Open Mike 21/01/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 21st, 2018 - 199 comments
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199 comments on “Open Mike 21/01/2018 ”

  1. Anon 1

    To me, this isn’t a good look from a /state/ broadcaster. Predicting how much coverage Ardens pregnancy will get while actual politics gets ignored? RNZ, and every other ‘news’ agency, decides that. And that title, urgh.

    • Ad 1.1

      Ardern’s baby is the new axis around which much of government business will turn.

      She’s made children her central policy plank already. This just doubles down on it.

      This baby will be a total political gift.

        • Anon

          An admission that someone on kiwiblog expects sexist white knights to cry wolf whenever the opposition interacts with the PM just because shes pregnant? She decided she can be PM and pregnant at the same time, and good for her, but she still has to be PM and the opposition shouldn’t be afraid to do their jobs. Frankly, anyone who blows up over normal politics because “how could you treat a pregnant lady like that” is siding /with/ the “she shouldn’t be PM and pregnant crowd”, the hypocracy of which would only help the right.

          • Stuart Munro

            Since when have the Gnats done their jobs? They’re great at making noise but have rat-all to boast of for all their years in power. The legitimacy of a complaining opposition rests upon a determination to do better that was not in evidence under Key and English.

          • tracey

            Like people laid off Nikki Kaye when she returned from her breast cancer issue?

      • cleangreen 1.1.2

        I like that Ad,100%

        We are in a historic time that (some) don’t want any changes but a change is coming Anon so get over it.

        So please do what we had to do nine years ago, when we had to accept a ‘PM’ that had lived mostly abroad, and was speculating on the NZ Dollar and our own economy and we accepted that.

        So you now need to realise that we are now about to have a youngest first pregnant leader woman PM, and a Maori PM male (Winston Peters) for six weeks during the birth of the first family’s baby also.

        This set of events is a historic milestone.

        • Anon

          I don’t care about identity politics, when is the government going to actually follow through on some election promises? And why is /state media/ coming out and saying it’ll ignore real politics to report more on fluff???

          • Carolyn_Nth

            “the state media” is not saying anything. It’s an OP by Brigitte Morten.

            If you read to the end of the article, you will see this:

            Brigitte Morten was a senior ministerial adviser for the previous National-led government. Prior to that she was an adviser and campaign director for the Australia’s Liberal Party.

            So, it could just as easily be claimed that Brigette is giving the Nats some warning about where be dragons, and pointing them to how they should proceed to counter the Ardern-led government.

            • Anon

              Then it would be nice if they published it with an editorial note that they won’t actually be doing this. To let the accusation stand, especially given that it would be status quo for media in New Zealand…

          • Ad

            Anon wake up.

            This government has “followed up on its election promises”.

            This government has set out its achievements over its first 100 days pretty clearly.

            I’ve already posted on it.

            You just need to relax a little, accept that a baby is coming, and that it will be the baby of the Prime Minister, and it’s a total political gift.

          • patricia bremner

            Oh!! You just “Outed” yourself big time!!

            • Anon

              …As someone who wants to see the government I voted for do something substantial? Like on homelessness, poverty, climate change, or abortion law reform?

              • Grey Area

                The government you voted for. Yeah right.

                The government you think hasn’t followed through on election promises when the actual list of what it did in its first 100 days is extensive.


                If we have to put up with trolls can’t we be allocated some better ones.

                • Incognito

                  I ticked two boxes; there are three parties making up the coalition so which one(s) did I/did I not vote for??

                  • Anon

                    In a way any vote in the elections is kind of a vote for the government – even a ‘losing’ vote. (Though to be clear, I party voted Labour after Arden promised abortion law reform.)

                    • Incognito

                      Fair enough. I just find it very ambiguous language when people colloquially say that they voted for a particular Government as if it were based on an (single) outcome at one given time. Yet, in three years’ time people will still stick to the tribal & partisan lines proclaiming that they did or did not vote for the incumbent Government. After the Election on 23rd September last year it was anybody’s guess what the new Government would look like and how it would enact on election promises and core (party) policies. One could argue that we vote for a given Government and political outcome over a period of one election cycle (and longer) by proxy by I find this such an extrapolation that it is next to meaningless. Quite possibly I am not enough of a dedicated ‘team player’ or loyal ‘team supporter’ to feel a strong affiliation and association with a given political clique. The one possible downside is that I don’t get to ‘celebrate’ and rejoice in so-called victories but neither do I get too wound up about the inevitable defeats and setbacks. Big picture vs. small picture stuff IMO.

                • Anon

                  So they’ve ended homelessness, poverty, climate change, and reformed abortion law, or are on track to do so? Because that would be news to me.

                  • tracey

                    You expected all that by Jan 2018? We will only need one year govts based on your expectations that all promises are done within 3 months ( given the shut down period where no laws can be changed)

          • tracey

            Hmmm been in a few months including a shut down for Christmas… what woukd you have had them do by now given Parliament shut down about a mo th ago so no Bills or Laws can be pushed through?

          • Cinny

            First year of free tertiary education available this year. Glossy brochures with this years course info and a blurb about the first year free via NMIT already delivered… awesomesauce, lets do this, thanking you new government. Salisbury School is to remain open, EPIC GOODNESS RIGHT THERE, loving this coalition, thank you VERY MUCH.

            Baby news is still fresh as, public are interested, any mainstream media will milk it for airplay/views etc, thats a given. Opinions every where, click bait abound, advertising revenue up up up.
            Tomorrow on the AM show… will mark richardson be there, Jacinda too? Entertainment for the masses, stand by for the headlines.

            Parliament is currently in recess.

            paula is having tummy surgery.

        • alwyn

          “first family’s baby also”.
          Do you really feel the need to adopt this dreadful US approach?
          “First Family” may, almost, be justified in the US where the person is the Head of State and kow-towed to in quite ridiculous manner but why do people in New Zealand want to adopt the practice?

