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Open Mike 21/02/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 21st, 2018 - 238 comments
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238 comments on “Open Mike 21/02/2018 ”

  1. Ed 1

    A most thought provoking article.

    “Now, The Reckoning Comes” – The Media-Created Russia-Collusion Story Collapses.
    Half the country wants to know why the press won’t cover the growing scandal now implicating the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice, and threatening to reach the State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and perhaps even the Obama White House.

    After all, the release last week of a less-redacted version of Sens. Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham’s January 4 letter showed that the FBI secured a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to search the communications of a Trump campaign adviser based on a piece of opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The Fourth Amendment rights of an American citizen were violated to allow one political party to spy on another.

    If the press did its job and reported the facts, the argument goes, then it wouldn’t just be Republicans and Trump supporters demanding accountability and justice. Americans across the political spectrum would understand the nature and extent of the abuses and crimes touching not just on one political party and its presidential candidate but the rights of every American.


    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      the FBI secured a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to search the communications of a Trump campaign adviser based on a piece of opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee

      Is that true? Is it an accurate summary of the facts? No. it isn’t. And poof! The whole argument collapses.

      I suggest you also read section 5 of the Nunes memo, which debunks the very claim you’re repeating. Got that? The Nunes memo contradicts its own narrative.

      Very sloppy Ed: only presenting one side of a partisan attack.

    • Anne 1.2

      A former Aussie Foreign Affairs minister and diplomat, Alexander Downer started the ball rolling:


      Oh and here are some more ‘facts’ that might help debunk the claim presented in that article:


      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1

        I suspect there was more than that too. According to Glenn Simpson, the FBI has been receiving information from someone inside Trump’s organisation for a while.

        “It was someone like us who decided to pick up the phone and report something,” he said, adding that he believed the source was “voluntary,” and “was concerned about the same concerns we had”.

        And something seems to have been picked up in surveillance of third party targets too..

        • Anne

          I note the article was published 18/2/2018 – 3 days ago. It always amuses me how some ‘interested parties’ twist facts and leave out significant angles well after the fact… in the hope everyone has forgotten what really happened.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            It always amazes me when people link to such stories, and then expect to be taken seriously .

      • Bill 1.2.2

        Odd how Professor Mifsud, who supposedly told Papadopoulos about emails, says he never said any such thing. But y’know, Downer runs with some drunken gossip, no-one talks to the Professor, and the FBI launch an investigation.

        And Papadopoulos gets sprung for telling lies to the FBI during questioning about who he met and when he met who he met.

        It’s hardly earth shattering stuff. And yet media whips and frenzy 🙄

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Downer runs with some drunken gossip, no-one talks to the Professor, and the FBI launch an investigation.

          If you think Nunes’ memo is an accurate representation of all the facts pertaining to that FISA warrant, good luck to you Bill. It must be “trust a Republican” week 🙄

          • Bill

            What reference did I make to the Nunes memo OAB? I didn’t make any reference to it whatsoever.

            You want to debate, then fine. You want make shit up…not so fine.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Downer runs with some drunken gossip, no-one talks to the Professor, and the FBI launch an investigation.

              That line comes straight out of Nunes, Bill. You may have picked up that impression somewhere else, but its origin is in the memo.

              Or at the very least (if you can cite a source that predates Nunes), the memo runs the same line.

              I suggest you have a good look at what was being said about Simpson’s testimony before it was released, then compare the Republican narrative to Simpson’s actual testimony. And yeah, sorry, you’re going to have to read it yourself. Read the loaded questions the Republicans put to Simpson. Note that they’re loaded. Ask yourself why they would ask loaded questions at all. Read Simpson’s responses. See who sounds more credible.

              • Bill

                You calling me a liar OAB? Don’t!

                The line comes from Annes link above that is dated Dec 30 2017.

                The Nunes memo became public on Feb 2 2018.

                And in case you haven’t tumbled to this obvious little detail, I’ll spell it out for you. I couldn’t give a fuck for any Republican versus Democrat story telling. Geddit?

                You think there’s something in Simpsons testimony (or anyone else’s) then you provide the links, the quotes and construct your argument. Because this bullshit you’ve been doing, of posting links to hundreds of pages with a wave of the hand and a sneer is wearing really fucking thin.

                Troll elsewhere.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  For fuck’s sake. No I’m not calling you a liar: I think you are mistaken.

                  Simpson states that when he and Steele went to the FBI, the FBI already knew a lot of what they had to say, from other sources, including a whistleblower inside Trump’s organisation (that’s Simpson’s characterisation, not mine).

                  That being so, the notion that Downer was the only impetus for the FBI to apply for a FISA warrant is fanciful.

                  Five different judges have renewed that warrant. How does that fact fit into your explanation?

                  • McFlock

                    Especially as the Steele document could only be used once – each FISA renewal needed fresh evidence to demonstrate the merit of the surveillance.

                  • Bill

                    He states there was a whistleblower, or he says it’s his understanding?

                    Exactly and precisely what was the info being provided by Simpson that the FBI already had?

                    I never wrote or suggested Downer was the sole impetus for an investigation being launched. His account of the drunken conversation with Papadopoulos (as per Anne’s link) helped in terms of persuasion.

                    Renewed warrants simply need some suggestion of progress being made alongside some evidence of that progress. It’s not for those judges to decide whether it’s all pointless rabbit hole stuff or earth shattering stuff.

                    And again (I think you’re experiencing some difficulty with this point), I couldn’t give a fuck about the precise maneuvers being undertaken by various elite players against one another – it’s pointless soap

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      the precise maneuvers being undertaken by various elite players against one another

                      One of these “players” is Simpson? I doubt that personally. For one thing, that would ruin the brand he’s worked so hard to build up.

                    • Bill

                      A player? Or just plays alongside the players? Kinda boils down to the same shit either way.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …plays alongside the players?

                      A remora, then.

                      The sharks tell lies, and in doing so, create a market for investigators. Lawyers, for example, want to know whether their clients are lying to them.

                      The remora live or die by the accuracy of the information they provide. To the lawyers in the above example. For remora to be caught lying in public would be very bad for business.

                      Is that a controversial premise? Can we agree on something?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  PS: I can’t cite a single example of how loaded and dishonest the Republicans’ questioning of Simpson is. That impression comes across from reading the whole thing.

                  I can’t cut and paste the whole thing (or even parts of it) because I haven’t found a site that actually transcribes it. They all present it in some sub-window thingy.

                  I cannot see how anyone who actually reads it could get the impression that the Republican narrative is offered in good faith.

                  And I can’t see how anyone who reads it can go away with the impression that the FISA warrant was based solely on drunken boasts in the first place.

                  • Bill

                    And you’ll understand from reading my comments, that as far as I’m concerned, it’s neither here nor there whether Simpson is a part of the Democratic Party or the Republican Party.

                    Those things do not constitute the dividing lines that run through the “Trump/Russia” bullshit.

                    Go back to my original comment and maybe actually read it, if you’re still experiencing difficulty.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Your original comment ignores the reason Steele and Simpson went to the FBI in the first place: they were concerned Trump is the victim of blackmail.

                      I think that might concern even the most committed non-interventionist.

                      And that’s it from me.

                    • Bill

                      And the clear-cut or verifiable evidence within the Steele document that would give reasonable grounds for suspecting blackmail?

                      Well. There’s nothing there besides speculation and second hand accounts/ hearsay.

                      But sure. Take unverified gossip as gospel, and anyone can see there could be reasonable grounds for worrying about blackmail.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke


                      One of these things is not like the other one.

                      Christopher Steele believes his dossier on Trump-Russia is 70-90% accurate

                    • Bill

                      The thing about believing 70 – 90% accuracy…

                      It’s raining and I’m sitting on a couch in a house while I type on a computer and someone is begging me for their life.

                      I believe that’s 80% accurate.

                      But if we’re talking about qualitative or meaningful matters, then the accuracy drops towards zero percent.

                      So what does Steele mean? Did he offer clarification on what measure of accuracy he was talking about? 80% of that dossier can be accurate and yet the dossier contain no accuracy in terms of meaningful substance.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Whereas if you’re a private investigation type person and you’re 70-90% confident that a crime is in progress, you’re pretty much duty-bound to report it to the relevant authorities.

                      Otherwise, I think that’s called “being an accessory”.

                      Edit: to your edit, I think if you have sources that you know sometimes have provided valuable information, and sometimes a cloud of smoke, you make that clear to your clients, or in this case the FBI, when you hand over the file.

