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Open mike 2/09/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, September 2nd, 2013 - 137 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

137 comments on “Open mike 2/09/2013 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Congress Fires Opening Shot Across Obama’s Bow.

    by John Walsh, August 31, 2013 Information Clearing House

    “Mr. President, in the case of military operations in Libya you stated that authorization from Congress was not required because our military was not engaged in “hostilities.” In addition, an April 1, 2011, memorandum to you from your Office of Legal Counsel concluded:…”President Obama could rely on his constitutional power to safeguard the national interest by directing the anticipated military operations in Libya—which were limited in their nature, scope, and duration—without prior congressional authorization.’”

    “We view the precedent this opinion sets, where “national interest” is enough to engage in hostilities without congressional authorization, as unconstitutional.”

    Text from letter of Rep. Scott Regall (R, VA) to Pres. Obama
    Signed by 140 Reps, including 21 Democrats

    The letter of Scott Regall (1) to Barak Obama has exploded on the scene with its opening words:
    “We strongly urge you to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria. Your responsibility to do so is prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.
    “While the Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate – and the active engagement of Congress – prior to committing U.S. military assets. Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”

    With these perhaps historic words the Congress has begun to claw back its Constitutional right to decide issues of war and peace. Significantly the letter comes from a Republican lawmaker, and it is clearly a tribute to the leadership of the libertarians in the Republican Party, most notably Ron Paul, Justin Amash and Rand Paul.

    But the situation is grave enough, possibly leading on to a World War, that 21 Democrats have challenged the President and their Party bosses to sign the statement. They are moving beyond partisanship as Ron Paul did in challenging George W. Bush on the war on Iraq.

    If that were all that the letter said, it would be momentous enough. But the statement goes further and labels Obama’s cruel war on Libya as “unconstitutional,” because it was done without so much as a nod to Congress. In the end no lawyer and no court, not even the Supreme Court, can overrule Congress when it decides what to do when it considers a serious presidential action as “unconstitutional.”

    Read more….

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      This will go nowhere. There is no way in hell that the senate, let alone a GOP dominated house will vote to impeach a President over this.

  2. A secret list curated by social network giant Facebook was published online recently after an employee for one of the company’s third-world contractors, upset at his poor working conditions and meager wage, decided to fight back.



    • Greywarbler 2.1

      Amazing about Facebook all right. But the rules actually reflect and react to the peculiar mental processes of people. It is a desire to prevent all people from being drowned in the outpourings of minds that think that ear wax is interesting or toe-jam, or snot or whatever horrible thing you can imagine.

      I once saw a Penthouse or Playboy with photos of a woman defecating onto a piece of glass. Bet many of you immediately think that the woman was disgusting. She was persuaded to do her ‘act’ by something low, probably the reward wasn’t even high.

      Many human minds get stuck on reverse or merely low gear for life and have to be limited from spoiling the world for everyone else.

  3. Government Should Prioritise Job Creation

    .. in Kenya. They wouldn’t be racist now, would they ?


  4. bad12 4

    What’s going on here then, from today’s Herald online, Labour MP David Clark has pointed out that the Skycity convention center deal may just cost the tax payer some very big bucks after all,

    Apparently the contract between the Government and Sky says that after a negotiation over the design of the convention center if the design agreed costs more than the agreed 402 million dollars the Government can choose to walk away from the deal OR throw in the cash to make up for any shortfall over 402 million dollars….

    • Pasupial 4.1

      Another reason to vote NACT out! If “negotiations would continue through the 2014 election year”, then they may not be finished by the election (especially if it’s early in the year). Then a few design modifications to put it up above the $402 million mark, then activate the exit clause. It’s not like Sky City has been negotiating in good faith, so screw the bastards!

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Elections have a great way of focussing the mind and coming to agreement on matters.

        • Pasupial

          Especially if ShonKey uses the asset sale Referendum as an excuse for a snap election! National’s poll numbers aren’t going anywhere but down, so he might want to leave early – like a rat from a ship.

      • Molly 4.1.2

        Wouldn’t the best way to raise the price past that $402 million threshold be to put up the purchase price of the TVNZ site. (If it has not been included in deal already, that is)

    • Tracey 4.2

      you are not surprised are you Bad?

      coupled with their express lie that 800 jobs, not 340 jobs would be created…

      it will also turn out to be a lie that the convention centre will run at anything but a loss.

    • McFlock 4.3

      is the walk away opportunity before or after they get their extra pokies? If sky decide they don’t need a bigger convention centre, would they just have to put forward outrageously expensive specs so the govt walks away, and they still get to create more gambling addicts in the community?

      • bad12 4.3.1

        Not sure Mac, the story in the Herald online didn’t go into that detail, a good question tho and hopefully David Clark gives it to Slippery the Prime Minister next time the Parliament is sitting…

  5. Job creation .. for negotiators.

  6. miravox 6

    I hope WINZ takes this into account before placing ‘work ready’ women in jobs that may involve heavy lifting that might put mothers who have given birth naturally at risk of workplace injury.

    Ms De Luen, 60, suffered a vaginal prolapse after lifting an obese patient at Waikato Hospital in March last year, but had to wait 14 months in the public health system for surgery because her employer, Waikato District Health Board, called it a pre-existing condition caused by childbirth. However, an unrelated doctor’s examination two months earlier showed Ms De Luen did not have a prolapse and there was no cause for concern.

    Ms De Luen said the pain was almost immediate after she lifted the patient. Four days later, the mother of two adult children, aged 40 and 37, went to her GP, who diagnosed the prolapse.

    But the DHB, through its workplace insurer WorkAon under the ACC Partnership Programme, denied the injury was caused by an accident. Instead, it said because Ms De Luen had given birth, it was a pre-existing condition aggravated by the incident.

    I guess that even if it is 37 years since the ‘pre-existing condition’ women should stay at home – just to be safe, of course. I mean, who knows what might happen to them if they venture out? They might get ripped off by workplace insurers, or something.

