkey says the poorest are all drug abusers!…and he came out of a state house provided by New Zealand taxpayers!)

        • Once was Tim 1.1.3.1

          “+100 Sabine…our ancestors lived frugally and well”
          I am picking you are older than 40s. What’s true is that they did – but I’d add to that …. they were also both content and happy.
          Oh …. plus most of them didn’t produce absolute fuckups of kids

      • HumPrac 1.1.4

        It all starts with Christmas and birthdays. We are tricked into being materialistic and it starts with the presents we receive ritualistically and periodically which forms a habit virtually from day one of our lives. Even the kids who don’t get presents, hear all about the kids whom did receive presents. But you would be considered a bad person if you didn’t give your kids presents.

        Society is based on materialism. If we really want to stop climate change, we must go to the core of the problem – which is the “training” of our kids into materialism through birthday presents and Christmas presents.
        It’s so obvious, yet I’m likely to be one of the only people in the world who has discovered such a thing.

        If you want to give your kids stuff – do it spontaneously and when they least expect it. The expectation built up within a child is what leads to the materialistic way of being, through habit. The child has an excitement for the months leading up to the time they receive their presents. The excitement is affirmed as being legitimate, every time they receive a present on the specified day.

        Time to smarten up. Time to discover the RITUALS considered “norms” in our lives. But no – ALL of us far too programmed with the notion of giving/receiving presents, that we will never give up our ideal way of being for the sake of the future planets ability to sustain our way of being.
        Society will literally have to deconstruct before anything changes in this area, The programming of materialism goes too deep for it to be any other way.

        I better stop there, I could keep writing on this for a long time.

      • Magisterium 1.1.5

        If you’ve had children knowing the challenges we face in addressing climate change, you are a hypocrite.

  1. Morrissey 2

    Until Corbyn led the Labour party, we were all wonderfully polite
    If the Labour Leader had any decency he’d behave like a proper MP and go to a dinner with arms traders or offshore bankers

    by MARK STEEL, The Independent, Friday 18 December 2015
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/until-corbyn-led-the-labour-party-we-were-all-wonderfully-polite-a6777416.html

    As it’s Christmas, I expect Labour MPs will show even more joy and kindness than normal towards their leader. Usually they show their affection by leaving a meeting of the parliamentary party to do an interview with BBC News. “Of course I support Jeremy and he has a strong mandate,” they say, “but he made everyone so ill tonight we all shat ourselves. I don’t envy the cleaners who have to go in there tomorrow, but it’s Jeremy’s fault for saying we should scrap Trident. It makes sensible party members lose control of their organs.”

    By this time another Labour MP will be on Sky News, saying: “Jeremy is a man of principle, and I back him completely. But he looked tired tonight, and I couldn’t help thinking it would be better for all of us if he slipped into a coma.”

    The former shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint insisted last week that, while she supports the elected leader, what we really need is a leader who can “reach out” to people and provide inspiration. It’s easy to see what she means: Corbyn’s public speeches only attracted crowds of up to 5,000, and when you’re used to filling the O2 arena like Flint, with tickets selling for £500 on eBay, Corbyn’s meagre audience must seem hardly worth bothering about. “Caroline, Caroline,” scream teenagers, sobbing with hysteria. And when she explains the importance of a measured response to George Osborne’s spending review they all faint.

    Labour MPs opposed to Corbyn seem especially angry at the moment because they’ve received abuse from the public. They naturally assume that Jeremy Corbyn is to blame. So they make media statements such as: “Last Monday, a schoolboy yelled ‘wanker’ at me from a bus. I’m warning you, Jeremy, this sort of behaviour must stop.” The online abuse is even worse, and Corbyn is clearly responsible. Until he became leader of the Labour Party, everyone on the internet was always beautifully polite.

    It’s only supporters of Corbyn who are rude, of course. I was sent a message by someone informing me: “The only way you’ll ever be funny is if you’re stabbed to death with shards of Aids-infected glass.” Thoughtful prose; presumably if this person saw me getting stabbed to death with shards of glass he’d shout: “Have those shards got Aids on them? No? Why not, are you a fan or something? I want him to die from the stabbing, then come back to life but die again of Aids.” But luckily this particular missive was sent by someone of a Conservative persuasion, otherwise the subtext could have been quite unpleasant.

    Whereas the people sending abuse to Tony Blair’s supporters have been key figures in Corbyn’s office (madanarchistdave24@broadmoor.com, for example), the Blair supporters who’ve been impolite in return – stating “If your heart tells you to support Corbyn, get a new heart” – have been incidental figures in the Blair camp, such as one Mr Tony Blair.

    The Conservative MP Lucy Allan must have felt left out of this story, so she added a death threat to herself at the bottom of a constituent’s letter….

    Read more….
    If the Labour Leader had any decency he’d behave like a proper MP and go to a dinner with arms traders or offshore bankers

  2. Ad 3

    Try substituting the word “Democrats” for “NZLabour, and see how this reads:

    http://www.salon.com/2015/01/11/its_not_just_fox_news_how_liberal_apologists_torpedoed_change_helped_make_the_democrats_safe_for_wall_street/

    You’ll recognize a lot of the arguments that come up from regular Standardista writers and commenters.

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    Chinese gov’t partners with Sesame (a popular Chinese social network).
    Users are given points based on how much they follow the party line, while points are deducted sharing material that is critical of the gov’t

    • AsleepWhileWalking 4.1

      + there are real world consequences to having a low or high score such as ease of credit access

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    It gets worse, make sure you watch between mins 7 – 8

  5. Muttonbird 6

    Just who is Stacey Kirk?

    She’s penned a piece on Judith Collins’ first week back from purgatory which from sentence first to last is laden with instances of casual corruption, and a picking up by Collins of Dirty Politics methods from where she was forced to drop them.

    But here’s the thing. Stacey Kirk treats the chaotic PR normal behaviour, and the shut down of information to the public positive for, presumably, the public.

    Breathtaking arrogance from Collins and breathtaking arrogance from Kirk who seems to endorse it.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/75251240/stacey-kirk-judith-collins-lining-up-the-chess-pieces-for-a-positive-start

    • ianmac 6.1

      Not sure that Stacey is endorsing it. She identifies the fact that there is spin. For example Collins taking credit for $17million for Corrections when it was done and dusted before she took office. So we will watch Tracey to assess her credibility.
      For a lesson in supportive PR spin, read Audrey Young’s glossy purring over the wonders of Key’s tenure, and ignoring the serious problems existing and unsolved.
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11563323

      • Muttonbird 6.1.1

        Fair enough. I think the article is couched in an acceptance that a reduction in transparency and an increase in soft PR corruption is the norm and shouldn’t really be fought because it is just a tough minister doing a job for her party.

        Where the reflection that these things are harmful to a democracy?

        Where the discussion that an immediate increase of $17m to corrections is a frank admission that corrections have been underfunded for some time?

        Taken as a whole it is a fluff piece.