                    • McFlock

                      I count 25 allegations.

                      Which 5 would you like to exclude?

                    • Bill

                      @ McFlock.

                      You seem to be assuming qualitative accuracy rather then quantitative accuracy.

                      But anyway. I would neither count out nor count in any allegation. It’s up to those making the allegations to offer up convincing reasons or evidence as to why any particular allegation should be taken seriously.

                      And as far as I, a member of the public is concerned, there’s been a lot of nothing provided on that front.

                    • greywarshark

                      Relating to Russia and Stalin and the Ukraine and methods of using tech to spread fabrications and confusion affecting election.
                      This interview from Wallace Chapman on Sunday recently is quite
                      far reaching.

                      history author interview
                      Anne Applebaum: Red Famine
                      From Sunday Morning, 11:32 am on 18 February 2018
                      Listen duration 25′ :32″

                      Anne Applebaum’s book “Red Famine, Stalin’s War on Ukraine” is about a famine not caused by drought or floods – but a political famine caused by Joseph Stalin’s brutal policy of farm collectivisation and repression. It killed around 5 million people.

                    • McFlock

                      @Bill. I thought that was what your little “begging for their life” thing was.

                      But even if each of the 25 allegations were only 80% true, that’s still some suspicious goings-on.

                      Or did you have some interpretation of “80%” that means “nothing to see here”?

                    • Bill

                      What I’m meaning (and I’m only putting it out as a possibility) is that Steele was accurate enough to report that Trump was in Moscow and stayed at such and such a place, and was equally correct to report that person(s) a, b and c said x, y and z about Trump in Moscow at that time.

                      So that’s 100% accuracy up until now.

                      But if we entertain the idea (given that everything in that report was hearsay )that all the things persons a, b and c said they knew or had heard was and is just a pile of horseshit, then maybe we’re down to the report being, as Harding claims Steele reckons, somewhere between 70% and 90% accurate.

                    • McFlock

                      So Steele was a good researcher, located a variety of people who made 25 separate claims, several corroborating each other, and yet every single thing those people told him was incorrect either intentionally or unintentionally. Without Steele figuring this out.

                      Alternatively, Steele fabricated everything except the verifiable information like where Trump stayed. More likely, but in that case the Steele dossier would be about the only evidence against Trump and his camp. This does not seem to be the situation.

                      I think the most likely possibility is that the Steele report was prepared in good faith, the bulk of the allegations are pretty close to the truth, but any particular one might be incorrect. But then that’s the difference between research or intelligence reports, and a criminal investigation. One deals in probabilities, the other in proof beyond reasonable doubt.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      From observation, I’d say that Steele’s job wasn’t to gather intelligence about Trump’s Moscow activities.

                      It was to construct a “dossier” which could then be used to justify a FISA court request for comprehensive and overarching Title 1 surveillance of Carter Page (and by extension, everyone that Page had any contact of any kind with in the Trump campaign).

                      That last bit is the key bit.

                      You can’t easily blackmail Trump btw. Whether it is jilted Playboy playmates, cheated building subcontractors or banks owed hundreds of millions of dollars, none of that has any leverage over him.

    • francesca 1.3

      This article helps put a few things into perspective
      Shines a light on to the actual spending by RUSSIANS spread over a worldwide enterprise that actually includes domestic Russian audiences.


    • Bill 1.4

      Politics is about power, positioning and influence. A faction within the Democratic Party blew it. Voters gave them a serve i that last US election.

      Now they’re scrabbling to get back in the game, and they have a lot of influence beyond congress and the house.

      I’m quite prepared to give the intelligence community a pass and assume they are behaving as diligent public servants. And they can be played. In fact, I’m fairly certain they have a dawning realisation on that front.

      Who played them?

      Well, the US system doesn’t break into a simple left and right represented by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. We know this.

      What’s the one thing that Trump made noises about that got a goodly number of US politicians all “up in ams”? Well, it wasn’t increased surveillance powers (they all voted in favour of that). And it wasn’t even the tax cuts or the immigration stuff (they make noises but their own designs are in the same ball-park)

      It comes down to interventionist foreign policy. And yes, Trump is having his arm twisted and is increasingly playing the game “as it ought to be played”.

      Identify the liberal interventionists, the hawks and the neo-cons and you you’ve identified who is seeking to wing, wound and bring down Trump on all this Russian bullshit. A nice indication of their reach btw – that the newspapers are full of nothing pertaining to really diabolical Trump policies to anything like the extent “Russia”.

      There’s nothing there by the way.

      Some individuals have broken some laws and some have told minor porkies to intelligence Agencies and been caught out. And now the Intelligence Agencies are in the unenviable position of having to provide real world stuff that would explain all the hoo-ha that’s been generated off the back of speculation, suspicion and hearsay.

      So they’re throwing anything that even might maybe be something at it; making mountains out of mole hills because they’ve danced down the pied piper’s road too far now to simply turn around and “go back”. They have to hope to save face.

      I could wish them luck. But really, happily anticipating the catastrophic collapse of the centre means that to wish them luck would simply be sincere insincerity on my part 🙂

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.4.1

        When you have a story that explains all the facts, let me know.

        • adam

          Insead of the conspiracy theory you’re throwing around?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            [citation needed]

            This, from the guy who says that emotional manipulation on social media is a thing when National Party followers do it, then swears that it couldn’t possibly happen somewhere else because Hillary, or something.


            [This is blatant flaming. You’d do really well to stand back and think whether you want to continue down this path or have the opportunity to engage in honest debate hereabouts OAB] – Bill

            • adam

              I never mentioned h.r.c. – that is your fantasy which you keep pulling up for some reason – your go to, make shit up meme – why is that?

              I don’t believe 13 russian trolls influenced 100,000’s of voters. That is a fantasy, and defies logic, and the indictment from Muller is a joke. Leaving aside all the nasty precedents it sets.

              And as I said, it’s been a front to attack the left. Jill Stein has come under major attack, also Sanders, all over the Muller stuff.

              Mueller v Russia

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Instead of the conspiracy theory you’re throwing around?

                • adam

                  Caught out with the thirteen trolls narrative, now trying to steal my lines.

                  You really are desperate mate.

                  Me, I’ll carry on helping people fight him (trump) over real issues – rather than the made up ones you want to distract us all with.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    You’re the one fantasising about the front to attack the left, Adam.

                    To paraphrase Psycho Milt, your assertions about what I want have a nett value of 0.

                    • adam

                      And your just a smug pratt, who lacks an original thought.

                      Look a flame war – well done, Bills prediction was right.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    the thirteen trolls

                    In fact, the IRA is reported to employ hundreds.

                    …people worked around the clock in Olgino, sitting at computers and writing on Russian social networks according to pre-prepared scripts. After the February 2015 murder of Boris Nemtsov, for instance, the trolls were given the following assignment: “The main idea is that we’re cultivating the view that Ukrainian players might have been involved in the death of this Russian oppositionist.”

                    Jordan Williams is jealous.

                  • weka

                    I’m struggling to see why I shouldn’t ban both of you. You’re both flaming. Count this as a warning .

          • Ed

            Spot on Adam.
            Sick of hearing all this tinfoil nonsense about Russia doing it.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Very sloppy, Ed: your failure to spot that the Nunes memo contradicts itself.

              Let me see if I can help you out: from the Nunes memo:

              On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC…

              …Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals….

              The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016

              One of these things is not like the other, Ed. And don’t forget, this is the Republican narrative your source is citing.

              I suggest you also have a good look at the link McFlock posted earlier.

              It (the link) lays out all the allegations. It may help you think about them more clearly, and establish to your own satisfaction how the Deep State is responsible. I’d hate for you to fall into the trap of citing sources that contradict themselves again.

              • Ed

                I agree with Adam and cv.
                Sorry you don’t like that.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Don’t apologise: neither of them have a coherent narrative for you to agree with.

                  • Ed

                    We disagree.

                  • adam

                    OK look can;t win an argument so goes with your usual bullshit – what a winner mate.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I do not care about winning arguments, Adam: it’s an exercise in futility.

                      Ed and I agree on certain things and disagree on others. On this occasion, however, Ed has offered no argument whatsoever. He relied instead on Zerohedge’s article about the Nunes memo.

                      Which contradicts itself.

                    • adam

                      There you go again, just making shit up…

        • Bill

          What are these facts OAB? Because that would be the place to start your project, aye?

          Meanwhile, all I’m suggesting is a framework or overview, based on basic common sense and logic, that can be used to approach various speculations and allegations that are floating around.