          • cleangreen

            alwyn; – Still hurting from loosing the election are you?

            your friends – Key/English set the pace for ” this dreadful US approach” not me.

            Try these lies and deceitful actions for the dreadful scandals carried out in your ‘ preferred Government’s’ time.



            • alwyn

              “Key/English set the pace for ” this dreadful US approach” not me”.
              Really? You can of course provide links to where they used the phrase “first family” to describe their families, or at least each others families?

              No? Thought not.

              By the way what does “loosing” mean when applied to an election?
              I notice that you tend to use the word quite regularly in unusual circumstances.

          • tracey

            I agree we dont need it. But then I didnt think we needed it from Key and Max either, but we got it. For 9 years.

            • alwyn

              Do you have any evidence at all that Key himself the term “First Family” or anything like it?
              That is what you are claiming when you say “I didn’t think we needed it from Key and Max either, but we got it”.

              I am not claiming, you will note, that Jacinda Ardern or her partner use the term. I am only suggesting that there is no need for cleangreen to introduce it.

              • tracey

                We didnt need the notion of it alwyn. And some media treated Key and Max as celebrities something that bothered neither of them given Max’s milking of it. Bronagh did not and the media seemed to respect that. Compare with tge social media swirling around Peter Davis.

            • Cinny

              But then I didnt think we needed it from Key and Max either, but we got it. For 9 years.

              times infinity

        • Incognito

          This set of events is a historic milestone.

          I disagree and think that although it is a big step for the JA-CG household, and possibly a minor ‘event’ for the coalition, it is nothing but a tiny ripple for the country as a whole.

          I reckon the whole thing is ‘dramatized’ and taken way out of proportion with wild speculation and exaggerations abound but it gives the ‘pundits’ something to chew on 😉 Lately, we seem to have been experiencing a plethora of ‘historical events’ with ‘milestones’ at every step of the way 😉

        • alwyn

          “we had to accept a ‘PM’ that had lived mostly abroad”.

          Who was the MP you have in mind?
          I thought you might have meant John Key but he only lived overseas for 6 of the 47 years of his life before becoming PM.
          That was less years away than either Geoffrey Palmer, before he was PM or Helen Clark, although hers were after her stint in the PMs seat.
          It was very similar to the number Rob Muldoon was away.
          Regardless of that it certainly wasn’t the case that he had “lived mostly abroad” was it?

          It was, however vastly less than any of the early Labour Prime Ministers, Mickey Savage, Peter Fraser or Walter Nash who all spent about half their lives out of New Zealand. Did you have one of them in mind?

      • Anon 1.1.3

        “She’s made children her central policy plank already. This just doubles down on it.” So being pregnant is somehow the same as government policy?

        • BM

          Smells a bit whiffy doesn’t it, almost as if the whole thing has been set up.

          • Anon

            Not really, she said before the election that she wanted kids, and it’d be pretty naive to think a persons personal circumstances does’t affect their politics. But “being pregnant” isn’t a policy, and focusing on one policy area (if indeed that’s what’s going to happen) just because it personnally relates is a pretty selfish way to run a country.

            I do also wonder if this will affect abortion law reform, as promised during election but as yet not since mentioned.

            • BM

              I do also wonder if this will affect abortion law reform, as promised during election but as yet not since mentioned.

              No mention will be made of that again, it’s bread and babies for the foreseeable future, as planned.

              Great smoke screen to cover and distract away from all those broken promises and lack of results

              Not sure how successful it will be though, from what I’ve read/heard it’s starting to reach peak baby already.

              • tracey

                Lack of results? In 3 months. Get a grip. We had to wait months for the ordained job summit which would solve all unemployment problems from GFC but all we got was a cycle trail ( still not complete).

          • Macro

            Do you want to change the nappy then?

            • cleangreen

              Ha ha ha Macro,

              These national trolls don’t do dirty work like changing nappies, other than exclusively engaging in “dirty politics”

              • Macro

                Yeah! But you would think that with all the shit stirring they would be a dab hand at changing nappies.

          • fender

            That’s better BM, glad to see you have exposed yourself as a foolish conspiracy theorist!!

          • tracey

            You really think so? I would imagine the last time you would focus on getting pregnant is during an election campaign. You joining the ti foil hat brigade BM? You laugh at far more plausible conspiracies than this like peeps accusing Key of using Max to project a certain image…

          • Cinny

            Thou shalt not have intercourse to risk pregnancy whilst holding any role of importance, especially if one has the power to grow a human life form inside of one self.

            But, but… we only did it once…. well you should have thought about it to start with.

            Shame on them for making love when they had been advised they could have difficulty conceiving.

            New rule… no sex for all politicians, gender equality and all that, could be part of the ‘no surprises’ narrative.


            Side note…. are tories annoyed because they aren’t getting any/enough sex? Could that be an underlying issue? Kinda feeling a bit sorry for the tories now. Yeah, nah LMAO

            • Incognito

              Aren’t top sporters banned from sex before major performances? Or perhaps they should hand out free condoms in Parliament as they do in the Olympic Village (and the Games don’t last as long either!).

        • Ad

          The Prime Minister and the mother of the upcoming child are the same person.
          Let me introduce you to the Doctrine of Transsubstantiation.

          • Anon

            So Jacinda is the virgin Mary?? Not sure where you’re going with this.

            • Ad

              The Prime Minister is going to be a mother. They will be one person.
              The rest of the country including the entire political order is going to have to deal with that. People should just relax and presume it’s actually perfectly natural.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                “People should just relax and presume it’s actually perfectly natural.

                And yet, when I say just that…I’m “demeaning the PM.”


                Then, you disrespect me by calling me “doll” ….