    • weka 6.1

      Am I missing something, or is the DHB saying it would rather pay for the surgery itself (via the public list) rather than have its insurer pay for it? Would love to see the cost analysis of that.

      • miravox 6.1.1

        is the DHB saying it would rather pay for the surgery itself

        It does seem to lead to that conclusion. Is there an increase in the cost of cover if they have too many of these problems? (Deny the employee claim rather than fix the workplace issue is a whole other question). If that’s the case I guess it’s cheaper just to fit her op in when it suits the DHB rather than when it suits her – 14 months earlier would have been nice, I guess, given the pain and inconvenience and lost income.

        What sort of insurance agreement is it when the insurer implies that it had no input in the decision to decline cover? And what does it mean that fundamental, complication-free, human activities are ‘pre-existing conditions’?


  7. bad12 7

    Did i miss something in the Leadership competition, Labour’s David Cunliffe is being quoted by RadioNZ as saying He will support the ‘Living Wage’ for all workers,

    i greeted this news with an emphatically large YES, and who would have thunk it, employers are quoted as having the usual wail and whine about how unaffordable changing the minimum wage to the living wage would be,

    Apparently there are some 600,000 workers who would receive a boost in their wages and employers are saying that this would ‘cost them’ 4 billion dollars,

    That cost tho is simply alarmism at it’s worst, not all the low waged economy receives the $13.70 that is the minimum wage and if establishing the ‘living wage’ was a matter of 3 yearly steps to reach such a position the ‘cost’ is spread over 3 years,

    Employers are being ‘simple’ seeing establishing the living wage as a ‘cost’ after all it isn’t like the low waged demographic are going to hoard such pay rises,

    The economy will be the main beneficiary of the living wage as all such money will be spent back into the economy business will compete to grab a slice of such extra cash,

    Business competing for a slice of the living wage will at the retail level at least probably have to hire more workers and suppliers will also be busier,

    The Government will take in an be able to redistribute more monies from taxation and in general business will be far far busier recouping the living wage as profits….

    • karol 7.1

      Cunliffe’s press release from yesterday morning:

      Mr Cunliffe has pledged that in Labour’s first year in government he would:

      · Raise the minimum wage immediately to at least $15 an hour

      · Introduce industry standard agreements to ensure New Zealand workers have a real choice to join a union

      · Use the Government’s purchasing power to promote the Living Wage campaign in both the public and private sectors

      · Ensure the government takes a more hands-on approach to lifting pay and providing job security for all Kiwis

      · Work with unions to protect vulnerable workers, including restoring Part 6A protections to all workers

      “I’m committed to making Labour’s work and wages policy central to my plan to lift living standards,” said Mr Cunliffe.

      From RNZ this morning:

      Grant Robertson has pledged to introduce the wage for all Government workers while David Cunliffe wants to work towards a living wage for all New Zealanders.

      • Tracey 7.1.1

        Problem with all of this is that the Labour Party determines its policy. So how can they say “I will…” anything that isn’t already policy, and if it is already policy is this a clever way for the party to get its broader policy across under the guise of a leadership contest?

        I can’t relate to Jones. I think most here get that. BUT is he appealing to a large group of NZers who need a voice? I don’t really think Labour is chasing my vote (even though I am currently going to vote Green). I am a white middle class female and I am not sure that is the vote Labour is missing out on… altho they are missing out on mine so I recognise I am contradicting myself. Hopefully what I am trying to convey is conveyed?

        • yeshe

          conveyed, and agreed.

        • weka

          “Problem with all of this is that the Labour Party determines its policy. So how can they say “I will…” ”

          I have been wondering about that too Tracey. It’s one thing for a leader to say “I will…”, but these men aren’t even leaders yet.

      • bad12 7.1.2

        David Cunliffe wins that one in my opinion, what i would like Labour to release as an election policy is the living wage in the first 3 years of the next Labour Government,

        How does Grant Robertson think the average head out there earning sweet F.A and not working for the Government or a Government contractor feels when they look at a policy of raising that minimum wage to a living wage only for those who work directly or indirectly for the government,

        i am not effected by that minimum wage and i find it a ‘Bit s**t’ of Grant to paint such a distinction and such a policy is likely to ‘cost’ Labour votes at the 2014 election….

    • karol 7.2

      TV One yesterday reported:

      “I’m absolutely committed to seeing the sixth Labour government roll out a living wage as a minimum for public servants and as we can afford it through our contracting process,” Mr Cunliffe told Q+A.

      “And yesterday I launched the idea of having an accreditation system where living wage employers could get a preference in government procurement,” he added.

      • Tracey 7.2.1

        and if I recall Mr Jones didn’t commit to a living wage? He repeated the need to support businesses to grow the economy including using our “resources”. Happy to be corrected on his stance on the living wage. I understand he believes in a near living wage for Ukranian sailors.

      • bad12 7.2.2

        Yes David Cunliffe is on the right track here, but i still have the opinion that to go into the 2014 election with a policy of having the living wage for government employees and those contractors to the government’s employees will likely ‘cost’ Labour as many votes as what it would hope to gain,

        The Government spend is obviously a huge part of the economy and much of that is spent into foreign economies, it would be good to see a Labour Government instruct ALL CEO’s to go through their budgets line by line to target spending that should be New Zealand based with a view to when contracts are renewed these contracts are biased heavily to New Zealand suppliers,

        Contractors then could increase their chances of gaining such contracts by both submitting that they are ‘living wage’ employers along with how long they have been and further increase their chances by stating how many employees they would ‘take on’ by gaining the contracted work,

        That’s the sort of business ‘competition’ that would benefit us all…

    • Lanthanide 7.3

      “The economy will be the main beneficiary of the living wage as all such money will be spent back into the economy business will compete to grab a slice of such extra cash,”

      AKA, inflation.

      • Lanthanide 7.3.1

        Won’t let me edit for some reason. I would also expect quite a few people to lose their job if the minimum wage went from $13.75 to $18.40, even over a space of 3 years.

        • Colonial Viper

          Increased inflation will be low and quite acceptable. If the economy begins to overheat (what a nice problem to have instead of a stodgy sluggish economy), simple measures can rein it back in.