          That framework may be faulty or flawed.

          Seems you don’t really think so though, because you have questioned precisely none of it (and none of it is beyond question).

          Meanwhile, I know there are those who just want to shout “Russia! Russia!!” on the grounds that, while everyone else involved in spreading bullshit political click-bait through social media platforms is doing it for commercial gain, the idea – the insistence – is all that gets thrown aside and exceptions made with regards both motive and government connections when Russians are doing it.

          That and an obsession to shoehorn every other damned little thing into a “Russian” narrative, “because Russia!”

          It’s fcking lamentable.

  2. Why Do We Allow Banks to Make Huge Profits and Decide Economic Policy As well?

    We suffer, by virtue of the current role of the banks in our economy, not only an economic loss, but also a partial loss of the power of self-government. We have less control of where our economy is heading than a truly sovereign country has a right to expect. The amazing thing is that this huge influence over our economy is achieved – through their unique ability to create new money – by private (and in this case foreign-owned) companies in the course of pursuing their own private profits, and that they are allowed to do this without any democratic control whatsoever.

    Our politicians, however, seem unconcerned; they are happy to disclaim any responsibility for this important aspect of economic policy and to rely on the ignorance of the public to allow the situation to remain undisturbed. Wouldn’t it be good to think that our new government might take a fresh and more critical look at it?

    There’s a reason why the banks always come out with the lie that if the government created money it would be all bad and that’s because they’d lose the control that they have over us.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    “Yesterday’s Schools”.

    How students are taught from early childhood through to post-secondary school will be completely overhauled under the biggest educational reform New Zealand has seen in almost three decades.

    Finland here we come? I’m picking that unlike the Finnish Right, the National Party will do everything they can to undermine both process and result.

    Good on the government for taking on the task. Hope they can do the same thing for WINZ. Faster. Like now. Those human rights violations are just piling up…

    • Ed 3.1

      Excellent news.
      A forward thinking education policy.
      I really hope the government follows the Finnish model closely.

      And, as an added bonus, if done and communicated well, another nail in National’s 2020 and 2023 election coffin.

    • Stunned mullet 3.2

      I’m sure the schools throughout NZ will be thrilled with yet another change imposed on them by Wellington.

      Umpteenth time lucky ?

      • Ed 3.2.1

        Yes the National Party did a little a lot of regressive damaging changes that added a lot to the paperwork of professionals and little to the learning of children.

        National Standards.
        Charter Schools…..

        The Overton window is shifting mullet.
        Get used to it.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.2

        “Imposed by Wellington”.

        Oh look, a right winger trying to undermine the process. I have every expectation that schools and teachers will be involved in the review from go to whoa.

        While the National Party whinges and throws its toys.

        • Ed

          Teachers certainly had National Standards imposes in them by Wellington.
          When National were in power.
          I’m predicting teachers will look favourably in the vast majority of changes coming.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury

            Which must mean it’s good policy of course. It’ll be more regression to the mean as a result of the teachers insisitence that kids need to learn at the pace of the slowest kid. Then everyone is equally stupid by the time they leave school and teachers can wash their hands of any responsibility.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Here’s another right winger trying to undermine the process, and repeating third party smears into the bargain.

              What the fuck is wrong with you?

              • Robert Guyton

                Well-framed and pertinent question, OAB.

              • adam

                Did you notice both arguments were emotive and lacked any factual content. Both comments were written to get a emotional response. Truth, facts, reality don’t matter – attacking any idea coming from the left is the ideological push from both commentators. And both commentators know that facts, truth, or logic don’t count in these types of arguments, manipulating people on an emotional level is all that counts.

                • One Two

                  Emotional manipulation is the crux of [name the business model]

                  The establishments air is the emotional energy which is harvested and willingly given…

                  When greater numbers understandd the importance of managing emotions and then to use that energy for positive purposes…

                  The outcomes will be unimaginable…

                • David Mac

                  We make all of our decisions with our emotions. We analyse the facts with one side of our brain and switch to the other for our “yes” or “no”.

                  We don’t buy a house because the deck faces North and enjoys long sunshine hours. We buy it because we are visualising family BBQs on warm balmy evenings.

                  We absorb the facts that matter to us but when asked if we want to buy a product or service or idea our response comes from our heart. I didn’t buy the boat I did because it is unsinkable. I bought it because I don’t want my kid to drown. I didn’t buy it because of the volume of foam packed under the seats, I bought it because of my visualisation of how I would feel if someone onboard drowned.

                  Beneficiaries aren’t calling for increases because they want more money. They’re doing so because a child saying ‘I’m hungry’ and the cupboard is bare rips at our emotions.

                • Brigid

                  It’s tiresome and boring

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Yes, I noticed that. It’s almost as though they believe that posting repetitive memes on social media can affect political decisions or something.

              • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                The fuck is wrong me? the fuck is wrong with you?

                overall education levels for school leavers have slipped since the late 90’s. So it’s not just a National government fault. Nationals slide is more pronounced than Labours, but slides like this, like economic slides tend to occur AFTER the damage has been inflicted.

                Teachers are the only common denominator here. Hiding behind the blaming of policies of the government du jour only works for so long. At what point to teachers, as educational professionals, take responsibility for their impact on kids at formative stages of development that affects the rest of those kids lives?

                Couldn’t care less about national standards being revoked. But Ed’s blindly asserted that teachers will love it. I blindly assert that Ed’s statement is pointless as the teacher unions drew it up.

                Teachers loving a policy does not make it good policy.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Thank you for further illustrating my point. The government is initiating a sector-wide overhaul of the entire education system, and your reaction is to start smearing teachers with attack lines authored by some (probably American) third party.

                  All the rebuttals to this rote-learned bullshit are a matter of public knowledge, Mullet. That says something about you, and nothing whatsoever about teachers.

                  • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                    Posting a good old straw man argument about my supposed belief of learning by rote and parroting Americans.

                    It’s teaching for dummies that I disagree with. All it does is increase the number of dummies. Case in point, you.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      teaching for dummies that I disagree with

                      Good for you. It doesn’t exist: if you think your lines are original, you’re deluded.

                • McFlock

                  So teachers don’t work within the constraints of the education system, their effectiveness is independent of their work conditions. Fair enough. That means that charter schools, which are not constrained as much by the education system, shouldn’t be any better than state schools.

                  • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                    Good to too see a fan of charter schools here on the standard

                    • McFlock

                      Should probably have added “or vice versa”. Fair call 🙂

                    • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                      i saw where you went with it. your point is valid actually. They shouldn’t, yet they do. It’s odd. Might be something to do with the accountability once they leave a school, rather than leaving a system named education

                    • McFlock

                      Maybe it’s their active choice of students and methods of auditing their target achievements. Maybe its their funding levels.

                      Either way, they should be performing the same as state schools if it were just down to a system failure in the teaching profession.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      the accountability once they leave a school, rather than leaving a system named education

                      Another suspiciously familiar false premise.

                      Teachers’ and principals’ performance is assessed against the professional standards set out in the collective employment agreements…

                      Would you like to explain how you came by your false impression, or would you like to admit lying and apologise?

            • AB

              “Then everyone is equally stupid by the time they leave school ”
              Excellent – if we could just add some “greedy” to the “stupid” that means countless recruits to the National Party.
              Keep working on it Chippie! (Love from Bill, Judith etc.)

              • David Mac

                We all have the potential to be greedy. We tend to notice greed when someone has lots of something we desire more of.

                The poor man dragging 2 sacks of kai moana up the beach is being greedy. The child that won’t let anyone else have a go on the swing is being greedy.

                • AB

                  “We tend to notice greed when someone has lots of something we desire more of”
                  No – you are implying that a dislike of greed is a form of envy and that is absolutely not the case. It is this (deliberate) conflation that leads to weaponised slogans like “the politics of envy”. The guy I see making off with 20 undersized snapper is being greedy – I do not want his 20 undersized snapper, I am happy with my 2 legal ones thanks and I want him stopped.

                  Of course all individuals have a capacity to be greedy – that’s a mere truism. The point is that some political ideologies are intent on finding ways to legitimise greed and others are not. Which was really the fairly simple point that I obviously did not make sufficiently clear.

                  And really, all I am doing is rehashing the famous JK Galbraith quote:
                  “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness”


            • patricia bremner

              Tuppence Shrewsbury, no that was your lot.

              Your education “success” measured and measured by very shonky standards.