        FYI, from memory, Slater and Farrar have Kirk as one of their top three political scribes…

  6. Rosemary McDonald 7

    This had our rural Waikato household shaking our heads this morning…

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/201783089/insight-for-20-december-2015-more-pay-for-living-in-auckland

    “Despite the fact he’s on a salary, he’s giving up his flat for the summer and heading back to his hometown in Southland to earn extra money working on a farm, just so he can afford to return to Auckland next year.”

    To those of us who don’t live in Auckland and don’t aspire to live in Auckland, the answer to Auckland’s housing crisis, transport crisis and cost of living crisis is sooo obvious….leave.

    • RedBaronCV 7.1

      I rather think that there are some businesses that are maybe bright enough to shift as many of their jobs out of Auckland as they can so that they can continue to get staff.

    • Chooky 7.2

      unfortunately the Auckland problem is being encouraged to spread elsewhere….so soon there wont be anywhere to go

      …and house prices all over New Zealand will be too expensive for young New Zealanders and rents will also be too expensive

      personally I would prefer to keep the Auckland problem in Auckland

    • Molly 7.3

      Auckland is my hometown. I’ll be damned if I quietly allow it to become a place in NZ where the average NZer cannot live.

      Financial inequality feeds the housing affordability issue. The simplistic call to “leave” won’t stop the beast that is gobbling up Auckland. Active changes to housing policy and wage inequality will.

      This is worth staying and advocating for.

      • Chooky 7.3.1

        +100 Molly…where are the political parties on the Left on this?

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.3.2

        What is gobbling up Auckland is a population it is unable to sustain. Too many people trying to live in too smaller space.

        All driving too many vehicles on too many roads. Build another section of motorway?…It just fills up with more vehicles.

        There is a purely selfish aspect to my grumble about Auckland traffic….those of us who regularly travel through Auckland with no intention of stopping….well, its a nightmare. Rush hour…yes, reasonable to expect congestion, but 4 lanes all ground to a halt on the southbound side of the Northern MWay at 10 o’clock in the morning….ridiculous. It is.

        I think it is too late to save Auckland as a place “the average NZer can live”.

        House and land prices would have to decrease….like that’s going to happen when the Banks have quite happily allowed mortgages on overpriced properties.

        Personally…I think if one can’t afford to rent in Auckland without the Accommodation Allowance, can’t afford to live without wage subsidies, can’t afford to live on a benefit….one should up stakes and move to another part of the country.

        There is work in the provinces, there is housing, there is land at prices that do not equate to the GDP of a small African nation.

        And…we are quite civilised….honestly.

        Leave Auckland to those who can easily afford to live there….then watch as rentals come down because there are not enough careworkers to do the necessary in the resthomes and retirement villages. There are not enough rubbish collectors or lawnmowing contractors or wait staff to serve lattes to the Ponsonby set.

        Market forces….those who persist in the struggle to survive in this artificially created hell are enabling those who created it.

        • Sacha 7.3.2.1

          “There is work in the provinces” – only if retail or serving the farming industry is your aspiration. That’s never been enough to keep young people from seeking the opportunities that only scale offers, including high-value work in industries that rely on cluster effects. NZ has only one world-scale city.

          • Ergo Robertina 7.3.2.1.1

            No, you don’t get it – the young teacher featured in Insight was comparing his lot with that of a teacher mate in the provinces who saved $15k per year from the same teacher’s income.
            Problem with the ‘leave Auckland if you don’t have money’ line is that it implies teachers, social workers, nurses and the like ought to have a private income or wealthy partner in order to afford to live in the community they serve, which is absurd and obscene.
            That Auckland is a ”world scale” city is only relevant and desirable for a few industries – not teaching and the like – and what people are considering is how it’s possible for ordinary workers to afford to be in that city, to live decent lives and remain connected to families, workplace, and networks.
            The reaction in emails and texts following the programme was extremely negative, and I agree paying an Auckland weighting would only exacerbate the housing market and the over-centralisation there – but it’s hard not to feel sympathy for those trying to get by there on ordinary wages.
            And when you’re about to have meals carted from the ‘world scale’ city to the deep south just to feed elderly and hospital patients, you need to wonder just what we have created in that ”world scale” city, and whether we’re doing it all wrong.

            • Pat 7.3.2.1.1.1

              this has been an ever increasing issue for Queenstown for the past couple of decades though on a smaller scale granted….think it would be safe to say they have yet to solve it so doesn’t bode well for Auckland in the short/medium term

            • Sacha 7.3.2.1.1.2

              It’s not a problem unique to NZ, though our refusal to act on the financialisation of housing does not help.

              An Auckland pay topup would be another subsidy to employers like WFF is, another subsidy to property investors like Accomodation Subsidy is, and a continued sop to banks and other financiers making out like bandits. It would however allow people doing many jobs to afford to stay in the region, as you say.

              • Ergo Robertina

                Yeah, but the programme we’re discussing focused on what to do about the outcome of the problem you’ve identified.
                Everybody gets that it’s not just NZ affected.
                But centralisation in NZ has been more exuberant than in other countries, there has been resistance and lack of capital for infrastructure spending, and we’re a haven for cheap real estate money, thus the cost of living crisis in Auckland is extreme.

            • Rosemary McDonald 7.3.2.1.1.3

              “problem with the ‘leave Auckland if you don’t have money’ line is that it implies teachers, social workers, nurses and the like ought to have a private income or wealthy partner in order to afford to live in the community they serve, which is absurd and obscene.”

              I wonder how many of those teachers, social workers and nurses now truly sympathise with their students and clients and patients?

              How long has it taken for those professions to go from commenting on the financial struggles of the people they serve to suffering the same financial struggles themselves?

              It used to be that the teachers, social workers and nurses pitied the ‘poor’ that they encountered everyday….now…the teachers, social workers and the nurses are asking the rest of the country to support them.

              Time to get out of Dodge.

              “And when you’re about to have meals carted from the ‘world scale’ city to the deep south just to feed elderly and hospital patients, you need to wonder just what we have created in that ”world scale” city, and whether we’re doing it all wrong.”

              Now this is absurd and obscene. What is the name of the company making these meals? Where is the plant? How much are they paying their workers? Considering in earlier times Auckland businesses did well out of exploiting illegal immigrant workers. Now, there are companies (who seem to be mostly based in Auckland) that are legally employing disabled people at well below the minimum wage.

              A rough estimate of costs suggest to me that paying workers below the minimum wage is the only way such a crackpot scheme would work.

              • Ergo Robertina

                Here’s my take on it: Nurses, teachers, hospital orderlies, plumbers, caregivers etc make the world go round, but I don’t expect them to solve the problems of how to organise society or run the financial system. And as for voting power, both Labour and National contributed to creating this beast.
                In respect of the union movement, I think it’s pretty clear the likes of NZNO made some kind of Faustian pact a while ago, and recently nursing mag Kai Tiaki has run some fascinating letters from disaffected members upset about the union not taking a lead on issues like TPPA. Geoff Annals referenced the organisation being too corporate when he stepped down as CEO a couple of years ago).
                All this ”world scale” boosterism, as illustrated by Sacha, is in my view crap. If success relies on scale NZ remains a backwater in any endeavour. Having a dysfunctional city where people are permanently stressed will not lead to export innovation.
                That’s not to deny benefit for some industries from being based in our largest city, but much of it is counter-productive, hospital meals being a good example.