                I’ll be keeping a closer eye on your comments Ad…

                • alwyn

                  Yes, you may have to get a great deal more circumspect Rosemary.
                  Ad sounds like the Thai Government. He will no doubt soon be wanting to copy their laws about the Royal Family and apply them to our PM.
                  Don’t even dare to suggest that the “first family’s baby” as Cleangreen is labelling the child, may just be like any other infant.
                  Such an insult may open you up to 35 years inside.

                  • Incognito

                    Hyperbole made of straw 😉

                  • One Two

                    Thai people are overwhelmingly supportive with such policy and practice…

                    That said, the link you posted to is about as uninformed on the matter as you appear to be…

                    • alwyn

                      I believe that was the case with the late King.
                      Friends who are familiar with the situation there, which I am not, are not at all sure whether this is the case with the current incumbent.
                      Not terribly relevant I suppose. I think the New Zealand public would be very loathe to have such rules in place.

                • One Two

                  Hi Rosemary,

                  In my opinion you’re one of the most readable and considered commentators here…

                  You are correct that Ad took the comments you made about PM baby in a way that you clearly were not meaning in that comment…

                  Ads comments are , at best, inconsistent…

                  Clearly , the offspring of a careerist public servant, nor the parents, will need to concern about the ‘harships’ faced by many parents and family’s…the media will feadt on it of course…
                  This govt will achieve little of nothing significant…that’s already clear…

                  I hope you will continue to post…

                  Have a good one…

                • tracey

                  This ^^^^

              • Anon

                It’s perfectly natural that people get distracted by babies? It’s perfectly natural that people will hypocritically expect others to take it easy on the Prime Minister because she’s pregnant? Yeah, I’d agree with that.

          • alwyn

            “Doctrine of Transsubstantiation”.
            As was so wonderfully spoofed by Tom Lehrer in The Vatican Rag?

            “If it is, try playin’ it safer
            Drink the wine and chew the wafer
            Two, four, six, eight
            Time to transubstantiate”


    • Muttonbird 1.2

      You did note who that opinion piece was written by? She was an advisor to the Nats and obviously lost her job in October last year. She’s been advising the Key government and the Liberals in Australia, y’know Abbott, Bishop, and Dutton types.

      She’s still advising the Nats here via the media on how to attack. I wonder if it’s paid work…

      • Anon 1.2.1

        No I didn’t lol, but all the more reason for RNZ not to publish it uncritically perhaps?

        • Anne

          Fair enough Anon. I assumed you had seen that note @1.3.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          As state broadcaster it should be providing space for diverse views. It is clearly labelled as an opinion piece, and the appropriate disclaimer has been made. It also publishes opinion pieces by the likes of left winger Stephanie Rodgers. That IS the role of a state broadcaster.

          It enables democratic public debate of and between different views.

          It is not being presented as News, which does require more balance.

      • cleangreen 1.2.2

        Great intel Muttonbird 100%

        Top marks there.

    • Anne 1.3

      Anon @ 1
      From your link:

      * Brigitte Morten was a senior ministerial adviser for the previous National-led government. Prior to that she was an adviser and campaign director for the Australia’s Liberal Party.

      Do you think anyone is going to read that and not recognise the blatant political bias of the author? It’ll go straight into the readers’ metaphorical trash cans.

      • Incognito 1.3.1

        It’ll go straight into the readers’ metaphorical trash cans.

        You think so?

        I have my doubts; the very recent saga around Open Parachute here on TS, which resulted in a (brief) ban, proved and again confirmed, to me, that many (most?) people don’t properly (or at all?) read disclaimers and ‘fine-print’ and mostly utilise fast thinking to form judgements and make decisions.

        An even better (and less contentious!) example is the blogpost by swordfish that featured in OM yesterday, which shows, among other things, that many professional and intelligent people do the exact same thing with all the (negative) consequences. You would think that anything that David Farrar writes would be scrupulously scrutinised and critically examined before accepting it as true & correct information that’s fit for general consumption and further dissemination, wouldn’t you? The analysis by swordfish shows it is almost the exact opposite!

        • tracey

          If you havent read Jaques Ellul on Formation of Mens Attitudes I think you will enjoy it.

          In particular the use of academics and so called intelligent to spread propaganda

          • Incognito

            Never heard of so thank you for the tip! I’ll look forward to finding out more.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.3.2

        “It’ll go straight into the readers’ metaphorical trash cans.”

        Agree this crap should be trashed….but how many actually recognise it as trash?

        Folk should be automatically checking the creds of writers, checking the publication venue, and at all times be asking what is the agenda here????

    • patricia bremner 1.4

      Anon 1. Well, that article is a whole lot of “good luck with the new distraction of your pregnancy” written by a national supporter.

      We could hardly expect better from them, and the positive coverage of the P.M’s pregnancy was extensive and worrying in their eyes.

      A new attack line had to be found. So hints of baby brain, loss of self, personal questions.

      But they are right in that her team will be even more supportive, and any slurs will be met by anger in the electorate and the house.

      Let’s do this!! Even with errors from treasury.

  2. Whispering Kate 2

    Jesus you trolls sound such a lot of losers – scraping the bottom of the barrel of ideas on how to criticise this new Government. Never heard such drivel in my life. Start the day on a better note please for the sake of the sanity of the readers of this site. Just grow up all of you.

  3. joe90 3

    McConnell crying about the Democrat’s tactics while tens of thousands take to the streets.

    tRump will be seething.

    Children are our future AND our present #DallasWomensMarch— Judge Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) January 20, 2018

    It's 23 degrees and snowing in Park City, Utah, but that hasn't stopped the Women's March anniversary rally— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 20, 2018

    “I’ve been doing this for so many years,” said the Northbrook resident. “And though women have seen a lot of progress, it has started to erode. But people are waking up.”

    A lot of people; more than a quarter of a million.

    Organizers about 11:30 a.m. said the city informed them they’ve exceeded last year’s crowd of 250,000.