              Meanwhile NZ dropped through the ranks of the educated world wide, going backwards!! Regression.

              Hopscotch tick box learning at its worst.

              Educators are pleased about the overdue changes, and will be contributors and participants in the coming system based on international best practice. Well done Labour.

            • KJT

              You have no idea.

              Not Teachers, who allow class sizes too large to have real time to help the children at the extremes.

            • KJT

              Charter schools.

              Vanguard. The best example of regimented rote learning currently available in New Zealand.

              With an extremely high expulsion and exclusion rate.

              While Teachers who would love to give their students more variety of learning experience and individual support, are starved of funding, help and struggling in classes of 36 or more.

            • Ed

              Research Finland’s education system.
              Just for once, try to show you are informed rather than being a reactionary bigot.

      • It was National that imposed changes from Wellington in their normal authoritarian way. The present government will actually ask the teachers what’s best.

      • Foreign waka 3.2.4

        Stunned mullet, “Tomorrows School” was an experiment from the US state of California that was dropped a short few years later. This is info I had from a teacher who came to NZ at the time this system was settled into NZ schools.
        What it did was to teach children to “recognize” words rather than to spell.
        Whilst OK in the context of Neuroscience, it is disastrous when applied in the real world as we can see today where any profession that needs capable people to read instructions (engineering, IT etc) has to import professionals who can, mostly in more than one language.
        Unless endowed with endless curiosity to get the spelling and grammar right or get lucky being thought in a private school costing a bundle, youngsters were maneuvered into an underclass, not able to participate in “tomorrows economy”.
        Without wanting to be rude, I wonder whether this was on purpose so as to fill the all these newly created Mc’s jobs in the 80’s and 90’s.

        The continued use of the actually defunct model left NZ students are now way behind on a whole, falling down the ladder of proficiency in language and math skills that are basics, pure basics.
        I do know from my time at University that it was often mentioned that some 30% of students were functionally illiterate. Shame on those responsible.

        As for Chris Hipkins and his plan to tackle the obvious – Hallelujah, please press on with reforms that hopefully will get the basics back into the class room. I am sure that there are a good number of principals and teachers who will be very happy. Not to mention the lecturers at University.
        However, challenging will be the caliber of some teachers who grew up “recognizing” words and finding mathematic a subject that can be thought in retrospect at Uni.

        Any attempt to get the youngsters on a good footing and able to compete in an ever increasing knowledge driven employment situation should be welcomed. It is NZ future that is in focus.

    • Carolyn_Nth 3.3

      Excellent. Much needed.

      A couple of things to watch out for: it’s part of a deal between NZ First and Labour – so not expecting anything too leftie-radical.

      And it will be interesting to see what the Greens have to say about the detail.


      Hipkins has been a long time advocate of tidying up the transition for students from one part of the education system to the next – right up until a student is employed.

      My bold. No….. education is not just for preparation to work, and it is a life-long thing.

      The rest of the transition approach seems good. Hopefully there will be an end to an over-emphasis on competition and testing. And the article signals that probably it won’t include PPPs.

      • patricia bremner 3.3.1

        Perhaps a slip, meaning “including when a student is employed” i.e. training and retraining which is often mentioned?

    • solkta 3.4

      It is understood Education Minister Chris Hipkins will release a three-year work programme on Wednesday that details extensive overhauls as part of a coalition agreement between Labour and NZ First

      I wouldn’t get too excited till we see what the Winston effect will be. At the moment we have an excellent bi-cultural early childhood curriculum in Te Whariki. We do have something to lose.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.4.1

        The Tracey Martin effect. FIFY

        • Ed

          Tracey is excellent.
          National really have little to offer in this area.

        • solkta

          It will still have Winston’s shadow cast over it.

          And Tracy Martin, i’m not sure about. She is pro smacking after all.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Tracey Martin tends to be pretty good on education. She often seems to have more in common with Labour than NZF – but, on crucial matters, she toes the NZF party line.

            • solkta

              On the smacking thing she personally strongly supports hitting as a punishment:

              “Ms Martin told Checkpoint with John Campbell that the law had had a chilling effect on parents, including herself.”


              • Carolyn_Nth

                Party line – but she’s not wedded to it according to the article – she has some flexibility.

                Martin’s a bit like that on immigration – party line but without the race-loaded rhetoric. She probably is a bit socially conservative – but that probably still fits within the right wing of Labour.

                • solkta

                  It is very clear from the interview that she personally favours hitting young children as a means of disciple. She enthusiastically admits hitting her children and wanting to continue with the practice.

                  If it were just the party line she would be talking about other parents and their “rights” to assault their children.

                • mikes

                  “She probably is a bit socially conservative – but that probably still fits within the right wing of Labour.”

                  A few commenters on this site seem to mistake conservatism as a right wing ‘thing’.

                  The working class are conservative.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Here’s their education policy, courtesy of the Wayback Machine.

            • patricia bremner

              Thanks AOB. I read down the statements with a growing sense of good good and good.
              I would have liked a statement of intent regarding problem solving and creativity. That may come in the Curriculum statements. Can but hope.

    • All of this would come at a significant cost to the Crown as Labour, NZ First and the Green Party all oppose any further use of public private partnerships.

      An interesting assumption from the author that PPPs are inherently cheaper despite evidence showing that they’re inherently more expensive.

    • Antoine 3.6

      Cautiously optimistic. Something badly needs to be done, hope they find their way to the right thing


    • Molly 3.7

      The Finnish model, will face resistance at every stage, until all involved have a clear view of what “education” is, and what it delivers.

      At present, educational value seems to be directly related to employment. And educational value is deemed higher, when employment renumeration is higher.

      A Finnish model into our current idea of education is like mixing Lego with Meccanno.

      • Foreign waka 3.7.1

        Molly, if you would talk to employers, you would be shocked what low level of education a large section of students actually have. If you compare this to a same aged person from any other country (and due to the casual workforce this is actually possible) it would shame the NZ system in a very obvious way. Truly, now fluff or pretense.
        Whatever the model, the basics have to be mastered by students so that they are fit to survive in an ever tougher employment environment. If they are confident that this can be achieved (comes at no cost when you are educated), curiosity of pushing boundaries are often part of that experience.
        Innovation is if you actually find a way to mix Lego with Meccanno.

        • Molly

          Education for me is providing access to learning that allows people to contribute in a number of ways: including – but not limited to, paid employment.

          Employers have been a stakeholder for the Ministry of Education for some time now, and what they require is already trained and moulded workers that they don’t have to support or train further.

          The Swiss model of education links students from the age of 12 to businesses. And their motto is – three strikes and you are in. Meaning, it is unrealistic to expect students to be work ready, and that it may take up to three placements before that a good fit is found for a particular student. The lecturer outlining this process was Australian. He mentioned, that while he was unfamiliar with NZ, this approach would not work in Australia’s current business culture, as exploitation was rife with student/work programmes. An NZ example of that exploitation can be found with farm workers programmes.

          The Finnish model is a great one. And if we could implement a system like that successfully here, that would be a great outcome.

          It is not innovation to continue to link education with employment and produce new variations on that theme.

          I would like to have a Minister that can articulate clearly what they consider education to be, and why it is of value. Then it is easier to assess how they will go about implementing the successful programmes of other countries, with that in mind.

          • greywarshark

            Sounds good Molly. Let’s keep looking to see if that concept is being incorporated in our kids education. It seems to me that we are inflexible, unable to change to a new idea as a general practice in NZ.

            I have been thinking about how Jewish boys and girls at about 13 are given bar mitzvahs for boys speling? and a different name for same thing for girls. That starts them towards their maturity.

            We encourage such long times as childhood that we had the Nats saying that adult support for kid’s education should go to 25. Get the kids incorporated in life early with block placements, for all. Let them all have experience at a few different guilds (centres of expertise for particular skillsets). What an interesting life. They would get brassed off at work as you do, and long to get back to school, then find school lacked something, and that work even boring was actually interesting when they thought about it from a distance. With a few change of jobs they would find something that they could enjoy, or at least stick with. And they would come out of school each with work experience. They would need mentors here though, support to ensure that they were not being taken advantage of. And vice versa.