          I would also expect quite a few people to lose their job if the minimum wage went from $13.75 to $18.40, even over a space of 3 years.

          Why? It went from $8/hr in 2002 to $11.25 in 2007 (41% increase in 5 years).

          And unemployment stayed very low.

          • Lanthanide

            Inflation ran at 2.7% annual compounding over that time period. Towards the upper end of the 1-3% target. Total change was 16.4%.

            So in real terms, the wage went up by 21.22%, not the 41% nominal amount.

            • bad12

              ”And unemployment stayed very low” being the heart of the matter…

            • Colonial Viper

              That’s what I’m saying Lanth. Minimum wage got pushed up a large nominal amount, and inflation stayed well under control, and as bad12 said, that’s even given very low unemployment.

              It is actually very difficult to generate significant additional inflation. It is a neoliberal theory used by orthodox economists (who are all paid well over the average wage) to scare working people away from seeking decent pay.

              (Notice how it doesn’t stop massive pay rises ahead of inflation for the top 5% or 10% of income earners, or massive increases in incomes for corporations).

              Hyperinflation is usually the result or very specific conditions. As far as I can tell these are limited to:
              – Massive destruction of infrastructure and productive capacity by war.
              – Severe currency collapse.
              – Severe energy shock.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              The “theory” that raising the minimum wage increases unemployment was debunked long ago, when people noticed that that when they raised the minimum wage, unemployment went down.

      • Tracey 7.3.2

        Lanth, economics and math is NOT my forte.

        With that in mind IF

        The minimum wage went to $18, and in order to maintain its workforces there was (and this is a way out there proposition not necessarily reflective of the real outcome) a drop in the increase of pay rates for management and higher earners in the same business and therefore their spending dropped overall, would that counter act inflation from the other end?

        Is it possible that if businesses have to go up to $18 and they need those people to produce their goods (so cant lay them off) they would look to reduce salaries higher up the chain? Or pay less when recruiting the next middle management person?

        I also wonder if there might not be an increase in productivity from those going from 13 to 18 per hour?

        • Colonial Viper

          Going from $13.75 to $18/hr will have to be done in stages, and will have to be done in co-ordination with other government spending into the private sector economy.

        • Lanthanide

          If people on upper incomes don’t get pay rises in line with inflation, then their real income is going down.

          Effectively you’d be moving wealth from the upper ends of the spectrum to the lower end. I don’t have a problem with that, really.

          • Colonial Viper

            Effectively you’d be moving wealth from the upper ends of the spectrum to the lower end. I don’t have a problem with that, really.

            Well, in effect that is what has been happening for the last 25 years, but from the lower income to the higher income.

            And let’s not ignore the share of national income that major corporations receive. I haven’t seen the statistics but I believe it to be massive and growing fast.

            For instance, last year banking profits were enough to employ 60,000-70,000 people on $30K pa. Once you take in energy company and telco profits that number would be closer to 150,000.

            Hey look…that’s roughly the number of unemployed people in this country. Spooky eh.

      • bad12 7.3.3

        Right, the working poor should be mere serfs, not chained by bonds of steel but those of economic ism so that interest rates for the middle class remain low, nice…

        • Greywarbler

          What we need is actual money rises paid as set amounts to all, each few years so that poor people have their living maintained in line with measured inflation. The percentage rise, seemingly so egalitarian in speech, is a weapon of the wealthy. 10% rise, sounds good. On $20,000 per year that would be $200, on $200,000 the same percentage gives $2,000 p.a. And who needs it most?

          Inflation which is expressed as a percentage is an attempt to keep track of prices and is really useful as an ongoing measure of the rises in price of a set list of items. But that percentage should be calculated to a money amount so that a rise to match inflation does not result in mere cents per hour or a $1 per week say Cullen brought in such a rise which was called the ‘chewing gum’ allowance. That was the Right side of Labour, in love with its ideology and theories, not the people who needed to be loved expressed as humane consideration.

      • millsy 7.3.4

        I think for everyone to have a decent standard of living, inflation needs to be at about 5-6%. Keeping inflation at between 0-3% has pretty much inflicted poverty on many people.

        • bad12

          It’s strange that we call this the ‘free market’ then, just a thought on inflation, it’s linkage to interest rates is what scares the middle class into accepting the impoverishment of those below them in the economy,

          i would be interested to know what would occur if the raising of interest rates were to be taken out of the hands of the Reserve Bank and it’s Governor and be ‘set’ by the Finance Minister,

          What would happen in the economy if interest rates were set where they are now and the minimum wage was Legislated as the ‘living wage’,

          As a start interest rates for those with mortgages would remain the same, wages for those on the lower rungs of the economy would rise giving them some discretionary spend,

          How unstable would prices become and how much discretion would those lower in the economy have in avoiding such price rises is the question…

        • Colonial Viper

          And keeping interest rates low is another problem.

          Benefits property speculators wanting to leverage up; penalises savers and retirees trying to live off interest on their bank deposits.

          • bad12

            CV, but in that mix is also the ‘middle class, whether just plain home owners paying off the mortgage or the large number of them with the 2nd and 3rd rental investments also with mortgages attached,

            Government can ‘get’ the short term speculators with a Capital Gains Tax, but, if Government were seen to ‘get’ the middle class by allowing interest rates to rise i would suggest that they wouldn’t be the Government for long,

            To keep that middle class onside, no matter how much i condemn it’s move in the past 30 years into rental property as an investment, Government has to keep interest rates low,

            Unfortunately the current ‘economics of the Apes’ scenario requires then that unemployment is used as a ‘tool’ to suppress demand in the economy along with the other crude ‘tool’ of suppressing wages for a large pool of the workforce,

            Obviously Government to avoid the electoral fallout of rising interest rates must find a means of uncoupling interest rates from the inflation equation, a means that at present escapes me…

            • Colonial Viper

              Currently home mortgage rates are a shitload higher than the Reserve Bank overnight rate of 2.5%.