          • Rosemary McDonald 7.3.2.1.2

            @ Sacha “…only if retail or serving the farming industry is your aspiration.”

            There is some truth in this Sacha…though I suspect that the non retail and farming support industries in the provinces might take umbrage at you putting all their eggs in two baskets!

            What “opportunities” for Young People? Surely they can see that the same opportunities exist in other parts of NZ. Or there is the capacity to create their own opportunities in places where they are not handicapped from day one by high rents, rates, water charges, transport costs?

            I am goading here. For those of us not living in Auckland, not aspiring to live in Auckland (I’m repeating myself here) living in Auckland the way it is makes no sense.

            Someone convince me that there is something about Auckland that makes it worth living in despite the awful living conditions.

            • marty mars 7.3.2.1.2.1

              There are great people living in Auckland and people doing great things for the betterment of society in general.

            • Sacha 7.3.2.1.2.2

              “Surely they can see that the same opportunities exist in other parts of NZ.”

              Nope. Because they do not.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.3.2.1.2.3

              What “opportunities” for Young People? Surely they can see that the same opportunities exist in other parts of NZ.

              That’s just it – they don’t.

              Or there is the capacity to create their own opportunities in places where they are not handicapped from day one by high rents, rates, water charges, transport costs?

              Nope.

              Someone down on the farm can’t just wake up one day and produce a CPU. To do that requires the infrastructure and networks that exists in cities. Thing is, even most of our cities don’t have that capability and so you’re telling people that they should up and leave to places that have even less opportunity.

        • Molly 7.3.2.2

          “Leave Auckland to those who can easily afford to live there….then watch as rentals come down because there are not enough careworkers to do the necessary in the resthomes and retirement villages. There are not enough rubbish collectors or lawnmowing contractors or wait staff to serve lattes to the Ponsonby set.”

          This view of Aucklanders comprising only of the monied is false.

          It is the largest Pacifica nation in the world, and the social networks and wide communities of the less financially well-off will be fractured if everyone responded to your call to leave.

          “Market forces….those who persist in the struggle to survive in this artificially created hell are enabling those who created it.”
          Not a believer in market forces as they are often spoken of. There is little choice in non-transparent supply chains, and limited options for real difference. Market forces becomes a catch all phrase for I can’t be bothered looking into it.

          I am surprised to see such simplistic and despondent thinking from you.

          “There is a purely selfish aspect to my grumble about Auckland traffic….those of us who regularly travel through Auckland with no intention of stopping….well, its a nightmare. Rush hour…yes, reasonable to expect congestion, but 4 lanes all ground to a halt on the southbound side of the Northern MWay at 10 o’clock in the morning….ridiculous. It is.”

          In this you called it like it is. It is self interested to consider only that your travel time is increased, when the focus on roads separates communities, encourages further fossil fuel usage, contributes to air pollution, and undermines the potential for public transport to be properly implemented, and rail to take some of the heavy vehicles off the road.

          Complain about the traffic to your passenger or the person waiting for you, but don’t use it as a pertinent point about long term housing affordability or wealth inequality.

          “Personally…I think if one can’t afford to rent in Auckland without the Accommodation Allowance, can’t afford to live without wage subsidies, can’t afford to live on a benefit….one should up stakes and move to another part of the country.”
          As mentioned this is the largest Pacifica city in the world. I don’t know if you have considered the notion that many who make do with less, manage to do so because of the large social and family support networks that exist.

          Regardless of what you may wish to believe of racial equality in NZ, there are many places in the provinces that don’t welcome those not of their demographic. Opportunities are not equal for all.

          Wealth inequality and access to affordable, healthy housing are two big issues.

          They have become apparent earlier in Auckland because there is a greater concentration of people there. We should be using Auckland’s situation as a discussion tool regarding these two issues for the whole nation. Because if we leave it to the “market” the failure to address it comprehensively will be felt by those places now touted as solutions.

          • Rosemary McDonald 7.3.2.2.1

            “This view of Aucklanders comprising only of the monied is false.

            It is the largest Pacifica nation in the world, ”

            Auckland is not a “nation”, it is a city, and an overpopulated one.

            “Regardless of what you may wish to believe of racial equality in NZ, there are many places in the provinces that don’t welcome those not of their demographic. Opportunities are not equal for all.”

            THIS is a tad insulting…somehow implying that out in the provinces we’re all racist rednecks for whom the message of racial tolerance was over our heads. This is simply not true, and there are many Pacifica people living in towns and cities around New Zealand that are NOT Auckland….and hence easier to live in.

            It is not only my travel through the Big Barrier to Elsewhere that is Auckland that concerns me…its the locals. The time wasted stuck in traffic, travelling from A to B, the stress of it all?

            How do you all cope?

            Why do you all do it, day after day?

            How would you, Molly, make Auckland an affordable, livable city?

            • Sabine 7.3.2.2.1.1

              Auckland was until a few years ago a fairly affordable city.
              Then, a certain generation of kiwis decided to sell to the highest bidder instead of their children, supported by a government that told them basically Greed is good, so go forth and be super greedy.
              And yes, there are a lot of the older people in Auckland that basically told their own children to move out of Auckland if they can’t afford it. Nice ey?

              Add to that the fact that speculation is now considered a volkssport, Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, Queenstown, and CHCH (if they get their act together) will all the be future ‘unafordable’ cities that people that can’t afford the city will just have to move out.

              I have lived in AKL for over twenty years now, i love the fact that it is Pacifica, that it is young and funky, yet has business opportunities, has green belts and K-Road (even if this particular road is now going to be gentryfied by stealth) and a lovely cafe scene – as I love sipping a coffee (not much of a boozer i am) and watch people go about their business.

              To those that say move out of Auckland, a. where do you want them to go? How many Aucklanders would you want to go to any particular place? Do you only want second generation Kiwi -Aucklanders to go rural, or are you happy for all Aucklanders go rural? How much are you happy to have your taxes increased to pay for unemployment benefits and other benefits if these Aucklanders don’t find jobs elsewhere?
              I mean, Auckland is a city of NZ, the people living there are Kiwis as much as the people living in Queenstown, despite any myth and legends.

              This whole discussion is just so fucked up, seven years into a manmade housing crisis we are still discussing that Aucklanders should leave their homes, their jobs, their families, their social networks and move elsewhere if they are priced out of the market.
              and then what?

            • Molly 7.3.2.2.1.2

              You are right with the “Pasifica city”. I’m usually better at proofreading.

              Thanks for the correction.

              ““Regardless of what you may wish to believe of racial equality in NZ, there are many places in the provinces that don’t welcome those not of their demographic. Opportunities are not equal for all.”