    “I have just been informed that we are as big as last year,” said organizer Ann Scholhamer, over the cheering crowd and the whir of a helicopter overhead. “And people are still coming.”

    Around 1 p.m. they adjusted it to 300,000 people.

  4. eco maori 4

    Many thanks to all the Lady’s in the USA and around the world for protesting for their equal rights and protest against trump.
    In my view tax cut is a form of cheating to get a economic stimulus taking money from the 99% and giving to the 1%. It’s a bigger challenge to stimulat a economy to benefit the 99% who trump has ignored. Ka kite ano

  5. Stunned Mullet 5

    Surely a good target to add into DOC or similar care with added marine sanctuary as well ?

    • mauī 5.1

      Why would DOC sink $20 million they don’t have into buying a coastal farm?

    • KJT 5.2

      Without “tenure review” we would have retained thousands of acres of public land. Instead of paying to give it away. To runholders who have made up to 3000 times anything the have paid. On selling it too wealthy Yanks.

  6. Anon 6

    What’s with the banner on the right of the page about National trying to revive the TPPA? Didn’t Labour already do that?

  7. eco maori 8

    What I admire about our Australian cousins is that they stick up for their rights. There unions are strong and wages are higher than ours. They are not to shy to push for their rights in my view any way. Ka kite ano

  8. The Chairman 9

    Now that Treasury officials have confirmed that child poverty reductions were over-estimated, can we expect to see Labour increase their families package?  

  9. chris73 10

    Good on her, its not an easy decision to make but it’ll help her out in the long run

    • Incognito 10.1

      It might achieve a sustainable weight loss and corresponding improvement of health & quality of life or it might not; it is not a magic bullet!

      • Ffloyd 10.1.1

        Should have just zipped it sweetie every time she saw a cream cake. Amused by her desire to get back to Electorate la la la la and her BIG National Party in Wellington.

    • Whispering Kate 10.2

      Its great that she has the income to be able to afford the $20,000 plus fees for the job.

      Reminds me years ago a very non-P.C. doctor telling me “You never saw a fat person in Belsen did you” when I was grizzling about my increasing weight. Then he said “It’s what going in here that is the problem” pointing to his open mouth. Another time he told me to “get a pair of runners and get off your ass” when I complained about being tired and lacking in energy.

      Honestly this was happening back in the 1980’s when doctors were advising patients what to do with their weight or lack of energy woes.

      I keep my weight off as I can’t afford to have this bypass surgery – just like heaps of other people have to. It won’t make me admire her for her initiative and discipline in having the job done as Dr Edward Elder said in the Herald. What discipline is involved in having this sort of operation?

      • Ed 10.2.1

        Eating a whole food plant based diet is a sure fire solution.

        • Stunned Mullet

          It may certainly help but it is not a sure fire solution.

        • Incognito

          There are no “sure fire solution[s]” to general or individual obesity.

        • chris73

          You are a dumb ass, you don’t know what you’re talking about so please keep your opinions to yourself

          So sharing time…my wife had this same procedure roughly a year ago and it cost us 21 grand (could have gone overseas but if something went wrong…) with a bit of a discount for taking part in a questionaire

          This was the best thing for my wife while for some its relatively easy to lose weight (I lost 16 kilos last year by mainly changing my diet to a predominately vegetarian diet) but in her case the steroids she was on in her early 20s (due to cervical cancer that came back) plus her having PCOS and that the genetics from her family are on the shorter, stockier side means that when it comes to gaining weight and losing weight she certainly got the worst of it

          Most who get this operation don’t do it lightly and it is a big deal because for a lot of people it does mean you have to admit that you can’t do it yourself, that you do need help and for some it can have a serious effect

          You have to get used to just not being able to have certain things any longer (no fizzy drink, ever) or complete changes in the things you want to eat or losing the joy in eating certain foods and having to remember to eat and drink because you no longer feel hungry or thirsty

          Having to be careful how much you eat and drink because just a bite or two more and you’re in the toilet throwing it all back up, having to deal with well-meaning friends and family that don’t get that you just can’t eat much, not being able to fully take part in celebrations (or at least thinking you can’t)

          Depressed because you’ve spent 21 grand on an operation for something that everyone says is easy…

          Its a big deal

          • weka

            Thanks Chris.

          • Whispering Kate

            There is no need to call me a dumb ass – I have close family who have PCOS- two in fact and I am very familiar with it, neither of them has become obese, they have made dietry changes and do the gym regularly – one of my family had a scan done and both ovaries were smothered in multi cysts. There are vitamin supplements which help and yes, there is a tendancy for weight gain but both have kept their weight down to a respectable degree. A good example Jamie Oliver’s wife has PCOS and has kept her weight down.

            Steroid use I do admit can cause weight gain because of increased appetite, a lot of medications can cause weight gain gain and for that I understand your wife’s predicament – I just feel that surgery is a quick fix as other avenues may not have not been explored in lots of cases. Lucky for those who can afford it as I am sure our hospital system wouldn’t allow people willy nilly to have this surgery done at the tax payer’s expense.

            • Bill

              Pretty sure chris73 was responding to Ed at 10.2.1, not you W.Kate.

            • chris73

              I was talking to Ed however your type of ignorance is not needed either, all it does is help strengthen the argument that all you need to do is a bit of exercise, eat some vitamins, eat a little better and hey presto the weights gone

              As I’m sure you might be aware (sarcasm) everyone is different so your experiences are yours, mine is mine and having lived with my wife for 14 years and seeing how the exercise hasn’t worked, hearing the abuse shes gotten (’cause you know people, men and women, love to shout “encouragement”) holding her when shes cried, supported her when shes down, tried to convince I still love and desire her even when her own brains telling herself how weak and disgusting she is I can’t really be bothered with the type of person that dismiss a legitimate medical procedure simply because they think its somehow not putting in the work

              “What discipline is involved in having this sort of operation?”