              Raise the rate 1% and force the banks to eat 1% less profit margin = home mortgage rates stay the same, but deposit rates climb by 1%, narrowing the profit margin between bank lending and borrowing rates.

    • David H 7.4

      And it is the BIG employers that are bitching, most of the ‘little’ employers already pay over the minimum rate to their staff.

      And if you look at it properly.

      Workers have more money.
      Workers SPEND more money.
      Employers hire more staff to cope.
      Workers have more money.

      What a nasty vicious circle this is to the Nats.

      • McFlock 7.4.1

        That’s the big difference that “minimum wage causes unemployment” economists miss: workers spend their money at the local market or store, they don’t bank/invest/spend $14k on a meal prepared by a celebrity chef who’ll take the money offshore.

        Money gravitates towards money. Stick it away from the big concentrations of cash, and it will pass through many people as it flows back towards the jafaland CBD. Give it to the already rich, and it won’t hit a tenth as many people.

    • Clement Pinto 7.5

      What is your answer to Key who said, “If that is so simple, why not raise it to $30/hr?”

      • Tracey 7.5.1

        my answer is

        “if lowering taxes will create jobs and fire up the economy, why not drop it to a flat 10%.?”

        It’s about balance.

      • bad12 7.5.2

        Simple, who the f**k has given the mere suggestion that the living wage be $30 an hour??? the other point i wish to make to Slippery is Expletive deleted, Expletive deleted, Expletive deleted, Expletive deleted…

      • Salsy 7.5.3

        The $18/per hour figure has come from the Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit following independent research into a New Zealand living wage rate conducted in February 2013.

        We arent grabbing figures out of a hat and making a joke of this like you John. A living wage is the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. Thats what Labour will provide for New Zealanders.

  8. Tracey 8

    “Gridlock is predicted to worsen across the Wellington region after Transmission Gully and the Kapiti Expressway are built.

    Hardest hit will be Wellington city, as people from Porirua and the Kapiti Coast ditch public transport in favour of a faster, cheaper journey into the capital on the new four-lane highways.

    The predictions are contained in a report commissioned by Greater Wellington Regional Council, which warns that local roads could struggle to handle the additional tens of thousands of cars hopping off State Highway 1.

    The report, by independent consultant Opus , was completed in December but has not yet reached the regional council table. It will be discussed at committee level next month. ” stuff.co.nz

    • bad12 8.1

      Yes we were discussing this very gridlock in a Post last week, no time or fuel savings will be gained from Transmission Gully without some serious road building occurring at the point the Ngaraunga interchange disgorges onto the Wellington Urban Motorway where it meets the South bound traffic from the Hutt Valley,

      There will simply be gridlock on the Ngaraunga Gorge and the only means of alleviating that gridlock would be to add two more lanes to the South bound Urban Motorway turning it into a ‘crazy spaghetti’ of 5 or 6 lanes which all the traffic Kapiti and Hutt would have a very short stretch of motorway to negotiate so as to be in the ‘right’ lane for their particular off-ramp,

      Great for panel beaters but a recipe for disaster in terms of entering Wellington via it’s motorway system, and add another 2 billion dollars to the cost of transmission Gully…

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        I didn’t visit the thread but saw srylands name on the side init. Is he back living there now? Moved back from Aussie has he? 😉

        • bad12

          Lolz, i am not sure, ‘it’ was here yesterday but then i think ‘it’ blinked so could be anywhere in ‘it’s’ fantasy world,Melbourne, Sydney, Timbucktoo, who knows…

      • David H 8.1.2

        Gridlock Ahh yes I remember those days spending hours stuck in a car, when mobile internet was a: Not yet invented, and B: when invented prohibitively expensive. So I have now moved the family to the Horowhenua (Yes Lurgee Levin) Sold the damn car built a couple of bikes and a stack of computers wired the house for noise, and here I am for the next 4 years. Oh well it could be worse. I could have to commute in AK or Welly

        Now there’s a conundrum, worse or worst ? I always get them confused.

    • ” a faster, cheaper journey into the capital on the new four-lane highways ” .. with an NZ$12.00 toll each way ?

  9. @bad..

    “..The economy will be the main beneficiary of the living wage as all such money will be spent back into the economy business will compete to grab a slice of such extra cash,.”

    you are on the money with that one..

    ..it has long surprised me that labour/the left somehow fails to recognise/argue the potency of this example of basic logic..

    ..because it is economics 101..that one of the most efficient ways to kickstart an economy –

    – is to increase the incomes of those who are forced to spend all of that income on the basics of life..

    ..this because of the churn..as all of that money goes straight back into the economy/tills. = boost..

    ..(much more efficient than tax cuts for the richest..eh..?..

    ..i don’t think we believe that trickle-down chimera..any more..eh..?)

    ..and this case/argument is proven when you look at the outcomes from richardson/shipley tearing away that ‘churn’-money from sole-parents etc..

    ..talk to any retailer from the time..and hear their tales of the recession that also hit them..


    phillip ure..

    • bad12 9.1

      Indeed phillip ure, i well remember the recession that occurred after the hideous Richardson/Shiply benefit cuts of 1991,

      National’s Steven Joyce was on RadioNZ a few minutes ago dragging the ‘jobs will be lost’ red herring through the debate,

      Joyce sounded less than confidence, do i detect that note of fear, and Big Shame on RadioNZ for such biased radio for not having had one or both of the candidates appear on the radio to offer their opinion,

      It is as you say ‘economics 101’, if you want to ensure the economy functions ‘better’ then put money into the hands of those who have little or no discretionary spending in their weekly budget and they will have little choice but to spend that money straight back into the local economy,

      There is of course the i word, Inflation, and befor i sloped off into zzzzzland last night i told myself i need to delve into this side of the economic equation far deeper than i have at present,

      the equation at present being that X people are kept unemployed and X people are kept on pitifully low wages to save the middle class and those above from the tyranny of interest rates rising, a situation which sees that middle class agreeing to an economy that is less than fully employed and with wages that make the lower paid demographic mere slaves bound not with chains of steel but instead the iron bonds of economic isms…

      • Tracey 9.1.1

        yup, cos no jobs lost under his government…

        he’s had to make them up to have any … see claim of 800 jobs at sky convention centre rather than more conservative 340.