              THIS is a tad insulting…somehow implying that out in the provinces we’re all racist rednecks for whom the message of racial tolerance was over our heads.”

              If you take it as an insult, there is nothing I can say that would allow that consideration to be made. I completely agree that not all in the provinces would be unaccommodating of diversity, but as a brown face from Auckland centre moving to a farming community the change in tolerance in marked. And I am no shrinking violet. The public comments made in this community are something I would never have heard in my childhood in a typical diverse Auckland suburb. The opportunities for engagement and employment is less.

              And you also don’t touch on the fracture of the support systems of many in Auckland, and how the loss of that geographical contact would impact.

              “How would you, Molly, make Auckland an affordable, livable city?”
              It’s a long list. A few to start and to end the year.

              1. Improve working conditions and wages and ensure that a 40 hour week results in a livable wage. (The 40 hr week is something that has to be looked at in the future, but we’ll start with baby steps).
              2. Have discussions at community and government level about how the investment in safe, affordable, healthy homes for everyone has rewards that benefit NZ many times over in terms of financial prosperity (not the same as growth), social community and connections.
              3. Government (both national and local) needs to stop divesting in social housing, and in fact, needs to keep investing until this crisis is over. Ideally, some form of community and government ownership needs to be created so that future government policy changes don’t result in whole communities losing their homes.
              4. Land tax for those sitting on already zoned but undeveloped sites.
              5. Uplift capital value taxes from those who have benefited from a change of landuse zoning as a result of council amalgamation. This tax exists in other countries, and is paid when land is sold or during development.
              6. Create an unfavourable environment for overseas investors in residential properties. Do it by restricting sales, creating stamp duties specific to overseas landlords – but until all NZers can afford a place to live, remove overseas speculators from the market.
              7. Allow multi-generational homes that suit alternative and existing cultures. Do not get upset about people living in garages and support their eviction. Find some way to make it easier for them to insulate and create good living spaces together without heavy-handedness.
              8. Government run apprenticeship and building schemes that get residents and communities involved in the creation of new social housing.
              9. Remove financial and policy incentives that encourage housing to be treated as a trading commodity, and so attracts speculators.
              10. Promote innovative thinking in terms of housing with changes to planning laws, not just new ways for developers to build.
              11. Stop keeping the conversation regarding “affordable” housing limited to “affordable to build and sell to the first owner”. Housing that is cheap to purchase, if often expensive to live in. Especially if it is developed in greenfields far from infrastructure, services and community facilities.

              • Karen

                + 1000 Molly. I agree with all your suggestions.

                I get really annoyed with people who do not live in Auckland making assumptions about why people live here. I was born here, I do work that is only feasible to do here, I have a large extended family living here and most of my friends live here. Moving really is not an option. Oh, and I don’t drive so I need to live somewhere with public transport.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  “…public transport”

                  Hmmm….we had an appointment in downtown Auckland the other day. Bottom of Queen Street.

                  We have a seven metre housebus with the wheelchair hoist down the back.

                  Options? A train from Hamilton, Pokeno, Drury to Britomart? No.

                  Park the Bus somewhere in the ‘burbs and take Public Transport into the city? With a wheelchair? Are you joking?

                  Final decision..drive up to Gulf Harbour, freedom camp overnight and take the 10.45 ferry to the City.

                  All good apart from the really really steep ramps we had to negotiate to get onto the ferry at Gulf Harbour. I’m talking so steep that it took the four teenage boys I co opted plus moi to get the wheelchair to the ferry. Simply not good enough. At all.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Add another 1000 +++ from me Molly for your 11 solutions. Agree with each and everyone of them…as long as we all agree that they apply to everywhere in New Zealand.

        • greywarshark 7.3.2.3

          Rosemary Mcd
          ..ridiculous. It is. Reminds me of Yoda’s abrupt succinct speech. and the strange metamorphsis of John Key’s face between Yoda’s ears in the recent TS.

          What would Yoda say about solving auckland’s problems.
          Do or do not – there is no try!
          (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eExL1VLkQYk&spfreload=10
          Perhaps John Key should become like the young Skywalker and learn new ways by listening to Yoda, avoiding Darth Vader, his father. To the Dagobah system! ‘icon_arrow.gif’ (Iwanted to put a neat little arrow but nothing works for me. Just use your imagination.)

        • Draco T Bastard 7.3.2.4

          There is work in the provinces, there is housing, there is land at prices that do not equate to the GDP of a small African nation.

          No there isn’t and continued productivity increases will continue to decrease the work in rural areas and our provincial cities aren’t developing enough to provide jobs. And even in Auckland increased productivity is decreasing work.

          • Rosemary McDonald 7.3.2.4.1

            “No there isn’t …”

            There is…but there might be more if more people lived in the provinces.

            How many Auckland jobs are all involved in serving Aucklanders?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.3.2.4.1.1

              No, really, there isn’t.

                • Molly

                  I often wish I was more politically savvy in my youth, but eventually I started thinking about the effect my overseas employment had on the visited countries workforce.

                  I remember talking with youthful pride about how NZers and Aussies were favoured employees in UK temp agencies and jobs. Only now, do I realised that our willingness to work for crap wages for the sole purpose of saving up to travel actually contributed to lower wages and working conditions for those living there.

                  People who wish to live complete lives, in a community with their friends and family, and who cannot indefinitely sleep five to a bedroom, enjoy cheap travel and good nights out and still know they have a good home to return to.

                  The same is true of the migrants we employ for undesirable and low-waged jobs in NZ. The reason they are here is because they come from a place of need. To ensure we don’t abuse that – we need to keep the standards of care and living very high. That has not been the case so far.

                  By taking advantage of vulnerable people from overseas, we create a form of slavery and reduce the standard of care we show for our own.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You obviously fail to understand the concept of ‘opportunity’ and connect it to what people are looking for.

                  People aren’t looking to do lots of boring shit but something that challenges them, produces something that will change society as well as having an active social life. These are things that a city can provide but which most of the provincial towns and cities don’t.

                  To provide those sorts of opportunities they need to develop the infrastructure to support them and they simply aren’t doing that to the degree needed.

                  It’s why I keep saying that NZ needs a space program. A $10 billion dollar per year government space program would open those opportunities up and, yes, encourage development in the provinces.

                  Just saying see jobs, move there really isn’t going to cut it. Especially when they’re type of jobs that are going to be the first discontinued as automation takes over.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    @DBT
                    “It’s why I keep saying that NZ needs a space program.”

                    I said “leave Auckland”…not the frigging planet.

                    “People aren’t looking to do lots of boring shit but something that challenges them, produces something that will change society as well as having an active social life. These are things that a city can provide but which most of the provincial towns and cities don’t.”

                    And, right there, in the proverbial nutshell, is exactly the kind of attitude that so endears the rest of the Nation to Auckland and Aucklanders. Not.