              The discipline to admit you can’t do it, the discipline to have accept you need help even though everyone (all experts of course) tells you its easy to lose weight, the discipline to realize that you’re having surgery and you’ll never be the same again

              The discipline to realize that you’ll lose weight but that you won’t accept you did anything to “deserve” the weight loss because you didn’t work for it, that theirs a lot of ignorant people that will think its cheating

              The discipline to understand that from now and until the day you die you have to remember to eat and drink because you don’t feel hungry or thirsty

              The guilt you go through when you consider what else you could spend 20 odd grand on

              So yeah I was talking to Ed but you’re a dumb ass as well

        • mauī

          Ed you are correct once again re the plant based diet.

          • Ed

            Thank you

          • chris73

            No he isn’t, it works for some but not so it is not a panacea amd its the kind of attitude that makes people feel worse about themselves and their decision because “all they have to do is this and they’ll lose weight” which basically you’re not really trying to lose weight and are just lazy

            Basically Eds being a sanctimonious, smug prick

      • tracey 10.2.2

        She will be advocating for this to be on the public list as a medical procedure, right? So poor people can get access to this life threatening thing that can only be resolved surgically?

        • Stunned Mullet

          Bariatric surgery is funded by most DHBs if the patient meets certain specified criteria, as she had her surgery in private I don’t see how your comment is particularly relevant though ?

          • chris73

            The funny (but not really funny) thing is because of the healthy eating and exercise my wife did to try to shift the weight meant that she wasn’t eligible for funding because she is so healthy

            Cholesterol, blood pressure basically everything was good so we had to fund it ourselves

    • Kat 10.3

      Whats with the “haters can hate” nonsense she spouts.

      • chris73 10.3.1

        Look at some of the comments on here, cream cakes, wheres the discipline etc etc so I’d bet theres more on social media

        Hell even just walking down the street it probably gets helpfully pointed out to her that shes overweight (because shes probably forgotten)

  10. Molly 11

    Nothing to do with politics, but a visual and auditory treat for those so inclined.

    Just mesmerised my non-musically gifted eleven year old – who has delusions of waving his arms around conducting orchestras.

    • Rosemary McDonald 11.1

      Very good, and I can create a political link if you like.

      There is no need at all for grand gestures to produce perfect results. 🙂

      • Molly 11.1.1


        … you can imagine the facial contortions going on at the moment while listening to music, in a mistaken idea that this is the skill needed…

        • Rosemary McDonald

          All I could think of while enjoying looking at that beautifully expressive face was…’No Botox been near here…”

    • Stunned Mullet 11.2

      i have had the joy of seeing him live …..unforgettable..

      • OncewasTim 11.2.1

        That’s twuly twuly gorgeous darling.
        You do wealise that if he ever saw some of your contwibutions on TS, He’d pwobably think you a pwise pwatt.
        You should stick to music appreciation.

        [This kind of pointless snarky and homo-phobic shite isn’t appreciated. Don’t do it again.] – Bill

        • Stunned mullet

          Ah another standard commenter who needs a hug – I’ll add you to the list.

        • Muttonbird

          That was Stunted mullet virtue-signalling right wing style.

          • Stunned mullet

            Dear old muttonbird- don’t feel left out, you can have a hug too.

            • Muttonbird

              Possum, haven’t you heard my new theory?

              Virtue-signalling is a social media construct used by right wing people when denigrating the socially responsible left for defending minorities, women, the environment, or when they are just being plain old polite to those who might be struggling in life.

              Bill English riskily used it as a pejorative in the media at some point last year, no doubt egged on by those poisonous rich kids at the Young Nats who were confident that everyone was saying it. Look where it got him!

              I got to thinking that right wing people virtue-signal as well but it’s not around social consciousness, but rather their own personal success, and individual responsibility. “I’m so good I had a barbecue with my family”, for instance, and “why can’t everyone be as successful as me, it’s easy if you just try!”

              Quite clearly, right wing virtue-signallers are sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously communicating with one another their superiority over those less fortunate than themselves. They are congratulating each other on what a fine life the’ve made for themselves.

              This is virtue-signalling for the right and fellow RWNJs lap this stuff up, of course.

      • Anne 11.2.2

        A stunning performance. Thankyou Sm.

  11. Ad 14

    Prime Minister May has appointed a Minister of Loneliness …

    … apparently 9 million UK citizens always feeling lonely….

    …. one of which is the Prime Minister, trying to figure out how to make the Brexit Dog bark and not a soul in the world wanting to listen.

    But still plenty of European countries encouraging the UK government to forget this deliberate-loneliness strategy and welcome them all back.

    Such a lonely job being Conservative PM.

    • Incognito 14.1

      I believe the UK has crossed the Rubicon on Brexit. The Chunnel (AKA Euro Tunnel) lacked symbolic power to establish and maintain a meaningful politico-economic let alone socio-cultural connection with the rest of Europe. Isolation in the name of sovereignty and self-rule is the game that’s still in the hearts & minds of many subjects of the ‘British Empire’.

      • Ad 14.1.1

        Do you think the Corbyn-led Labour Party will change its mind and come out clearly opposing Brexit, with a commitment to hold a further referendum?

        • Incognito

          I honestly don’t know. To me, Brexit feels like the political equivalent of a sink hole that everybody is trying to avoid but that’s getting bigger all the time and will end up swallowing everybody, metaphorically speaking. Just before that critical moment we may see some sudden and possibly unexpected actions, political throes, but I reckon till then it’ll be cautious & timid manoeuvring around the edges from a relatively ‘safe’ distance.

          • millsy

            As I said before, the pro-Brexit side (ie Farage, Johnson, etc) would have preferred a no vote, because they can just carry on moaning and groaning about the EU. Now they have voted yes, and they have no idea what the fuck to do, and are prbably waiting for someone to say, ‘lets not worry about this’.