  10. Tracey 10

    Arent articles like the one referred to below vacuous without reference to the miles covered etc?

    I am no Government fan but this kind of article actually tells us very little, imo.


  11. bad12 11

    Put another log on the fire!!! and the next house price boom will be in??? the Tron, yes Hamilton, the National Government has been busily ensuring that the house price inflation currently burning through the Auckland market takes off in the city due south,

    Here’s how, in the past 2 years National have sold off 116 State Houses in the Waikato,(from the Waikato Times online), in those 2 years it has overseen the build of only 33 State houses, despite HousingNZ the States provider of social housing having 114 families waiting on it’s ‘At Risk’ list and another 106 families on it’s ‘serious’ list,

    By lowering the number of HousingNZ properties it has in the Waikato the Government is creating demand for rental property, once such a demand is artificially created by this Government the competition to secure property between the Home buyer and those wanting to buy property for rental investment will begin in earnest,

    This Government did this and are still doing this in Auckland, selling off the HousingNZ rental stock and not replacing the numbers sold which has kept the demand for rental property growing and lead to price inflation in the Auckland market,

    They are obviously now hellbent on repeating the experiment in Hamilton…

    • vto 11.1

      Rising house prices leads to the incumbent being re-elected.

      Dropping house prices leads to the incumbent being voted out.

      All actions drive from this.

      • aerobubble 11.1.1

        What about stagnate house prices, lower wages, high costs of living, and poorer housing stock?

  12. Tracey 12

    “Key conceded many families were struggling, saying “that’s why we have Working for Families and the like”. ” 2013

    ‘communism by stealth’ and a ‘costly welfare monster’ 2007 and 2008

    “Key followed this speech up in February 2007 by committing his party to a programme which would provide food in the poorest schools in New Zealand. 2007 http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0702/S00059.htm

    • dv 12.1

      Food in schools
      What is the ‘progress’ on the announcement the Nats made several months ago?

    • aerobubble 12.2

      The recent TV propgram of the wealth gap pointed out that housing allowance subsidizes landlords who can charge higher rents; working for families subsidizes employers who can lower wages, and we know lack of a CGT with other legislation force scarcity at the top of the market by running down the rest of the housing stock. The middle and working classes (and a growing under class) are then ripped off by retail and utilities, funneling wealth up to the top of the upper class.

  13. yeshe 13

    anyone willing to commit to removing govt biz from westpac to a locally owned bank ??

    • bad12 13.1

      Yes hopefully that is also on the agenda for the next Labour Government, i remeber the contract with Westpac being renewed but cannot remember for how long,

      KiwiBank should be readied to be able to conduct all the Governments business along with that should be a deliberate establishment of a large IT campus in one or other City so as to begin to group together the best brains in IT that this country possesses,

      We may or may not have IT companies in New Zealand of such robustness as to be able to carry out an education payroll type of contract, but, if brought together in the one place i am sure that the multiple IT companies could and would have achieved a far better outcome for that particular contract than what occurred…

      • yeshe 13.1.1

        Great answer for me, thx bad12. Make a lotta jobs too the way you propose it.

        But I am also guessing if and mean IF, heaven forbid, nact get back in, what’s the betting they will try to sell Kiwibank instead ?

  14. Tracey 14

    “A rundown three-bedroom Auckland villa with a large hole in the toilet floor and watermarked ceilings has sold for $1.2 million – $75,000 more than the asking price for a three-storey Tauranga mansion with harbour views and a swimming pool.

    The two examples show the widening gap between Auckland’s property market and provincial New Zealand, as revealed in the Herald’s quarterly Property Report today.

    Bayleys real estate agent Gavin Perry, said houses rarely came up for sale in the popular Tauranga location, just five blocks from the CBD.

    “It’s very interesting what you can buy in Tauranga nowadays for $1 million, which is actually what seems like the entry price you can buy for in some parts of Auckland.”

    • Poission 14.1

      The implications in the spread (AK- provincial nz) as the demographics suggest the aging AK population may realise the capital gains in downsizing to where they will have an equity nestegg.

      The building development market has not been producing small 1-2 bedroom housing stocks (aside from retirement centres) for which the market will require over the next 20 yrs or so.

  15. Linz 15

    Can someone tell me please, why No Minister has a feed on The Standard?

    [lprent: It is a multi-author blog with at least one leftish author and a number of other authors who are periodically readable and show an ability to argue. It also has some complete dipshits who do an excellent impersonation of Whaleoil without the keyboard diarrhea

    Besides, I figured that we need a range of views for noisy grumpy old white men. No Minister gives a excellent assortment of those on that fringe. ]

  16. mike williams is on nat-rad laughing/sneering at the idea that a labour govt would introduce a living -wage..

    ..he predicts labour will veer back to the centre..post-leadership battle..

    ..and that it won’t happen..

    phillip ure..

    • bad12 16.1

      Lolz, from the same program, or is that progrom, Hooten sounded like someone has given His silver spoon a serious twist,

      Among the aah’s and ooh’s wee Matty managed to squeeze out that the current leadership contest was a good look for Labour,

      i have to of course insert here a Mike Williams ”i agree”, Labour with a new leader possessing the skills to deliver the message will roll into 2014 and roll National back to the Opposition benches where that sorry bunch of silver spoon suckers truly belong…

    • geoff 16.2

      He’s a fan of Shane Jones.
      Both dinosaurs.

  17. geoff 17

    Watching the Labour lads on Q+A:

    I noticed that Shane Jones constantly tried to undermine both Robertson and Cunliffe. So much for the united Labour front. (Attempted to make himself out as the economic centrist compared to the other two.
    Hammed it up for the camera when Cunliffe suggested an example for economic growth. ‘You’ve heard enough from the left’, hands in ears with wry smile).

    Shane has said that he wants to take votes from National but, even if successful, if he were to lead Labour then that would inevitably lead to Labour losing female voters.