                    The “people” most affected by the appalling cost of living in Auckland are the people doing the boring but absolutely necessary shit. The kind of shit jobs that make the lives of others bearable. The kind of jobs that will always be there…

                    Those questing for “opportunities” that will change the world should be able to do that anywhere. Why should those opportunities be Auckland based?

                    You do know that we have electricity in the provinces? Broadband? Flushing toilets? All the mods cons? AND…we have international airports, seaports, hospitals, schools, tertiary institutions….all the infrastructure that Auckland has but is overloaded. We even have…Public Transport!

                    Auckland has reached its limit, population wise.

                    The rest of the country? Happy to take the overflow…better quality of life for all.

                    I’ve really enjoyed this discussion today…and it’s heartening to see so many Aucklanders standing up for their city despite it’s problems.

                    I hope things get better for you all…. without a forced evacuation.

                    Now, if only there was a dedicated ‘drive straight through’ lane on SH1.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I said “leave Auckland”…not the frigging planet.

                      It’s not about leaving the planet but about developing our society and our economy.

                      The kind of shit jobs that make the lives of others bearable. The kind of jobs that will always be there…

                      No they won’t. As self-drive vehicles become available we’ll send the end of taxi drivers, truck drivers, bus drivers and train drivers. Street cleaning, which is already almost non-existent, will go the way of the dodo – and we’ll have cleaner streets and parks.

                      Retail will go online and then even the people used to package and send out the goods will be replaced by automation.

                      These things are already happening.

                      Why should those opportunities be Auckland based?

                      I didn’t say that they should be. I said that the regions weren’t developing the infrastructure to support those opportunities and thus aren’t producing those opportunities.

                      You do know that we have electricity in the provinces? Broadband? Flushing toilets? All the mods cons? AND…we have international airports, seaports, hospitals, schools, tertiary institutions….all the infrastructure that Auckland has but is overloaded.

                      No, you have some of the infrastructure that Auckland has. Good city councils would be actively building the rest but they’re not and the people are complaining about the rates as they are.

            • Sabine 7.3.2.4.1.2

              Cops can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Teachers can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Nurses can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Cooks can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Physio Therapists can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Electricians can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Plumbers can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Dishwasher can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Firefighters can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Road Workers can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Park Employees can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Students in general can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Shop Keepers and Owners can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Supermarket Managers and their staff can’t afford Auckland anymore
              Cafe Owners can’t afford to live in Auckland anymore

              and all of the above and all of the other Aucklanders that can’t afford Auckland anymore, or are still hanging in there by sheer willpower all work to serve someone, either living in Auckland or living elsewhere in NZ or overseas.

              I find it very discomforting to know that the rest of NZ is quite happy for Aucklanders to essentially just disappear lest they need an Accommodation benefit to survive in their home City, considering as well that the Mr. and Mrs. Ordinary Taxpayer Aucklander is not the one that has caused the housing crisis in the first place. Just another round of victim blaming.

              Let’s not ask the government to do something about a speculative house market, lets not ask the government to do something about slums being build, lets not ask the government to do something about rents that are closer to black mail payments then anything else.

              Just another reason of why we can’t have nice things.

              • Treetop

                Defence (army, navy, airforce) can’t afford Auckland.
                Pensioners can’t afford rates.

              • Ad

                Auckland is doing fine.

                People are coming here in droves.

                No one has to be grateful, but Aucklanders pay more than their share of the nations’ tax bill. Even moreso once that 2-year investor property tax kicks in.

                Those Waikato people complaining are just sad they have their forearm stuck up a cow.

                • Ergo Robertina

                  Oh right, is that why applications from Aucklanders for Waikato jobs on TradeMe increased 81% in a
                  single year ?

                  OAB was wrong – we still need better wingnuts round here.

                  • Ad

                    An upswing off a tiny base. Whereas the population growth of Auckland in the next decade is higher than the entire population – not just the growth – of any other province including Canterbury.

                    It’s of a scale of speed and change that there’s nothing this kind of government can do about it.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      That response amounts to nothing more than your usual pseudo-intellectual TINA twaddle; for instance the claim there’s ”nothing this kind of government can do” – what does that mean?
                      You mean under the prevailing economic framework – but that’s why we’re discussing this problem – it’s not working for a growing number of people.

                      Even if it’s unstoppable – and I don’t accept that – it’s massively churlish to deny and not address the down side.
                      You declare Auckland’s doing fine, but wingnuts (pseudo-intellectual or otherwise) never understand what a city (or country) is, and who it’s really for.

                    • Ad

                      Run out of reply buttons.

                      I think you’re reading too fast. Otherwise you would have caught the actual phrasing:

                      “there’s nothing this kind of government can do about it”

                      Twyford’s housing proposals are a great start. But we have yet to hear any party come out with a comprehensive policy formulation for the problems of Auckland. It’s so big that no-one wants to intervene now.

                      Auckland definitely has downsides. The fact that it is so hard to enable actual democratic input into changing those downsides was precisely what I addressed in a separate post yesterday. I wasn’t inclined to do a specific post on Auckland. Maybe in January.

                      I also acknowledged Molly and Sabine’s proposals – if all implemented – would make a difference in Auckland.

                      Nor did I say “Auckland was doing fine”. I simply pointed out its upsides, which are huge, and hard to imagine for the rest of New Zealand. The policy solution for Auckland does not lie in a few token and meaningless salary weightings.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      I agree salary weightings are not a solution. But pressure for them will grow if we don’t address the cost of living crisis.

        • Incognito 7.3.2.5

          ”What is gobbling up Auckland is a population it is unable to sustain. Too many people trying to live in too smaller space.”

          Auckland is nowhere near capacity. For example, take the province of Utrecht, which is the smallest province of the Netherlands. It has an area of 1,385 square km and a population of 1,268,489 (August 2015). Compare this with Auckland with an area of 4,894 square km and a population of 1,570,500 (June 2015 est.). Utrecht is by no means over-populated or unliveable. In fact, I’ve been told it is quite a nice place to live (if you don’t mind traffic jams).

          • sabine 7.3.2.5.1

            Utrecht also has a policy of only one 1!! car per family. If the family would like to have more cars they must show proof that they are renting a private carpark for said vehicle.
            Utrecht like anywhere else in Holland has excellent public transport, cycleways that go from the boarder of Germany/Belgium of Holland all the way through to the cost.
            Utrecht also is a city full of dutch people that are quite happy and capable in sharing the space and the understanding that having 1 third of the population effectively become homeless in order to sustain property speculation for the few is an awesome recipe for disaster.

            NZ has none of the above.

            disclaimer, i lived in for a few years in Holland whilst working there.

            • Incognito 7.3.2.5.1.1

              Thanks Sabine. I had picked up from your posts that you have a strong and personal connection with The Netherlands.

              You mentioned a number of points that paint quite a Utopian picture of The Netherlands, which is perhaps one reason why it came ranked 5th in the UN 2015 Human Development Report (NZ came 9th equal with Canada).