  12. Ad 15

    At 37 years of age, Roger Federer makes it to the top 16 in the Australian Open.

    Looking not as liquid as usual – but then neither is Djokovich or Nadal – who knows whether he can better his outstanding 2017 year, or indeed whether this is his final year of greatness.

    For all us middle aged types, Federer remains a joy to watch.

  13. cleangreen 16

    “Isolation in the name of sovereignty and self-rule is the game that’s still in the hearts & minds of many subjects of the ‘British Empire’.”

    Yep Incognito, I know this is true.

    I married an English lady 42 yrs ago and she is fiercely loyal and independent as she was then in 1976,

    To be British is to be a breed of their own, and we are intertwined with them through our genealogy.

  14. alwyn 17

    Meanwhile, in other more important news.
    The Government’s much vaunted claim of planting a billion trees over 10 years dropped immediately after the election by 50%.
    Now even that greatly reduce number has dropped by a further 90%.
    Instead of the 100 million per year that was touted before the election it is now down to a hoped for 5 million in the next year.
    No money, no land, nobody wanting forests, no seedlings and nobody to do the work.
    Why am I not surprised? Any one willing to bet that there will be a reduction in the number of trees planted this year compared to last?
    Alternatively I suppose that Shane and his cohort will start counting all the weed wilding pines that are infesting so much DOC and other uncultivated land these days as being part of their work.

    • Incognito 17.1

      Hmmm, betting on “more important news” 🤔

      • alwyn 17.1.1

        I doubt that Shane choosing this time to admit the problems is entirely coincidental. The old story of dumping bad news on a Friday just before a Holiday Weekend.
        Let the story out while the journalists are distracted.

        • Incognito

          Hmmm, odd reply to my comment 🤔

          Let’s agree to keep talking past each other, but in a nice respectful and kind manner 😉

          • alwyn

            I took you to mean that Shane was letting it out now while the Press was all distracted by Jacinda’s “more important” news .
            That would mean little attention would be taken of anything he said.
            Obviously that was not what your comment meant.
            Now I am curious what you did mean. What is the “important news” you had in mind.

            • Incognito

              I had nothing in mind with “more important news” and I was only quoting from your comment @ 17 hence the quotation marks 😉

              Personally, I struggle to reconcile the idea of betting on important news or issues as, to me, it seems to lessen the importance and lower it to a simplistic little game with only two possible outcomes with money as the ultimate reward.

              I do realise that I probably take this way too seriously and that it might not be an issue to you or others. In other words, it is no big deal 😉

    • cleangreen 17.2

      Rubbish!!!! – is all that is worth saying.

      Wait for the facts as they are now being planned in meetings around the country.

      For instance Regional meetings with Iwi’s are on board here and articles in our East Coast Press Gisborne Herald & Wairoa Star, and HB Today have covered this forestry planting issue already now but details are ‘ongoing’ with iwi groups, so hold back on your suppositions.

      • alwyn 17.2.1

        ” hold back on your suppositions.”
        My suppositions? I am merely quoting what Shane Jones said.
        Do you mean that he was lying or simply that he has no idea what is going on.

        • cleangreen


          What we are told is that talks are ongoing with iwis so we need them to be finished to fruition.

          Shane is inside all the issues of getting a deal with iwi land use rules firstly I understand so in the local press he said that ongoing talks with iwis through the Waitangi tribunal has been described as the place and we all know that process needs to be given time to be completed.

          you are using Pakeha logic in what is the Maori domain Alwyn.

          Be careful here.

          have some sensitivity please and let it all run it’s course.

          “High Country selloff scandal laid bare”
          See the bloody mess the previous governments have made of land use over on the latest selloff of our high country farmland, so Maori are pretty cautious now about any changes in land use that is where we are at now.

    • The Chairman 17.3

      @ alwyn (17)

      Unfortunately, 5 million trees will dampen the anticipated offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions and the vast employment opportunities that were hoped to be gained from the scheme.

      However, voters will accept it will take time to ramp up before disillusionment starts to set in.

      The next disappointment (IMO) will be their failure to ensure these new Government created jobs pay a living wage.

      • cleangreen 17.3.1

        The Chairman.

        i see you still sowing the seeds of mistrust eh?

        “voters will accept it will take time to ramp up before disillusionment starts to set in”

        Like what we all endured during “nine tortuous years of national slash and sell off carpetbegging.”????

        We on the East Coast are confident that the expansion of tree planting policy will still achieve a large increase of plantings.

        You can believe what you want it wont change the plan.

        The financial rewards to the government for increasing our carbon credits will pay for the project handsomely, while heling to caurb climate change..

        • The Chairman

          I’m not sowing the seeds of mistrust. Merely highlighting the disappointment in the small number of trees (compared to what was initially touted) and how that will dampen expected outcomes.

          And while supporters may be accepting and confident at this stage, if expectations aren’t met within a reasonable time frame, there will be some disillusionment.

      • Incognito 17.3.2

        The next disappointment (IMO) will be their failure to ensure these new Government created jobs pay a living wage.

        I won’t be disappointed at that at all because the Government does not create jobs as such. Therefore, it was laughable when National (also) made these (similar) ridiculous promises and John Key said:

        We are going to fulfil our target of creating 170,000 jobs we talked about some years ago

        • The Chairman

          It’s a Government scheme that will create employment.

          And the disappointment will be the lost opportunity to help address inequality and poverty if they fail to pay a living wage.

          • Incognito

            With respect, you seem to view and frame these issues in a way that will guarantee disillusionment and disappointment IMHO. It reminds me of yesterday’s comment by swordfish about David Farrar first seeding the expectation in people’s minds that a new Government must enjoy an 11% bounce in the first post-election poll, which inevitably and unavoidably leads to an emotional reaction such as disillusionment and disappointment when this expectation never materialises because it was based on a false premise in the first place.