    Jones even wore the blue tie.

    I actually thought Cunliffe and Robertson were quite unified but Jones came across as a yob who basically admitted he’s National lite.

    If Jones became PM I could see him becoming a Maori Muldoon.

  18. Greywarbler 18

    Hooten and Williams have made some good points about Fonterras handling of the milk powder scare. First time I have heard something useful. I pray that it is not the exception that proves the rule.
    * False positives occur.
    * System should be that any perceived problem should freeze the powder and isolate it till the matter is investigated.
    * That keeps it in-house and avoids the present anxious reaction by all over what has turned out to be nothing of importance.
    * It takes time to investigate as not just one small sample but a colony of orgaisms have to be cultured and then examined and analysed.

  19. tho’ i do agree with one thing these three righties (williams/hooten/ryan) agree on..

    ..just how mindbogglingly incompetent the agricultural minister nathan ‘clutch cargo’ guy is..

    ..(he who is prone to touching electric-fences..just to see if they are on..and often they are..(brilliant..!..eh..?..)

    ..and i have to put craig ‘the hapless one’ foss on notice..

    ..guy is close to seizing his ‘dumber-than-a-sack-of-doorknobs’ crown..

    ..and this is the surprise – at the lack of depth of talent in the national party..

    ..that the hapless-one..and now clutch..are really the best they have..?

    .and let’s not even go near parata..

    phillip ure..

    • Greywarbler 19.1

      phillip u
      They all tend to be good looking though. I think from the celebrity style of human resource assessment they are successful. And that’s what NACTs want. They are no doubt following the current business practice of considering everyone with a certain level of professional competence to be interchangeable, good looks give extra points – generic and photogenic pollies chirping the same line.

  20. Greywarbler 20

    Assange wikileaks Bradley Manning – good info and background on radionz this a.m.

    Nick Davies on Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks ( 20′ 43″ )
    09:30 Nick Davies broke the phone hacking scandal that had been covered up for
    years by Rupert Murdoch’s News International, and his work saw the Guardian, alongside The New York Times, become the main news agency to publish excerpts from thousands of classified documents from US military servers. The cables were leaked by Bradley Manning, who was last month given a 35-year jail term for passing the files to WikiLeaks.

  21. northshoreguynz 21

    Pundits such as Armstrong are making the claim that the next election will be won/lost in the provinces. “It is in such provincial centres that next year’s election will be won and lost. On that score, Labour has an awful lot of ground to make up.”
    Which is why Jones is pitching at the provinces. Am I right in thinking this is crap. The next election will be won/lost where is always has been, the major cities. In particular Auckland, and more particular, if Labour can get the vote out, in South Auckland.

  22. captain hook 22

    I’m sorry but I dont give a shit about poking my tongue out at donkeyote and kidding myself I am taking part in the poltical process.
    On the bus this morning two old ladies were complaining that they could either have a cup of tea or a milkshake but no sandwich to go with either.
    There has been a genreal price rise over the last month that nobody seems to care about.
    Well if you dont care then some people have too much.
    Thats the issue in my book.

  23. Chooky 23


    Dont have statistics….but I don’t think people from the provinces are particularly enamored with either flashy John Key Nact or Shane Jones

    ….in the provinces they face the same issues of employment , std of living , youth education, costs of university and employment and health issues as does everyone else….there is a lot of to and fro between country and city

    …..what the provinces want IMO is a NZ leader , who understands NZ from a generational perspective, with a steady and ethical and balanced hand on the rudder…While not generally wildly radical….there are traditional Labour voters out in the provinces…just as there are Greens…and there are families who have traditionally voted Labour .

    I would say ignore the provinces at your peril…particularly with the party vote

    David Cunliffe would be popular in the provinces

    • northshoreguynz 23.1

      The stats would be interesting to see. Where the numbers are. But I agree, Cunliffe would be popular in the provinces as well.

      • Chooky 23.1.1

        @northshoreguynz….Off the top of my head:

        …popular also would be strengthening and retaining community Kiwi Bank ( Govt Guaranteed)and postal outlets( John Key has scoped privatising Kiwi Bank and Treasury has had Goldman Sachs evaluate it …and then downgraded!)

        …. and anything else that strengthens local communities………

        ….eg bringing back Adult Continuing Community Education….( which National ditched)

        ….strengthen local all night Medical Centre hubs and hospitals for geriatric and respite care also maternity

        ….create training/apprenticeships for youth

        ….encouragement for small rural businesses and especially boutique tourist initiatives eg wine /produce/cheese sales at gate

    • Winston Smith 23.2

      David Cunliffe would be popular in the provinces

      – Shane Jones would be more popular in the provinces but sadly they don’t count as much these days

      • Chooky 23.2.1

        @W Smith….doubt Shane Jones would be popular with the Labour vote and 50% woman vote in the provinces at all!….He is really Nact not Labour….and the women I have talked to aren’t enthused…in fact quite derogatory

        The rural vote counts especially in the Party vote …and Cunliffe would do very well!…but not Grant Robertson IMO…however Louise Wall as a straight talking sporty type could do very well as Deputy for Labour Leader Cunliffe

        • Pasupial

          Louisa Wall could do very well indeed, except that caucus gets to choose the deputy and they’re in Robertson’s pocket.

    • Tigger 24.1

      Nothing on Tony Ryall? Or is his dirty washing an open secret?

      Well come on Anon, if you have dirt on these MPs let’s see it.

  24. aerobubble 25

    Luddite Environmental Minister accused Greens of using airplanes, this same retort came from those opposed to steam railways, that the railway proponents used stage coaches to get the meeting.

  25. Tim 26

    Note to Rhino …. If you’re planning a review (or even an opinion) on the nicest man on Earth later on – chill. Take a deep breath – it ain’t worth the stress!.
    It’s just that I’m anticipating you response to Jim Mora and the ‘word’ on Byron Bay.
    GOD what a fukwit!
    The best thing that went before was where Jesse was coming from – but then they all have mortgages to pay – which is probably a better explanation for 7 # – or whatever the hell it’s called

  26. Winston Smith 27

    Good start to the leadership campaign for Robertson, Cunliffe and Jones however a note of caution needs to be sounded.