              Regardless, nothing you mention is unattainable in NZ or in Auckland, for that matter. This is my point: Auckland is nowhere near capacity and it won’t have to ‘sacrifice’ living standards or compromise environmental considerations to emulate some of the effective approaches that evidentially work elsewhere. NZ and Auckland are unique but not that unique. In fact, one could argue that Auckland could become more liveable and attractive if some of the overseas experiences were actually ‘transcended’ and incorporated into the planning. My guess is that (local) politics have a lot to answer for – it is not an unsurmountable geographical problem.

    • Tautuhi 7.4

      The place is a rat race with gridlock on the motorways from dawn till dusk, everyone working their butts off just to pay the rent and put food on the table.

    • Sabine 7.5

      where do you want people to move too?

      • Ad 7.5.1

        Indeed. 1.6 million and counting. No other region comes half as close.

        And in case we forget about the power of the housing market: those who have a property or two in Auckland can retire to anywhere in New Zealand they want, bringing capital with them to the provinces. That’s the dream the rest of the country aspires to – if internal migration tracks the way it has for the last thirty years.

        • Sabine 7.5.1.1

          and by selling their property of several and moving to the provinces, they screw up the housing market there……wellington was crying last week that the ‘aucklanders’ are pushing up prices.

          Yep, it seems that the problem is always the Joe and Jane ordinary Citizens. Never ever the fucking system that is foisted by the few on the many. And so many would blame their kids for wanting to much rather then point out the systematic rot everywhere.

          I really want to know where people want us to move too, what jobs we should do there, and how they think it will affect the people living there.

          We could put a stop to migration for a year or tho, especially the ‘investors’ class migration, but that is not something we are allowed to say. right?

          • Ad 7.5.1.1.1

            The next step for a property-empowered Aucklander is either semi-retirement to somewhere like Tauranga or Queenstown, or take the real plunge and move their entire career to Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore pr Hong Kong.

            We don’t have to conceive of Auckland as a simple unfairness.

            We should treat Auckland as a platform that helps make us competitive with the rest of the world’s attractive cities, and can enable us to get there if we want.

            Auckland is a step up from the rest of New Zealand in its international networks, in its housing capital, and in its global ambition. There will never ever be another New Zealand city like it, and it’s not going away. And it’s overall a power of good for New Zealand.

            • Molly 7.5.1.1.1.1

              “The next step for a property-empowered Aucklander is either semi-retirement to somewhere like Tauranga or Queenstown, or take the real plunge and move their entire career to Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore pr Hong Kong.

              We don’t have to conceive of Auckland as a simple unfairness.

              We should treat Auckland as a platform that helps make us competitive with the rest of the world’s attractive cities, and can enable us to get there if we want.

              Auckland is a step up from the rest of New Zealand in its international networks, in its housing capital, and in its global ambition. There will never ever be another New Zealand city like it, and it’s not going away. And it’s overall a power of good for New Zealand.”

              Your entire comment supports a philosophy of “what’s in it for me?” and envisions a nation that follows it as a good thing.

              I disagree.

              • Ad

                If all of your suggestions above were implemented, they would make some difference. The current government and the Reserve Bank have deflated some of the real estate price froth. But that’s just the froth.

                “What’s in it for me” should not be confused with “Can Auckland be good for New Zealand?” Auckland’s essential unfairness in its distribution of equity is a fact. It’s here forever. As are the virtues of Auckland. Auckland itself will shortly become a more important redistributor of wealth across New Zealand than anything central government could ever do.

                Auckland is and will always be the only international gateway city between New Zealand and the world. The rest of New Zealand should pay to get its advantages – and every year, by moving there, they do.

                • Molly

                  Agree with the trend of your other comments, but still disagree with this: ” Auckland’s essential unfairness in its distribution of equity is a fact. It’s here forever. “

                  It is government policy at both national and local levels that has exacerbated this inequality. And government policy and encouragement can make a decided difference if they had the political will and long-term intent.

                  “If all of your suggestions above were implemented, they would make some difference.”
                  That was only the start. I’m a little bit obsessed with affordable housing, and there is a longer list.

                  • Ad

                    I just can’t see it now.
                    I don’t see the democratic instruments to do it, I don’t see the mix of policies, or parties, I don’t see the will. I don’t even see the capacity in the public service anymore to take on something that size.

                    The shifts that would be required dwarf even the scale I described in my post yesterday – and one of those takes at least a decade to do.

                    The growth of Auckland alone over the next 10 years is greater than the entire population of Christchurch – and remaking just Christchurch’s city centre has taken everything the Council and insurers and developers and much of government could throw at it.

                    Happy to be proven wrong once a new government is in place. But I’m pessimistic.

                    • Molly

                      “Happy to be proven wrong once a new government is in place. But I’m pessimistic.
                      Me too.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      I do hope that our resident Auckland Mayoral Candidate has been following this discussion…Penny?

                      A few ideas here….

            • sabine 7.5.1.1.1.2

              Tauranga is already out of reach for many. Queenstown, really bro? Where have you been living.
              Cashed up Aucklanders have now moved on to other cute smaller places, a friend of mine bought a house in the middle of the country for 100.000 last year, prices are now in the mid three hundred to four hundred.
              No jobs have been created, these houses are now empty but for two month during summer, guess what happened……the locals are being priced out and are now being told that if they can’t afford it they should move……to a ditch or something.

              Fuck really, its not rocket science innit?

              Auckland is not a housing capital, its a fucking housing misery with hovels waiting to fall apart or for being sold for excess cash and then rented back to some hapless people that will wonder why the fuck they have a permanent chest infection. And it should not be a housing capital, housing should be first and foremost a ‘must have in order to survive’ and then when all are housed, could become a ‘capital’.

              Auckland is the smallest pissiest ‘international’ network you will ever see….I guess Wanaka has more ‘international’ in the network then Auckland will ever have, but i give that to you, sadly it has wankers like Matthew Hooten , Mike Hoskins and Alfred Ngaro live there.
              Auckland in itself does not make you competitive with anything or anyone.

              Investing in research and innovation will make NZ and any region in it competitive. As for other cities, there are many cities in NZ that could do with some regional uplifting, alas our current government is sleeping at the wheel and can’t imagine to spend money on anything but themselves and their mates.
              Why not offer incentives to businesses to settle their call centres and other offices in Whangarai, Whanganui, or Taumaranui or Shannon for that matter. Or finally really promote work from home, especially Call Centres do not need offices in the middle of town. Oh, yeah, other then political will that is not there , there is no reason why not, but we don’t hear any politicians say anything about that. ?

              Then instead of having the country move to Auckland for jobs people could stay in their regions.

              But i really like how you have visions for ‘property empowered Aucklanders’. The rest can just jump of a bridge?

              • Ad

                You simply have no idea about the function of Auckland in New Zealand’s economy. It really does have a different function to “Taumaranui or Shannon for that matter”.

                Pop over to TransportBlog today and you’ll start to get some idea.

                I’ll do my own Auckland-specific piece in late January, to help you out.