            • The Chairman

              I never seeded an expectation Labour would pay a living wage, merely pointing out the lost opportunity of them not doing so.

              In fact, going off their announced minimum wage increase (which extends out to 2021) Labour have shown they have no plan for the minimum wage to hit parity with the living wage. Hence, my expectation is these new Government created jobs won’t pay a living wage.

              • Incognito

                O.k. I admit that I’m confused; OT1H you say that you “never seeded an expectation” but OTOH you write “my expectation is these new Government created jobs won’t pay a living wage.”!? Aren’t you contradicting yourself?

                • The Chairman

                  “You say that you “never seeded an expectation””

                  No. I said I never seeded an expectation Labour would pay a living wage. And therein lays your confusion.

                  Nevertheless, Labour are a party that claim to support the living wage, therefore largely seeded the expectation themselves.

                  • Incognito

                    Hmmm, you state that you never seeded an expectation yet @ you wrote:

                    And the disappointment will be the lost opportunity to help address inequality and poverty if they fail to pay a living wage.

                    And @ 17.3 you wrote:

                    The next disappointment (IMO) will be their failure to ensure these new Government created jobs pay a living wage.[my bold]

                    To me, that reads like an expectation …

                    Up to your comment @ you were referring to the (new) Government but then you start referring to Labour!?

                    But, as you clarified, you never expected Labour to pay the living wage so you were never going to be disappointed.

                    This only leaves only one question: whose expectation and disappointment are you talking about if not your own? And why are you so concerned? [technically, these are two questions]

                    • The Chairman

                      No. You need to read a sentence through to the end. I said I never seeded an expectation Labour would pay a living wage – not I never seeded an expectation full stop.

                      And while I don’t personally believe Labour will hold true to their claimed support of the living wage, I still hold a glimmer of hope I may be wrong. Hence, I’m also susceptible to disappointment.

                      Nevertheless, as stated above, Labour are a party that claim to support the living wage, therefore (in giving that support) seeded an expectation that will no doubt, if not met, will disappoint more than just me.

                      Additionally, by lifting wages to a living wage and providing secure decent jobs, Labour can achieve some vital (and long overdue) benefits for workers through this scheme. Helping improve inequality and poverty, while also helping to stimulate smaller struggling regions.

                      And those that understand this are more likely to be the ones who will be disappointed if Labour waste this opportunity.

                  • Incognito

                    I did read your sentences through to the end. In fact, I literally quoted two of your sentences in full, i.e. including the full stops!

                    The coalition agreement commits to a minimum wage of $20 per hour in 2021 and the current Living Wage is $20.20 an hour. I have not seen any claims from the Government that they would pay the LW for those new tree planting jobs but feel free to throw me a link 😉

                    You may be correct that Labour may have seeded these kinds of expectations with some such as yourself but comments like yours will only fuel these expectations, which, I fully admit, is not the same as seeding but amounts to feeding and is equally ‘harmful’ in public discourse and like scaremongering IMO.

                    At this point in time it is pure speculation whether any expectations will be met or dashed and how disappointed some people might be. You have no idea, nobody does, the least of all how others might feel and react.

                    The best we can do is to argue for a LW across the board ASAP and playing the expectation-disappointment card is tantamount to emotional blackmail and a very poor & weak argument and negotiating tool.

                    • The Chairman

                      “I did read your sentences through to the end”

                      Yet you continue to incorrectly claim I stated I never seeded an expectation.

                      People shouldn’t be silence from expressing their expectations and disappointment, they should be encouraged. Political parties require the feedback. Widening the perspective while allowing them to better understand, thus possibility appease concerns, improving their ability to bring the public along with them.

                      I never claimed Labour has committed to paying the living wage to employees on this scheme. I said Labour are a party that support the living wage. And to be fair, have done some work towards that end.

                      Nevertheless, at this stage they’ve only committed to the minimum wage for this scheme after Jones touted work for the dole.

                      However, that has yet to be finalised. Thus, this is the time to hold them to that support of the living wage. And we can help in doing that by speaking out publicly. Highlighting the opportunity that can potentially be gained or wasted and the benefits or disappointment related to that.

                      It’s not blackmail, it’s just highlighting the expected pros and cons of their decision.

                      As for the timing, best to apply pressure before the final decision is made.

                      It’s not often Governments offer to create employment and spend a billion dollars on a scheme, thus we should all be pushing to ensure it bests serves everyone and not just cronies and the elite.

                  • Incognito

                    I agree wholeheartedly with you that the Government has the power to set the scene & example by creating an employment scheme that pays the Living Wage and has other provisions for the employees that go above & beyond the (bare) minimum.

                    Pointing out pros & cons, perceived and real, is fine in discourse or negotiation; emotional blackmail – not just any blackmail – on the other hand, is a very weak and even risky bargaining chip and should be avoided IMHO. Stick to facts and proper (risk) modelling and people may even agree to disagree and respectfully accept the eventual outcome, any outcome, without getting ‘grief-stricken’ with disappointment about stuff that never was …

                    • McFlock

                      Apparently there will be disappointment when the new government fail to do more than they explicitly promised to do, in whatever policy area (TPP and tree numbers also come to mind).

                      Just another example of how the nats have it easy – nobody expected them to actually do what they promised, let alone exceed their manifesto commitments.

                    • The Chairman

                      I don’t highlight real or anticipated disappointment as a means of emotional blackmail.

                      Voter disappointment is a vital factor that shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to the pros and cons of policy crafting and political decision making.

                      Labour’s history of disappointing supporters has not only damaged their own support base (with supporters defecting to the Greens, Mana and NZF) overtime it has damaged the left overall.

                      I’ve come across a fair number that no longer vote due to Labour’s past betrayal. Perceiving voting makes no, to little difference.