    The last time a labour leader came out with promises but no figures to back them up we got the “show me the money” response and a win to National

    If the aspiring leaders are going to go promising pay rises for everyone then they really should know how its going to be paid for…don’t expect any mercy for JK and realise that everything they’re promising will be noted by JK and will be used in the leadership debates

    • yeshe 27.1

      You mean he can remember things sometimes ? Nah.

      • chris73 27.1.1

        For whatever reason (probably intellectual snobbery) the left have always underestimated John Key: “hes just a money man, a gambler, puppet of USA, reads lines fed to him, media training etc etc”

        Maybe he just happens to be really clever…naah the left should just keep underestimating him because that worked really well for Clark, Cullen, Goff, Campbell, Shearer and whoevers next in line to lead Labour…

        • framu

          not sticking up for labour here – but the constant meme of underestimating key – i reckon its only half true. People know hes a smart tricky bugger, but he also is a complete foolish clown.

          I dont think its an issue of under estimating him – its more that he can change from goofball to snake at the drop of a hat, so in the modern news cycle he tends to lead because you always need to see which way hes going to go before you can counter it, and by that time hes already walked off to some other thing.

          If you think hes going to be a goof and go first – he’ll just change into the snake version and pound you

          after all – its hard to tackle a bucket of slime and ooze – it keeps changing shape.

          PS – i doubt show me the money will work anymore – theres waaaay to many fiscal fuck ups from the nats now

          • chris73

            No but remember some district councils have already realised the living wage would have meant a big increase in rates and so canned it, John Key will use that

  27. Morrissey 28

    Beer bore out of depth—and out of control.
    Yet another failure for dire radio chat show

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Monday 2 September 2013
    Jim Mora, Vicky Hyde, Neil Miller

    Today’s programme featured one Neil Miller, a beer writer who also dabbles in commenting about politics, though not to any discernible depth. Over the years as a guest on The Panel, he has sounded off against liberals, trade unions, John Minto and Robert Fisk, and announced that his favorite writer is the unfunny, brutal right wing “comedian” P.J. O’Rourke (Standardistas will remember O’Rourke was the genius who Brian Edwards could not remember interviewing.) Over the last year or so, Miller has refrained from commenting on much about anything beyond boutique beers. When he sticks to his speciality, he is bearable.

    Today, however, Miller returned to commenting about politics. He has been listening to Senator Kerry’s ranting about Syria, and has evidently bought it all—-hook, line and sinker. He vehemently raved on for a good two minutes, snarling about the failure of the British parliament to blindly support U.S. claims and making it clear that he believes it is a moral imperative to support the Al-Qaeda rebels and to bomb the civilians of Syria. He was for the whole time uninterrupted and uncontradicted by either Jim Mora or Vicky Hyde, who calls herself a “skeptic”.

    Appalled, I fired off the following email….

    Please challenge Neil Miller’s credulous and irresponsible comments
    Dear Jim,

    Neil Miller is repeating US government propaganda as if it was the truth. Repeating John Kerry’s absurd assertions is no sort of argument at all.

    Yours in disgust at glib guests,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • Paul 28.1

      Thanks for the letter Morrissey.
      He was dreadful, mirroring Key.
      “If you can legislate at $18.40 a hour and have no implications, why not make it $30 and hour – and show me one country in the world that has legislated for higher wages and it has been successful,” Key said.
      Miller repeated this.
      Is Miller ACT?

  28. Chooky 29

    Morrissey +1

    • miller is perhaps the most pig-ignorant (and deeply annoying) of that (often sorry) line up of ‘experts’/’erudite-commenters’/cream of the nations’ intellectuals..eh..?….

      ..i mean..that ex-cop..?..and that ‘don’ (someone) person..?..

      ..and those various other ancient reactionaries they wheel/zimmer-frame in..?..(i’m looking at you..brian edwards..)

      ..i can’t figure out why the fuck he is there..that miller..he just pimps beer..everytime..and that’s it..?…(w.t.f. is that about..?..why is he allowed to do that..?..turn national radio into a fucken infomercial for his piss-pushing commercial-enterprises..?..why is he the only one allowed to do that..?)..

      ..and he (barely coherently) spouts the latest rightwing-shite/message..

      ..and his opinions clearly show that aside from his beer-passion..

      ..he’s as deep as a fucken beer-coaster..

      ..(and photos show he is a man who truly lives his ‘passion- – maybe a bit too much..eh..?…)..

      ..he’s the best the nation has/they can do..?

      ..and the thing is..opinions are one thing..and they can vary..and fair enough..

      ..but these ‘experts’ are often just allowed to peddle outright-lies..easily proven errors of fact..

      ..and they are never ever called on them..

      ..that bullshit is just alllowed to continue to float in the ether..

      (btw..i didn’t hear it today..and can’t be bothered listening online..

      ..what did they say about byron bay..?..

      (i lived there for a number of years..and there are worse places in the world to be..

      ..great service-industries there at the time..you could get cocaine home-delivered @ 3.00am/whenever..should you so choose/desire..

      ..and of course..there was the ‘mullumbimby-madness’..eh..?..

      ..i threw a birthday-party for my daughter when she turned ten..that went down in local-history..)

      phillip ure..

  29. chris73 30


    Serious question here: Cunliffe wants to win and looking at his wifes profile she looks like a real go getter, an asset and a damn good one at that

    Why isn’t he using her in his campaign a bit more…I really don’t get it

    • McFlock 30.1

      Because it’s about potential leaders, not their spouses.

      • chris73 30.1.1

        Thats true but shes impressive which could only help Cunliffe…plus its never a bad idea promoting as a role model smart, successfull women

        • McFlock

          Will any candidate’s partner/spouse be running the party? No.
          So what would they be in a campaign? Decoration.

          People aren’t placards. Maybe all the significant others have better things to do than distract from a quite and interesting and fairly positive leadership campaign.