          • Foreign waka

            Molly, your response is great, love what you are saying.
            What my comment refers to is the real world application for so many who are not necessarily academic and t h e i r future.
            I have no stake in the Education system and hence feel quite free to express what so many of those entering the workforce a c t u a l l y experience. I mean there is no one standing there taking political motivated notes to suit an agenda. These young adults are just being thrown into the deep end with an expectation of performing – in what ever environment, you choose. Kindergarten is over and the truth hits home – hard.
            The unsuccessful PC quark that has been packaged and sold to those now standing there with a manco of 14 or more years of failed education and almost no means of ever catching up makes them losers from the start.
            If it is not understood that education is a tool with which any person can master their future and most importantly make choices, this will not succeed. Yes, to get there it will need work, effort and sometimes a proverbial kick…but it is better having a well tooled young population that seeks their limits, has ideas and a c t u a l l y can turn these into reality than to have frustrated kids hanging out taking drugs to mask their bitterness of being not able to join.
            This needs addressing, now and not again rolled in sprinkles of good sounding themes for further reviews for which some will pocket a lot of taxpayer money – paid for by the last remnant taxpayers who actually learned to read.
            And yes, one learns all the time but a person only survives if they are able to support themselves. Any other take is an excuse of having a continuation of an underclass not able to make a living, blaming someone and often rightly so.

            • KJT

              All very well expecting to educate children for the workforce.

              What do you do, as in Northland, where the jobs do not exist.

              And, if they do, employers are encouraged to get already trained migrants rather than pay to train their staff. Employers are now totally spoiled in this area. Expecting all training costs to be covered by the Employees and other tax payers.

              “If you do well at school you may get twelve hours a week guaranteed work at McDonalds” does not quite work!

            • Molly

              Good points foreign waka. However, any system must be able to recognise the value of contributions to society that are not financial. Both in education and the wider society, we fail to do so.

              The future of work was a start, but it comes – once again – from a viewpoint of providing occupations. At a time when many are starting to acknowledge a sea change in work availability and type, we will be starting off on the back foot if current employment practice is our end goal.

              Reading to me, opens up a wealth of opportunities for learning throughout life, so I agree on the importance of that skill. We may however disagree on the necessity of everyone learning about cosine or quadratic equations. Given the inquisitive nature of children at the age of five, it is perhaps more pertinent to ask what the hell school has done to interrupt their curiosity and learning, or how they could attend everyday without anyone noticing their difficulty.

              Computers are just another tool, and like all tools can be used incorrectly. I have a great affection for them myself but acknowledge their limitations for providing basic skills and a good environment for children’s learning.

              • In Vino

                I would add, for Foreign Waka’s benefit, that there are plenty of employers who need to be much better educated. Then we might have fewer bad employers. Schools are not there just to please a bunch of employers.

        • Incognito

          What do get when you mix Lego with Meccano? Fischertechnik.

          Brilliant stuff IMHO.


      • AB 3.7.2

        Have we got the vision to make the education system something greater than a subsidy to employers – more than an assessment-based machine for delivering employers what they think they want?
        Can we turn our smart, innovative kids who will also find new ways of working and of organising the workplace on much more democratic, cooperative and shared ownership principles? We really need our education system to produce young people who confront and challenge corporate and private power, rather than meekly serve it.

      • Incognito 3.7.3

        We often hear people singing the praises of “the Scandinavian model”, which can apply to a whole lot of things. It’s no different with “the Finnish model” in the context of education. The naive thinking seems to be that we can cherry pick the pieces that we most like or appear to work best (not necessarily one and the same thing) and plant them here (emulate) in good old New Zealand.

        I think there are a number of problems with this kind of wishful thinking. Firstly, reductionism does not work well (at all) when dealing with really complex issues; the specific context and integration are extremely important. Analogy: organ/bone marrow transplantation only has a chance of working if there is a good match and if all the vital connections are made in the receiving host.

        Secondly, it is simplistic to only focus on the how of the Finnish model, for example, without looking at the why. Why does it work well for the Finns in Finland? The answer is because it is consistent with their underlying values and value systems, like hand in glove. This has grown and developed (evolved) over time and it still is, in Finland. Flexibility, adaptability, resilience are hallmarks of good education that is founded on a solid core or basis.

  4. Ed 4

    Unintended irony by Hawkesbury.

    “Kate Hawkesby: How can deluded monsters like Liam Reid still generate headlines?”

    For those not aware, Hosking is Hawkesby’s husband.
    Yes both adult members of the household get a platform in the Herald. And both write garbage.

    • james 4.1

      “Unintended irony by Ed”

      Makes post about writing garbage.


      So Ed – what’s wrong with two members of a family having jobs?

      Or do you think people who have differing views than yours not have employment?

    • Pete 4.2

      Why does Hawkesby ask us how Reid makes headlines? Why doesn’t she ask her bloody bosses?

      And why does she give him more headlines?

    • Gabby 4.3

      She objects to him being in the news? How does she feel about the documentary about him? Members of the public might see it.

    • greywarshark 4.4

      Kate hawkesby – didn’t her father take TVNZ to Court when they demoted him from a top presenting job or maybe dropped his pay from an inflated amount and he took them for $8 million?

      She would be used to the media life and floating over real life while emphasising the candy floss.

  5. eco maori 5

    Good morning Breakfast people how do you like my game experiments I play on the sandflys and that old fool from Pitau Rd.
    I new he has been a actor the first day he got hired by the sandflys.
    He lied and said he was retireng he also lied about being interested in his Maori heritage so I decided to pour the bullshit and see how fast the sandflys would spread it. The neoliberals IDOITS fell for it hook line and sinker.
    My experiments was how quick a crowd will turn on one. The sandflys know this and they are praying that they can get some bullshit on ECO MAORI but know. Ana to kai. Ka kite ano P.S. Jack ECO Maori seen your true colours when you first started on the breakfast news show.

    • JohnSelway 5.1

      No offense but what on earth are you babbling about? Every comment in this chain makes no sense whatsoever.

      Am I missing something?

      • Gabby 5.1.1


      • Antoine 5.1.2


        [you do that again and you can expect a ban. – weka]

        • weka

          moderation note.

        • greywarshark

          I think that people who clutch at the TS as a place where they can receive stimulation in empty hours, have an obsession. That doesn’t give them a right to go further and pass denigrating remarks about others who also write on TS about what they are thinking. The problem is understanding someone with different experiences and point of view different to yours. I don’t know if you are mentally ill yourself Antoine and feel experienced enough to judge others, but that is not a test that is applied here.

          It is whether you have something interesting to say that can be discussed with the minimum of personal attack and bad language.

          John Selway doesn’t understand but wonders if he is missing something. It would be a good idea if you Antoine pondered similarly.

          • Antoine

            My comment was meant as a factual answer to John’s question and not ‘personal attack or bad language’. I only say this because it is now deleted and I don’t want other readers to get the wrong idea about what I wrote. Perhaps weka will delete the entire exchange.


            PS greywarshark, it would be polite if you would stop having a go at me about my posting habits. I don’t criticise you for posting often here, so offer me the same courtesy.

            • greywarshark

              When I post Antoine I am trying to add to the sum of knowledge we all have Antoine and have been supporting the blog for years doing that.
              As you may notice I usually put up an idea up or I put info up with a link
              and it is the absence of anything being offered by you except some judgment that I criticise Antoine. It’s the way you run a thread on and on with questions and disagreements that I notice. I think I counted you to 23 comments in a 95 long thread the other day.

              • Short version: when I comment, I’m imparting wisdom; when you comment, you’re an asshole. I think we may have just accidentally hit on social media’s “golden rule” here.

  6. eco maori 6

    When I attacked the polls that was a ploy to motivate the Maori voters to vote boys. Ana to kai. P.S some people don’t like it when Eco Maori has a different opinion that them.

  7. eco maori 7

    Theoretically one can travel into the future with some vehicle that travels unbelievable fast. But YOU cannot travel back in time that’s Einstein theory and its logical know. Kia kaha Ka kite ano

    • eco maori 7.1

      Good technical speakers Jack??????
      The cops will be able to ask those speakers to listen to you if they have storage ram then they will get to know a lot more about you. Ka kite ano P.S. Look Eco Maori cannot even fart and the cops are taking about it. Lol

  8. Whispering Kate 8

    Have just heard on the AM Breakfast Show this morning Duncan Garner interviewing the economist who coined the “rock star reconomy”. Mark Richardson asked him if there had been a trickledown from this rockstar economy. The guy said yes and then rabbitted on about jobs being provided and not a single thing was said about what sort of wages these jobs provided. It was as if it was a privilege to just have a job and if you survived on a pittance, then it didn’t seem to occur to this rockstar ecomonist that it helps if you can feed your family and not have to have the missus working jobs as well to survive.