                      Labour do themselves no favours in this area. Touting headlines such as their support of the living wage, their belief in full employment, a ban on foreign property investors etc, which, when one scratches the surface, quickly discovers Labour fails to actually fully deliver on.

                      The realisation of which, leads to voter disappointment.

    • millsy 17.4

      If there are roadblocks in place, it is the belief that these things should be done by the private sector.

    • McFlock 17.5

      Let’s see.

      If I recall correctly, your “50%” drop was actually repeating exactly what was announced initially – the “100billion” trees includes the 500million currently planned.

      So now the additional lie (and yes, I think you are deliberately and knowingly trying to misrepresent reality) is that every program must immediately start at its nominal average level and sustain it over the ten year duration, rather than starting slow to establish systems and then operating at above-average levels when everything is working.

  15. The Chairman 18

    Apple will pay about $NZ52bn in tax on the roughly $344bn cash pile it holds outside the US following recent changes to American tax rules.

    Last year, the New Zealand Herald reported the tech giant had paid no local tax here in the last decade, despite selling $NZ4.2bn of products in that time.

    • James 18.1

      you know tax is paid on profit not revenue right ?

      • Muttonbird 18.1.1

        So what’s the $344bn cash if not profit? Are they just holding it ready to pay their creditors?

      • Incognito 18.1.2

        Surely, you’re not suggesting, not even for a minute, that there was zero profit on $4.2 billion worth of sales revenue, are you?

        Of course, they paid taxes but they did pay the bulk of that overseas, i.e. in Oz, then Ireland followed by the US as far as I know but I am no expert and it is very complex and obviously not transparent to the average nominal TS commenter.

        • Ed

          James defends corporate tax dodgers

          • Incognito

            Maybe, maybe not, but I’m much more concerned about spreading of mis- and disinformation in a manner that seems similar to David Farrar’s ways of planting false memes under the cover of plausible deniability – just wait for the defensive arguments to appear, often in an aggressive tone because the best defence is attack.

          • james

            You say that as a fact with nothing to back it up.

            I on the other hand can state facts like Ed supports boycotting the alzheimer’s society and Heart kids

        • james

          I have no idea of the cost of the NZ Company. Im guessing that they make very little profit on the devices they sell.

          The cost to them from ANOTHER (OVERSEAS) company is probably very high.

          • Incognito

            Please don’t insult our and your own intelligence. You comment in this thread without having a clue and without making any attempt to educate yourself!? And surely, you don’t really believe that the profit margin on Apple devices is very small and that their costs (what costs?) to an overseas mother company are very high? The mind boggles if Apple were indeed not making any (!) profit on local sales worth $4.2 billion, don’t you think?

            It did not take much digging to find useful information (and there are more useful recent pieces):

            The accounts also show apparent income tax payments of $34 million – but a close reading shows this sum was actually sent abroad to the Australian Tax Office, an arrangement that has been in place since at least 2007.

            Had Apple reported the same healthy profit margin in New Zealand as it did for its operations globally it would have paid $356m in taxes over the period. [my emphasis]

            By: Matt Nippert

            To provide some balance (for your perusal), a recent statement by Apple:

            The upshot is that taxes are not paid in NZ but somewhere else and it all is perfectly legal.

  16. Ed 19

    New Zealand’s hottest January could be ultimate record-breaker

    Rachel Stewart asks

    Are we worried yet?

    [link fixed. I can’t see anything from Stewart in that article though – weka]

    • Macro 19.1

      The seven stations time series of data is the one that Jim did his original thesis on in the late ’70’s early ’80’s. At that time Jim and I used to travel to and from work in Wellington on the train together, he lived close by, and we enjoyed many a discussion on Global warming and the results of his research at that time.
      While maximum temps get the headlines they are in fact not the dominant factor in the final average. Night time temperatures are included, and these are the ones that show the consistent increase over time. This factor is a significant indicator for the evidence of Global warming being caused by increasing GHGs. Were it not for the fact that the earth is enveloped in an atmosphere containing GHG’s all the heat from the sun would be radiated into space during nighttime and the temperature of the Earth would be around -18 C. Increasing minimum temperatures (ie Night time Temperatures) are a direct result of increasing GHG’s.

      • Ed 19.1.1

        Thank you. Most informative- you get the most interesting and intelligent posters on the Standard!

        • Macro

          It was an absolute pleasure to travel with Jim. The 45 min journey always passed quickly. I was then on The Naval Staff in Def HQ, and Jim was in the Met Office in Karori. As always Jim had his own weather station at his home in Silverstream where we both lived, and he would write a weekly weather column for the local paper “The Leader”.

  17. Stunned mullet 20

    Outstanding achievement by rocket labs this afternoon.

    • Muttonbird 20.1

      A great achievement, and the government gets it.

      Economic development minister David Parker congratulated Rocket Lab on the successful launch, and said New Zealand was well positioned to support further development of the space industry.

      “Our natural advantage of clear skies and seas, and relatively low levels of air traffic make us an attractive location for space activity.” Parker said.

      Parker visited Mission Control to watch the countdown on Saturday, and pledged further support for the space industry.

      “The Government is particularly interested in advancing areas where New Zealand has existing strengths in space-based data applied to agri-technology, hazard management, oceanography and meteorology,” he said.

  18. Muttonbird 21

    We have a few trolls here who like to bring up the situation in Venezuela using the chaos there to show what NZ will be like if we continue with Labour/Green policy.

    Honduras, which has a dictatorial US backed regime is also in violent chaos. Guess it’s not socialism after all…

  19. joe90 22

    So, she left protestors who were out in the cold to attend a warm, cosy, alt-right party,

    She didn’t say shit, had drinks, and chatted with Mickey super serum Cernovich, Jimmy dildo boat O’Keefe and the rest of the gorilla mindset menz.


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    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    7 days ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    7 days ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    7 days ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    1 week ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    1 week ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    1 week ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    1 week ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    1 week ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    1 week ago

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