        • Colonial Viper

          I’m sure it’ll be somewhere in the Labour rules of engagement drawn up for this leadership contest. Next to the bans on stilletos and strychnine.

    • North 30.2

      Put a sock in it Chris73. You’d be bitching your head off if he did. Already your lot have engaged the most intrusive and rubbishy bullshit about the Cunliffes’ baby care arrangements.

      • chris73 30.2.1

        It was a dumb comment Cunliffe made, he should have said something like “we’ve worked hard to get here and I want to make sure everyone else has the same opportunity”

        • Half Crown

          If I remember correctly Cunliffe did say that, can’t remember exactly what he said but I think the message was something similar to this. “I have climbed aboard and I am going to make sure the ladder is not removed so others cannot climb aboard.”
          After seeing prat Gower this evening on TV3, the right is definitely shitting themselves that Cunliffe might WIN.

          • Colonial Viper

            karol and OAK both got the quote…here is karol’s

            Cunliffe already gave an excellent response: ie they were a couple of kids from modest backgrounds, who, unlike the Nats, won’t be pulling the ladder up after themselves.

            Smell the fear

        • North

          Predictable lack lustre response from you Chris73……….but sort of proves my point. You’ve picked a Catch 22 and your trolldom is invigorated. Don’t you have a fuck’n’ life in the realm of reasonable understanding ?

          I guess shitting does this to people. Every orifice helps out………

    • jaymam 30.3

      Director, the New Zealand Carbon Exchange, (2004 – present)
      Oh really. I’ve changed my mind.

      • chris73 30.3.1

        Actually her background and the fact the old guard are backing Robertson is why I think Cunliffe is a better bet for Labour then Robertson also ruling out Norman is a big plus

        Though of course S. Jones would be best for NZ 🙂

  30. North 31

    Neil Miller on Mora this afternoon – once billed simply as a beer expert now trotted out as a political commentator as well – Miller made some claim (no authority cited) along the lines that changes to the youth rate put 9,000 youth job holders out of their jobs (this in the context of a discussion about living wage). I don’t know whether that’s true or not.

    I am naturally suspicious of Miller however. For a start his voice and talky down persona reminds me very much of Simon Bridges. Secondly and obviously more importantly he always seems to me to be an unmitigated ShonKey Python sucker and arrogant with it. Coming out with the most extraordinary unabashed claims such as today re the referendum – “the asset sales question is corrupted by people playing politics” (paraphrased). Pleasingly the other panelist ticked him off for this mocking dismissal of democracy.

    Those having knowledge (supported by reputable authority) re Miller’s claim that youth rate changes (presumably an increase) put 9,000 youth job holders out of their jobs, please share. If this was a bullshit throwaway line or only part of the story Miller must be castigated as must Mora for allowing it without challenge.

    • Paul 31.1

      And as Morrissey pointed out, he raved on about supporting the US Intervention in Syria.
      Apart from his interest in beer, what else do we know about him?
      What makes him such an out and out right wing nut job?

      • Greywarbler 31.1.1

        Perhaps he is popular for offering to pay rounds at the pub. That would not be impossible in swaying Mora’s choice when you hear his varied selection of talkers passing themselves as experts or wits or informed incisive commentators.

      • North 31.1.2

        No no no he’s not a RWJN……….he’s one of those arseholes who knows everything and to him his spot on Mora is just proof of that. And in truth Mora is in symbiosis with that notwithstanding the hideous Mr Affable so relentlessly performed.

        Just selfish backward “I’m famous” fuckwits squatted on their upper middle class fart cushions……..that hilarious feature akshully being superfluous given their ugly sphincters’ failings – a gaseousness approaching intolerably toxic levels for the rest of us.

        They know nothing about the broadness of life in NZ and care not therefore !

        It’s all about the shitty “them”. What a waste of public money……..

    • Tim 31.2

      I’ll believe you – I couldn’t stand hanging around for The Panel. A couple of hours of Mora before that – including his agreeing with anything and everything the man from Byron Bay said just made me want to puke
      Does anyone know if he’s related to Michael Mora btw? If so they’d be chalk and cheese.

      As for the Miller and Mora thing – you’ll notice Mora agrees with EVERYTHING his guests say. The reason everyone thinks he’s just the cat’s whisker is that his tactic is to compliment and grovel to anyone he has on the programme (such as it is). The guy’s so inoffensive, it’s offensive.
      Current affairs and information it’s not!

  31. Fred 32


    [lprent: Provide context to any link. Moved to OpenMike ]

    • GregJ 32.1

      Ummm – why should we click on this link? Would you like to provide some context or are you just a spam bot?

  32. Greywarbler 33

    But Tim he doesn’t emphasise CA&I really. He has some other phrase like A Panel like No Other or something, that would be right. He’s just a guy who has got the name of being nice because he goes round and smartens up people’s gardens on tv. And that makes him a real treasure don’t you think? We all love people who do that, there is such a need. I know I have one, for a better garden that is. And that makes him an expert on the latest populist viewpoint I should think.

  33. Greywarbler 34

    Fascinating piece on Oz politics. Their system of preferential voting. If you tick for above the line choice of preferences then you go with whatever the party you voted for has chosen. If you want to choose for yourself, you go below the line. And each box has to be filled out in some sort of order or the whole thing is invalid.

    I have voted there years ago before they decided that NZs weren’t people of standing, and it wasn’t easy then. Now apparently there have been a rash of small parties. They are all to be printed and I think it’s in the 100’s, did I hear 253, and fitted on an A3 sheet sideways which is the maximum size for the printing process. But to get all the parties and boxes on, the font will be so small that a magnifying sheet will be needed. Pythonesque. Have a good tipple of Schadenfreude.

    Insight program on Nights with Bryan Crump.
    NZ Radio Awards 2013: winner of the Best Documentary or Feature Programme & co-winner of Best Daily or Weekly series under an Hour Duration
    Australia goes to the polls in less that a week to decide between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott.

    Philippa Tolley looks at the key battlegrounds where the election will be decided, whether it’s policy or the leaders that matter most and how voters will cope with a record number of registered parties.

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