  7. Chooky 8

    Episode 850

    https://www.rt.com/shows/keiser-report/326193-episode-max-keiser-850/

    “In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert look for “sisu,” the Finnish spirit of stoic determination, in central banking and find that very few have the guts to take on the shrieks and cries of market losers.

    In the second half, Max interviews Trond Andresen about globalism versus globalization and a progressive nationalism.”

  8. Treetop 9

    I have been thinking about some of the worst things individual cops have done when it comes to their misuse of power and resources and the connection with government.

    The planting of a cartridge case in order to convict Thomas for the Crewe murders.
    The contents of Collin’s binder going missing from the lock up on Mt Erebus.
    Commissioner Burns telling Muldoon that contents in the Moyle file differed to a statement made in the house on 6 November 1976 when there was no charge against Moyle.

    It is a pity that Hager will have to watch his back in case P or another drug is planted in his car or in his home. (I hope that this or something similar does not happen).

    • Reddelusion 9.1

      Maybe start thinking about all the good things cops do and put up with, this then might give you a better perspective

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1

        You mean the job they’re paid to do as public servants? Put your tongue away.

      • Treetop 9.1.2

        Reddelusion I have neighbours who are cops, I have dated cops and I know one or two cops very well.

        I have NO TIME for dirty cops as they do a lot of damage.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.3

        Ah, so you’re quite happy for our police force to be corrupt?

        • Treetop 9.1.3.1

          Sadly this appears to be the case for those who ignore the goings on between the police and the government.

    • Rosemary McDonald 9.2

      ….or cops collectively victimising a journalist….

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10649573

      Trouble is with the police is that none of them seem overburdened with intelligence….or they are happy to be seen to being used as political enforcers.

      • seeker 9.2.1

        Tend to agree with your last sentence Rosemary, especially the remark about intelligence. Britain, it seemed to me, had a similar problem up to the early eighties at least. Am sure it must have changed by now, although economic policy can change their desire to be our protectors to just surviving in the job due to being underresourced, devoid of up to date professional development and good leadership. Instead marketing, spin and massaging of statistics are used to create a rather ‘artificial’ police force and cracks and flaws are beginning to show….badly.

    • Tautuhi 9.3

      Their have been some very strange police investigations and prosecutions in the past 30-40 years where the evidence has been quite suspect?

      Getting the evidence to match the suspect, one tends to loose confidence in the professionalism of the NZ Police and the Judiciary, especially when the forensics are not done properly and are interpreted incorrectly.

      However it is like all industries and organisations there are always some bad apples in the box.

      • seekerGood comm 9.3.1

        Good comment Tautuhi.

      • Treetop 9.3.2

        When there is a cover-up the person/people directly involved have their life turned up-side down. All that seems to happen is that the government payout a sum of money for the matter to be settled.

        Currently there are 74 people taking action against MSD for taking 5 – 16 months for their social welfare file when a ward of the state to be given to them so that they can have some closure and accountability of the abuse experienced as a child when in state care.

        Some people have passed away and initially there were 94 people taking action. This is not to be confused with a final settlement.

        Unacceptable that the government is dragging their feet on this historical issue.

    • greywarshark 9.4

      Gave to Give a Little for Nicky Hager’s costs as he battled the establishment and today he has sent a nice letter to us all. What a super family they are. More of us like them and we’d be a top functioning modern society with good values.

      Subject: Thank you from Nicky Hager
      Dear friends,
      On 2 October last year the police raided our home and I had the hugely encouraging experience of watching hundreds of you coming to my aid on Givealittle: giving money and, just as important, sending kind messages and giving moral support. The financial support made it easy for us to decide to launch legal action, asking the court to declare the police search unlawful and have my computers and files returned without the police getting access to them.

      I hope you saw the news last week, where my lawyers Julian Miles, Felix Geiringer and Steven Price resoundingly won the first stage of the legal action. The High Court judge, Denis Clifford, declared that the police search had been “fundamentally unlawful”. It is a very important decision for New Zealand.

      The court costs and other expenses for this stage (not including lawyers fees) were about $30,000. The police may yet appeal the decision (if they do I think their appeal will fail) but even without that we have two more court hearings coming on different parts of the case. Your combined Givealittle support has taken all the financial stress out of taking legal action, thank you, because we knew we had money to get us through.

      There’s more of the case coming, including at some stage getting my gear back, but the most important decision is that one that happened last week. It firmly establishes a precedent that if investigative journalism produces work with a high public interest, then it deserves legal protection to ensure that the public can continue to receive important information about the actions of the powerful.

      It takes many hands to win a case like this. Meg de Ronde and Rochelle Rees organised the Givealittle campaign. Adam Bolleau, Bryce Edwards, David Fisher, Gavin Ellis, Seymour Hersh and Wayne Stringer provided expert evidence. Many others gave advice and practical assistance. And you all helped the ship to float by your encouragement and by ensuring we could pay the bills. I am very grateful for you joining us in this fight.

      Nicky Hager, 20 December 2015

    • Treetop 9.5

      Correction Burnside @9.

  9. Incognito 10

    Thank you Mark Reason for an excellent article: Christmas might be a good time to help those kids really in need.

    I’m sure it will go down a treat with John Key’s fan-club.

  10. greywarshark 11

    I think this Platonic quote fits NZ which has become the grazing ground of the practical man without much aspiration for thinking about the meaning of liff, and the proud belief that he invented No.8 fencing wire solutions.

    There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.
    Plato

    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/political.html#RQG2Zt6RJeGdTb4m.99

    • b waghorn 11.1

      The flaw in you’re argument is Jamie Whyte

      • Incognito 11.1.1

        I sincerely doubt Plato would consider Jamie Whyte “a philosopher” or “a king”, for that matter, so the quote stands correct and valid.

        • b waghorn 11.1.1.1

          Couldn’t resist a poke at whyte, no offence meant to greywarshark.

          • greywarshark 11.1.1.1.1

            bwaghorn
            No worries. I had forgotten that he laid claim to have done some thinking!
            Incognito sets that in place.

            But the discussion underlines how difficult it is to get balance in our approach to living. I’m sure Plato wasn’t always right, and Jamie whatsit isn’t always wrong. And having philosophy behind you as a leader may not be good if it is one of those that are just mind-exercises.

            No-one can claim to be totally right, everything has to be judged by degrees of rightness. If we could get more right than we are now, we would do well. It could be that the rule of thumb (which as a saying isn’t about something that was right) could be 80:20. If we could only be 80% right about everything I am sure that life would be better. That’s my philosophy for the day. And can be rightly criticised and argued over.
            Happy Christmas, all the best to you and yours.

  11. joe90 12

    Apologies to David Lee Roth.
    /

    I used to have a ponytail problem, now I make enough money.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/75226342/mystery-employer-pays-backpackers-700-to-shave-heads-on-film

  12. NZJester 13

    Have any of you seen the video “Which Cultures Are Most Comfortable Killing Civilians?” on The Young Turks YouTube channel?