    I just wonder if anybody else heard this rock star guy – there is one half who live well and the other just have to be grateful to have a job, no matter how poorly paid it is. He even said the rock star economy would be threatened if there was a rise in wages. I give up.

    • adam 8.1

      So the economist from the bank was on radio telling us we should be grateful that we got scraps from the table.

      Welcome to “Middle Zealand”

    • Ed 8.2

      Garner and Richardson are contemptible little people.
      For the price of a good salary, and therefore a little security, they would see the birthright of their country’s citizens.
      Hope their grandchildren forgive them.

  9. The Chairman 9

    State homes converted into shared living spaces for the elderly?

    More than half the respondents said they were not happy to share most common areas including kitchens, studies and dining areas.


    • mac1 9.1

      Build more smaller units. Push Abbeyfield style concepts. Facilitate flatting if desired.

      • The Chairman 9.1.1

        “Build more smaller units”

        Yes, however, this new Government’s state housing commitment is vastly insufficient.

        Therefore, one could envision them considering something like this for a wide range of state housing tenants.

        • mac1

          I don’t know what the new governments’s commitment is for new state housing. They have stopped sales. They do have a commitment for 100,000 affordable houses.

          What do you base your “vastly insufficient” remark upon?

          • The Chairman

            A current waiting list of around 7000 and growing fast, opposed to Labour’s commitment of a 1000, maybe up to 2000 houses annually.

  10. Puckish Rogue 10

    So Winston overpaid (again) and Jacindas first time double-dipping. Must be nice to not realise you’ve 20 grand extra in the ol’ bank account 😎

    • bwaghorn 10.1

      That’s the saddest attempt at trolling iv’e ever read . comon liftya game

    • AB 10.2

      PR’s malice overwhelms his logical faculties. Again.

      • patricia bremner 10.2.1

        Perhaps some right wing monkeys in accounts made an “error?”
        After re reading about Lusk and Whaleoil I’m reminded how they operate.

    • mac1 10.3

      Pushing ACT MP Seymour’s line there, Puckish Rogue, from his RNZ interview (which was just a chance for Seymour to show his style. Wouldn’t dance with him, with his two right too right feet!).

      I don’t know how much is in my several accounts. First, there are several, and secondly Mrs Mac1 does that stuff.

      I am merely a consultant.

      Points to note, which you did not, and unfairly so. The Ministry was at fault. The overpayment has been rectified.

      End of story.

      Save for those who don’t like endings where the good guys are seen to act as good guys, and win.

      • greywarshark 10.3.1

        Didn’t Seymour have a picnic going on about the matter with all the blame falling on the two Labour Coalition leaders for not saying anything or picking it up and the fact they didn’t know, if they didn’t know, showed they had poor financial competence and on and on and seeming to get a very generous hunk of time from Radionz and well treated by Espiner. He had better watch out and be harder on this little tapeworm from Alien, or I will have come to mind each time I hear his name that old political jibe – about a shiver and a spine.

        • mac1

          He’ll need both to go dancing, but I don’t think he could even shiver in time.

          I think the next time RNZ interviews Seymour they should ask what his bank balance is, and then ask for written verification. If no answer to either question, call him on it.

          “When was the last time you checked the total amount on your bank accounts, Mr Seymour? How much was it? How often do you check for unsolicited amounts paid into your account?”

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 10.4

      Here is what actually happened:

      ‘Acting general manager of Internal Affairs, Morag Ingram, has written to them both, noting neither sought to claim the allowance, but it was paid to them as an “administrative error”.

      She said Internal Affairs did not update its systems after the transition of government.

      Ms Ardern was overpaid just over $12,000, and Mr Peters just over $9000.

      In a statement, both MPs said as soon as they became aware of the error they “immediately took steps to reimburse the money”.’


  11. savenz 11

    Complete U-Turn by Labour and NZ First on TPP


    Betrayed again, then they wonder why people don’t bother voting. You have the far hard right with the Natz, but NZ First and Labour at first opportunity give up their promises in real terms and do the dirty on their voters.

    You have to wonder why???? Stupidity, bribes, a caucus and public service full of ideological rogernomics turned neoliberal dinosaurs giving this advice to the so called maverick Winston, or the fresh face, Jacinda who people thought would be a change of direction not just a Natz inspired Labour does it too, neoliberal towing the party line????

    Wonder if the PWc big wig is in town to make sure that it’s business as usual and the Labour Party does a Blairite third way with TPPA and keeps the corporates wealth rolling in?

    • Bearded Git 11.1

      It is sooooo easy-VOTE GREEN.


    • greywarshark 11.2

      The problem savenz is that not enough NZs have the clear-mindedness and integrity to see how they got financially comfortable and are happy to make sacrifices to keep the status quo, as long as they come from somebody else’s life. Therefore Labour cannot go too far as they will be spanked hard, lose the election, reduce their support and open the way to worse attacks from National predators.

      Labour could become yesterday’s Party and limp away to obscurity. They couldn’t even claim to be an innocent party that was being unfairly viewed by the citizens as they blotted their copybook when they started the deregulation with what seemed a bold move into the modern world untramelled by colonial ideas of unionism with Douglas et al. Labour motto and behaviour now is based on an old one – (from Wikiquote.)

      The saying “he who fights and runs away may live to fight another day” dates at least as far back as Menander (ca. 341–290 B.C.)

      • savenz 11.2.1

        They don’t have to sign it greywarshark.

        Signing it is a death warrant and like the popular Tony Blair, the public eventually get angry. Do Labour want Jacinda to turn into Tony Blair, because going against your country and lying does that.

        • savenz

          I’d say doing nothing much will save Labour and NZ First next election.

          Signing a massive agreement that effects every part of NZ from council policy to pollution to immigration, is not playing safe for Labour.

          Signing is getting Labour into a box of dynamite, with some flares.

          While Natz throw on petrol from the sidelines.

        • One Two

          They don’t have to…or do they…there are various reasons why they would do so…many which would be unconscionable to reasoned human beings…

          NZLP government will be signing the contract on the date of 832018

          11 11 22

      • savenz 11.2.2

        Also the financially comfortable are still comfortable at present so it doesn’t matter a dot whether Labour sign TPPA.

        Signing TPPA will be the thing that makes it uncomfortable when more of the same happens against democracy and community aka every 2 mins a truck from James “asbestos” Hardie (headquarters based in Ireland), comes 100,000 times up their quiet street and the council rubber stamps it with, “minor impact’.

        I just hope Phil Goff and his merry band of planners, one day buy a lovely peaceful property and then have the council allow mining and trucking next door so they can experience ‘minor impact’. (Maybe if you are blind, deaf and dumb) or buys an apartment and has ports of Auckland put up a 30meter high-rise of concrete silo,. Or some good minded citizens throw a few wastewater buckets (aka Dildo style) to illustrate the polluted beaches, and they have the legacy of the guardians of the dead Kauri, a sign of their neoliberal ways. Just another day, in increasingly undemocratic Auckland/New Zealand.

  12. savenz 12

    Peters delivers greater Chinese access to NZ assets


    Guess not too late for a u turn to save NZ First by not signing TPPA.

    • BM 12.1

      Peters couldn’t care less about NZ First, he’s done after this term.

      • savenz 12.1.1

        Yep does he want TPPA to be his legacy, pretty much against all his principals though?

        • BM

          Peters is a con artist, he’s got absolutely no respect or interest for the people who voted for him, he just tells them what he thinks they want to hear.

          What’s in it for Winston Peters was the only driver for Winston Peters.

    • weka 12.2

      that’s a National Party press release. The National Party who support the TPPA. Their press release is simply them taking an opportunity to attack a political opponent.

      • savenz 12.2.1

        Get use to it Weka, what do you think they will be sending out every minute next election???

        As more people can’t afford to live in NZ in particular the middle class who always bother to vote, they will take blood at the election and Labour should be doing EVERYTHING they promised to their voters, real or imagined.

        Weasel words won’t save them.

        TPPA being signed by Labour and NZ First is gold to Natz.

        • weka

          My point is don’t use RW propaganda to support LW causes. Plenty of other ways to critique Peters.

          • savenz

            Know your enemy.

            Don’t bury your head in the sand.

            A few sayings come to mind.

            Also there is no left critique of Peters, the MSM want him to fail so want him to sign and the left want to have the appearance they are a happy united government so won’t critique him.

            • weka

              “Know your enemy.”

              Exactly. Using RW propaganda to support LW causes is a gift to the right.

              “Also there is no left critique of Peters,”

              I suggest you go read some of my posts from last year.

              “and the left want to have the appearance they are a happy united government so won’t critique him.”

              You are confusing the left and the centre left.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Well maybe Labour shouldn’t use RW policies 😉

            • weka

              They didn’t. If Labour had wanted what National wanted, that’s what we would have had.

            • Colonial Viper

              The irony is that the much maligned Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the TPP as one of his first acts in office. As an elected leader he did what Ardern would not.

              He criticised it as being a bad deal and said that bilateral trade details were the way to go. One government to another. Easy to negotiate, easy to understand, easy to measure, easy to cancel.

              The withdraw of the USA would have sunk the TPP, but countries like NZ made big efforts to save it. So we are now seeing our “success.”

              The elected government might change in Wellington, but the direction of the bureaucracy does not.

              • savenz

                Good point Colonial Viper

                The multi nation agreements are too complicated for most small and medium businesses of which NZ is made up of.

                Was talking about someone exporting to the US, he said complete nightmare to meet the criteria and costs so much and requires so many chemicals, he’s giving up.

                Massive trade agreements don’t help the little guy, and when put into place by Fonterra types don’t help the little guy either (or the environment) (or the consumer of $15 cheese and $6 butter). Or productivity. Fonterra’s forays into China and other countries that are very different from NZ (South America) have been a disaster.

                Silver Fern Farms now effectively run by the Chinese and who bought 50% (but cannily negotiated to run it too).

                The biggest disasters and impacts of TPPA still to be revealed for IT, social services, councils and healthcare. I’m sure will be a complete surprise to Labour too.

                Will not bode well for Labour.

              • Ed

                Very good point.

                Then the establishment nobbled Trump before he made peace with Russia.

              • mikes

                Exactly 100% right CV. The globalist agenda continues regardless of red/blue or left/right, etc.

          • veutoviper

            People here also need to understand that:

            1. Peters is Foreign Minister – not Minister of Trade

            2. David Parker is Minister of Trade and Export Growth – and as such is in charge of negotiation of FTAs including the CP-TPP.

            3. Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters were in Vietnam for part of the time the revived CP-TPP was being negotiated on the sidelines of APEC.

            4. But Parker and MFAT officials were there for some time before Ardern and Peters arrived and their role was to take part in the CP-TPP negotiations – whereas, Ardern and Peters were there for the APEC talks, not the CP-TPP negotiations as such.

            5. On 8 March when it is planned the CP-TPP will be signed in Chile, Parker will be attending – not Ardern and Peters.

            6. At that time, Ardern and Peters are heading a five day Pacific Mission with MPs and Pasifica leaders to Tonga, Samoa, Niue and the Cook Islands from 4 – 9 March. This is a regular and long-planned event which has been slightly altered as a result of Cyclone Gita.


            The National Party’s continued publicity re the CP-TPP is a continuation of their personal/political attacks on Peters – conveniently ignoring the difference in the roles of Parker and Peters vis a vis trade negotiations.

    • veutoviper 12.3

      As weka noted, this was a National Party press release, being used to attack a political opponent. Possibly written by Todd McClay who was virtually suffering apoplexy in Question Time yesterday in the discussion under Question 8 on progress made on protecting the rights of New Zealanders to own existing New Zealand homes which included discussion on the CP-TPP.


      McCLay features from about 3 mins on and shows massive arrogance and rudeness to the Speaker – well countered by Trevor Mallard.
      See my comment at 14 below about the probable release of the full text of the CP-TPP and the MFAT analysis at 1pm today.

  13. savenz 13

    And you would think the Greens would be capitalising on the only party to NOT give in on TPPA, but nope not a mention on their home page under their solutions!


    No wonder they are nearly below the 5% because – guess what – people want some sort of hope and focusing on giving more money to beneficiaries isn’t really that cheering, hopeful or long term message when the cost of living is rising weekly.

    Neither is trains for the shore or to the airport (not sure that helps locals who aren’t popping off to Fiji each week or China) but battling through 5000 new cars on the road per week which the Greens seem to ignore what has caused this increase in traffic.

    Guess what, lowest birth population ever in NZ apparently. Locals can’t afford kids anymore.

    It’s not local Kiwis clogging up roads, infrastructure, public transport and schools, it’s neoliberal policy to create artificial competition for all resources.

    • weka 13.1

      No change to Green position on TPP

      James Shaw MP on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 – 11:06

      The Green Party’s position on the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is unchanged, Co-leader James Shaw said today.

      “We recognise Trade Minister David Parker has made significant progress on some controversial provisions in the TPP, including investor-state dispute settlement, and we support those changes. However, we still don’t believe there are sufficient safeguards for people and the environment that would enable us to support the deal,” Mr Shaw said

      “Our position on trade and the TPP in particular has been well canvassed with Labour and there are no surprises here.

      “It is a sign of the strength of our relationship with Labour that we can respectfully disagree on an issue like the TPPA and still be able to get on with the business of government together.

      “New Zealand and the world need to move away from old fashioned trade deals like the TPP and develop new types of agreements that better support global action on things like climate change and inequality.

      “The EU has scrapped its version of the TPP, the TTIP, and is modernising its approach to trade agreements. New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region should too.

      “Kiwi exporters will benefit more from the new government’s commitments to add value to our exports and strengthen our international clean, green brand, than they will from the TPP,” Mr Shaw said.


    • eco maori 13.2

      Yes I agree with you savenz the Greens should capitalise on this opportunity then they will climb in the polls.
      .Every other Political party would enough said ka pai
      Ka kite ano

  14. veutoviper 14

    Today is a bit of a Big Day in terms of government releases.

    As Solka posted at 3.4 above, the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, will release a three-year work programme that details extensive proposed overhauls to the education system as part of the coalition agreement between Labour and NZ First.

    In addition, if all goes to plan, at 1pm the Government will release the national interest analysis for the CP-TPP, plus the full text if other nations agree.


    The government will release the national interest analysis for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership on Wednesday, and the full text too if the other nations agree, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

    The Labour-led administration signed up to the regional trade and investment pact after the renegotiated deal let it restrict foreign buyers of existing residential property and watered down some of the more onerous Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions imposed before the US withdrew under President Donald Trump. Ardern today said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s analysis unpicking the pros and cons of the deal for the country will be released on Wednesday, and she’s hopeful of publishing the full text the same day if certain translation issues are overcome.

    “We have been urging all parties to reach agreement because of our strong desire to be absolutely transparent around the text as soon as possible,” Ardern said at her weekly post-Cabinet press conference. “It is our hope it will be available at the same time as the national impact assessment, but either way, we’re looking to release the national impact assessment this week.”

    The deal is expected to be signed in Chile on March 8, but Ardern said it won’t come into force until it’s ratified by 50 percent of the partners. Parliament will debate the agreement and that it will also go through select committee scrutiny for a full public examination, she said.

    Here is the link to the relevant Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website section on the CP-TPP.


    • greywarshark 14.1

      On Radionz this morning a speaker said that NZ would have had difficulty making too many changes or amendments to the TPPA as Japan was very keen for the trade agreement to go forward and would fear that a check for alterations by one country after another would result in the thing falling over.

    • savenz 14.2

      Love it, sarcasm. “CP-TPP, plus the full text if other nations agree.”

      Yes, even before signing, the other countries make the decisions on what Kiwis are allowed to be given.

      • veutoviper 14.2.1

        Yes, sarcasm, the other parties to such multi-nation agreements do have a say in when the text of the proposed agreement and other information about it can be released.

        That is part and parcel of multi-nation negotiations and agreements. Obviously you know little about the nature of and protocols for such negotiations. (And yes, I have had experience in participating as a govt official in such negotiations. )

        • Colonial Viper

          Exactly why Donald Trump says that multilateral trade agreements are a bad deal, and that bilateral agreements are the way ahead. One country to another.

          Simpler, more transparent, easier to measure and change, simple to get out of.

          Why should Mexico, Peru, or Brunei be able to veto NZ citizens learning about the activities of OUR OWN government?

          • veutoviper

            And do you really think that bilateral negotiations between two nations are any different to multilateral ones in respect of the need for the agreement of the other party/nation as to when and what information is released publicly?

            They are not – so if we enter bilateral negotiations with Brunei for example, the when and what is released is usually part and parcel of the negotiations and protocols applicable to those negotiations.

            Such things are usually part of the ‘rules of engagement’ discussed and agreed at the start of any such negotiations – whether bilateral or multilateral.