    I was shocked that New Zealand got mentioned so much in the video as one of the countries with a higher percentage than a lot of other countries who would support the killing of civilians.

    It sickens me to think that we have such high percentage of people in this country who think it would be alright to deliberately target civilians.

  13. Michael 14

    I saw Andrew Little visited the Economic Policy Institute in Washington DC, easily my favourite progressive think-tank in the US. Interesting to see what will come from that.

    Also saw he visited Hillary Clinton’s Brooklyn campaign HQ – wish it was Bernie Sanders! But I understand that would have been out of the way.

  14. Penny Bright 15

    I know Matthew Hooton regularly reads and posts comments on The Standard – does Rodney Hide?

    Here’s hoping ….. 🙂

    ________________________________________________________

    Ok Rodney – you’ve been a VERY experienced politician – and you know it all comes down to votes – and how important it is NOT to SPLIT the vote?

    You know that Phil Goff, especially with his pro-business ‘Rogernomic$’ background, is, in my view, a safe pair of hands for those corporates in whose interests the Auckland ‘Supercity’ (for the 1%) was forced upon us, and currently operates?

    So what ‘brain of Britain’ came up with the idea of having FOUR ‘pro -business’ / ‘pro -Supercity’ Auckland Mayoral candidates?

    How disorganised are those who represent those corporate interests?

    (Or, are those corporate interests split themselves regarding who can best serve their interests?

    Are there going to be more secret Mayoral ‘Trust Funds’ – or are the public going to be able to see exactly whom is donating money to whom?)

    Seriously?

    So far, in my view, there are four 2016 Auckland Mayoral candidates (to date) who support the pro-corporate ‘Supercity’?

    Stephen Berry
    Mark Thomas
    Phil Goff
    Victoria Crone

    Oh dear – SPLIT VOTE.

    But, in 2013 only 36% of Auckland voters bothered.

    So that leaves 64% of Auckland voters, potentially waiting to be inspired by an Auckland Mayoral candidate, with a proven track record of defending the public and the public interest, and who, from the Mayoral Office, will ensure that Auckland Council and Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) will be held accountable to the RULE OF LAW, regarding citizens and ratepayers lawful rights to ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ local government.

    Don’t YOU support ‘transparency’ in public spending Rodney?

    Kind regards,

    Her Warship
    ________________________________________________________

    “Rodney Hide’s Opinion

    Rodney Hide: At last – a real mayoral race

    Sunday, 20 December 2015

    Victoria Crone is running for Mayor
    By Rodney Hide

    Three cheers for Victoria Crone. She’s the former Xero boss now running for Mayor of Auckland.

    In doing so, she’s giving us choice, making the mayoralty a race, and serving our democracy. She has quit her job, dedicated herself to the campaign, and catapulted herself into public scrutiny.

    On cue, the knockers have been after her in force: no one’s heard of her, she has no experience, her launch was, oh, so terrible, they shout.

    But her true crime is she’s not Phil Goff.

    Those who like to think they decide these things had decided Goff should be mayor even before he announced he was standing.

    Crone has thrown a spanner in their works. How dare she. Heaven forbid: we may have a race; the people may get to decide; we could be proved wrong.

    The commentators aren’t happy and the usual honeymoon accorded a new entrant didn’t last the time it took to tweet.

    She should ignore her knockers. They are sideline Sams who lack her guts and determination to quit their jobs and stand for office. It’s true Crone has no political experience – but the point of a representative democracy such as ours is to elect one of us to run the beast of government, not to appoint someone from the beast itself.

    And Mayor of Auckland should not be a retirement job for MPs who have been in Parliament too long.

    There’s no doubt Goff is a good and experienced politician.

    He has proved that by traversing the extremes of New Zealand’s political spectrum from one side to the other and back again.

    He knows politics. He was first elected to Parliament when Crone was 7 years old.

    But politics is all Goff knows. Crone has lived in the world the rest of us live in. She has had to pay rates and taxes and had to budget. Taxpayers haven’t paid her wages. She has had to earn them. She has lived in our world and excelled in it. She is a mother, a top businesswoman and athlete.

    It takes more skill and work to run a business than be a politician. It means providing jobs and generating wealth rather than just talking about them.

    I like Goff and I have never met Crone. And that’s her challenge. She’s got to meet and reach out to a lot of people through her campaign.
    ……”

  15. Reality 16

    Mark Reason’s article should be read far and wide. Brilliant. He’s got the prime minister absolutely summed up for the shallow, attention-seeking, superficial person that he is. There are many other adjectives that could be added.

    I can’t for the life of me ever see any other NZ political leader climbing into a cage etc etc, even at Christmas.

  16. arkie 17

    A gallup poll has NZ along with the US and Israel as the countries most comfortable with deliberate attacks on civilians.

    sigh.

  17. BLiP 18

    Testing new phone (thanks Santa)

  18. Ad 19

    Puerto Rico is shaping up as the US’s largest-ever debt default:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/20/us/politics/puerto-rico-money-debt.html

    With the US hedge funds successfully lobbying to kill any chance of actual bankruptcy for the little state, the only possible leverage its’ government has is threat of default.

    A true billionaire’s plaything, tossed from pillar to post.
    Incredible wanton financial destruction.

  19. Ergo Robertina 20

    I had previously read Hitchens on Mother Teresa, but had never seen the doco Hell’s Angel before – well worth a watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65JxnUW7Wk4

    A couple of quotes:
    ”She may or may not have comforted the afflicted, but she certainly never afflicted the comfortable.”

    ”Mother Teresa admires the strength of the powerful almost as highly as she recommends the resignation of the poor.”

    I was already cynical about Francis but approving the speedy sainthood of an obvious stooge of the powerful is somewhat surprising.

    • Stuart Munro 20.1

      Hitchens is more than a little dodgy himself though – enthusiastic apologist for the Iraq war. The truth of Teresa lies with the community she served – they seem to have appreciated her.

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        Hitchens once a progressive left winger, he spent his last few years as an exemplary neocon for neocons.

        • ropata 20.1.1.1

          George Galloway had his measure. Hitchens lost his moral compass somewhere in his rage against religion

          • Stuart Munro 20.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I saw their debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNxkK7elSZ4

            But Mother Theresa was a complicated figure – from a very conservative society, a freedom fighter at one point, and apparently began her religious work not with feeding the hungry but with burying the dead. I think that Hitchens attacked her as you say in his rage again religion.

            His pursuit of Kissinger was better founded – the only man in history (except Metternich) with any respect for Metternich.

      • Ergo Robertina 20.1.2

        That’s a shoddy argument Stuart – where’s your critique of the doco?
        Tariq Ali co-produced the film and he was certainly no apologist for Iraq and remained a thorn in the establishment’s side.
        I rather liked the bit in the film about Gore Vidal, United States of Amnesia, where he instructs his caregiver to wheel him away from Hitchens, ignoring his one-time protege, because of the latter’s support for Iraq.
        But it doesn’t take away from the brilliance of Hitchens’ earlier work.

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