          • Ed

            Spot on.

    • weka 14.3

      there’s a post up now about the TPPA.

  15. greywarshark 15

    Peter Thiel and his sudden entry into NZ like a celestial being on a cloud, has been questioned by some as being part of a plan by him to find a pleasant bolt-hole for when times get tough.

    He has been trying an innovative idea in French Polynesia which has just stiffened its resolve against him and his idea of a floating resort in a lagoon for people wanting the quiet life in an as-yet unspoiled corner of the world. I think that the island government recognised that they would be giving up their environment which they need for themselves. I think they felt it was going to be like a cuckoo in the nest, and of course they roll the eggs of the rightful inhabitants, usually greywarbler eggs or babies, over the side.

    An image is captioned “The scheme is the creation of the nonprofit Seasteading Institute, which hopes to ‘liberate humanity from politicians’. This image shows how the artificial island will blend in with nature”.

    (Very funny, the manipulation of anti government feeling to gain sympathy for the poor wealthy, a sort of Stockholm syndrome.)


    Nov 2017 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/floating-city-french-polynesia-2020-coast-islands-south-pacific-ocean-peter-thiel-seasteading-


    Seasteading: tech leaders’ plans for floating city trouble French …
    Jan 2, 2017 – As a Peter Thiel-funded group moves to build a colony in a local lagoon, residents fear wealthy Americans just want to use their home to avoid taxes.

    Seasteaders say such autonomous floating cities would foster faster development of techniques “to feed the hungry, cure the sick, clean the atmosphere and enrich the poor”.[1][2] Some critics fear seasteads are designed more as a refuge for the wealthy to avoid taxes or other problems.[3][4]
    (Oh isn’t that so nice of them.)

  16. greywarshark 16

    Quote from someone who knew:

    Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed. Mao Zedong

    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/mao_zedong_161845?src=t_politics

    • savenz 16.1

      Tony Blair and George Bush managed to combine the two, so upwards and onwards!

      Huge amounts of Brits marched against the Iraq war, officials spoke out. But were silenced.

      Now we have Trump and May at the helm after the screw up!

      Huge protests from public about TPPA in NZ, obviously Labour does not have a good memory or an eye for self preservation.

    • eco maori 16.2

      Eco Maori strongly agrees with Zedong philosophy gws
      ka kite ano

  17. phantom snowflake 17

    More on the latest Jordan Williams drama from Twitter:

    ******* Pax‏ @matarikipax

    From a field of 4294967296 IPV4 addresses, backjudith nz and taxpayers org nz just happen to be two apart.
    backjudith nz
    taxpayers org nz

    Alec‏ @AotearoaAlec
    Replying to @henrycooke

    Before Google uses the account recovery email address, you have to verify said account recovery email in the first place… So Jordan Williams would have verified the email that would have come through when account recovery was first set up.

    • weka 17.1

      As I asked Pax, what’s the significance of the two addresses being close? Not a lot from what I can tell.

      • McFlock 17.1.1

        Not really, no. They just use the same registration/hosting company.

        Which was freely available on the domain registry for taxpayers.org

  18. joe90 18

    Loyalty belongs to the highest bidder.

    Shlomo Filber, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was arrested by the police in an investigation into the ties of Israel’s telecom giant with government officials, reached a deal with the police late on Tuesday to turn state’s evidence. According to the deal, Filber will incriminate Netanyahu in exchange for a lighter sentence.


  19. eco maori 19

    The sandflys are breaching my Privacy rights every day .
    ECO MAORI has a realy good case everyone knows they are doing this. Ana to kai.
    Ka kite ano.


    • Stunned Mullet 19.1

      No point telling the people here EM.

      Complain to the privacy commissioner.


      • eco maori 19.1.1

        All ready been to the privacy commissioner stunned mullet got the run around from them .
        I used the Information Act to get the information these government agencies have on me I got the run around on that action to .You see muppet one has to be wealthy to get any cooperation from any nz government agencies you know that wealthy redneck.
        Ana to kai

        • Stunned Mullet

          Hi EM – I don’t think that’s true, while being wealthy helps with many issues, there’s a whole heap of government agencies who are there to help regardless of your income.. like healthcare services, WINZ etc just to name a few.

  20. savenz 20

    Hundreds lose drivers licences after bribery claims


    You also used to be able to bribe a certain housing NZ official to get a state house in the days when there were state houses.

  21. Ad 21

    It’s a pretty lame post. Repeating a press release with no analysis of your own is totally simple parroting.

    Being invited to comment about another commenter, when the full text is the real deal to consider. Lame.

    Telling people to be slightly more idealistic now that they have achieved government. Top work, and welcome to government.

    [you’re an author here, but you still don’t get to have a go at another author in lieu of actual political debate. Stay out of commenting under that post. – weka]

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  22. eco maori 22

    Eco Maori says know to the TPP11 we are going to sign our independence away because we mite lose $180 million to the country’s that are in the TPP11.
    The gains are $700 od million in 40 years what a scam these multinational companies will sue the New Zealand government into submission like that Huge French company Danone did to Fonterra what a sham that was ?????? Fonterra had to pay $183 million.They will buy everything up and charge US the Papatuanuku/ earth for there products or services.
    If you think $5 billion is a lot of money to flow out of our economy to Banks in Australia in 40 years it will be $50 billion going to corporations around the world OUR mokos will not have a middle class they will have to work 80 hours a week just to stay afloat . Here is a link to stuff website I say the herald site is a sham of a site .Ana to kai ka kite ano this is the reality we are going to leave to OUR mokos NOWAY.


    • savenz 22.1

      +100 eco maori

      And the economists will tell the people working 80 hours a week how great the trade agreement was for the economy… you know 100 million for .1%, 50 cents for everyone else and then average it out, borrow heavily from banks, sell off assets which increasingly makes the country poorer and less affordable for those leaving here, and declare it an economic success and pat one self on back while lamenting a war on poverty and inequality. Sound familiar?

  23. eco maori 23

    This is a Great Lady leader and this is were we should go for closer trade deals
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain.


    • savenz 23.1

      If they ever get out of the EU could be good for NZ, of course the NZ lamb, milk and apples will probably mostly be owned by Chinese/Russian/US/OZ etc by then.

      The ordinary folks can all celebrate with a nice piece of intensively farmed piece of imported pork of dubious quality and age and pumped full of water and bovine particles because we can’t afford our own food anymore, thinking how good they have it from 30 years ago when people had full employment, plentiful food and a state house. But terrifying because they had too many regulations and places were closed on holidays.

      • greywarshark 23.1.1

        Reminds me of the story by John Christopher called The Guardians about a boy who escapes from The Conurbs in England, full of sports mad crowds, events mad, easily manipulated in a populist fashion but run as authoritarian. He digs under the high fence to the other side called The County where they live the life of landed gentry and old traditions, very peaceful and full of traditions.

        They think that the Conurbs is crass and mindless and interested only in spectacle and circuses, endlessly coming up against regulations, and the Conurbs think that the County is dull and no fun and everything is closed on holidays.

        The boy meets up in The County with another who is connected to a group who want to take over and get some change, but get a shock when they find that the old fashioned quiet peace is backed by modern weapons and helicopters and somebody gets killed before the insurrection is put down. The boy’s friend runs for the Conurbs to have another go, and the boy who crossed over now decides that he must try for change also, and crosses back.

        There are no easy answers in John Christopher’s books (also wrote the Trilogy about the Prince – in Waiting, and also the Tripods.)

  24. Ad 24

    China expert Anne-Marie Brady warns that New Zealand is like a canary in the coalmine for other small countries, which want to engage with the superpower without being overwhelmed:


    • Ed 24.1

      A brave woman.

      I’m assuming she wrote this after being raided by thugs.

      This whole story deserves a thread. Thank you for highlighting this specific article. Much appreciated.

      As far as I know only Brady and Russell Norman have had the courage to challenge the power of China.

      Brady’s words are chilling.

      “when senior Chinese diplomats mention New Zealand and Albania in the same sentence, we need to pay attention. New Zealand — along with Albania in the current era and a host of other countries — is being targeted by a concerted political interference campaign by the PRC. ”

      We are slowly being swallowed whole.

      It won’t be pleasant.

  25. Ad 25

    Predator Free New Zealand has just opened applications up for its next round of funding for community groups who would like some money to eradicate predators in their area:


    The sponsorship for this comes from Kiwibank.

    All you pro-forest and pro-bird activists out there, be ambitious, and keep up the good work.

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