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Open Mike 21/04/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 21st, 2018 - 164 comments
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164 comments on “Open Mike 21/04/2018 ”

  1. Well, I will admit to being perplexed and a little disappointed.

    The Standard is my ‘go to’ site for a bit of invigorating ‘left-wing’ discussion to lift my day – less so now that we have a left-leaning coalition, but essential back in the days of the nasty Nats. On occasion, I also contribute.

    I don’t agree with everything said on The Standard, but nor should I. There is a healthy range of opinions that enriches any discussion. Different points of view are expressed, but all generally within the framework of making our society a better place.

    So I don’t understand a moderator espousing the cause of the most obviously anti-democratic poster on here, and only an irregular one at that.

    A long time poster got banned – and while I agree with the rule of not disputing with a moderator, moderators should exercise their power to ban with caution and understanding.

    I’ve chosen my words with care; if this results in a ban because I have been critical of a moderator, so be it.

    • Stunned mullet 1.1

      It must be said that Wei’s trolling is some of the finest seen on this site for many a year.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        Yes, and it appears to be deliberate and calculated to cause flamewars rather than debates every single time. That is why they just got a permanent ban from me.

        I must confess that I am somewhat racist. I am totally bigoted against the race of narcissistic trolls.

        They act like Donald Trump, always trying to make the debate and storylines to all be about them. While they tend to bring some liveliness to debates, it tends to wear thin remarkably rapidly as they keep reprising the same old storyline over and over again, regardless of topic.

        Why oh why do the people with such empathy deficiencies about the role of others not take the career opportunities that are designed for them. The arts could always need more starving actors and other kinds of self-tortured artists.

    • Morrissey 1.2

      A long time poster got banned…

      Was that Paul?

  2. Ed 2

    More evidence of Duncan Garner contradicting Duncan Garner.

    The logical denouement of the problems articulated by the incoherent frontman for TV3 is that the country has been left to rack and ruin by 9 ghastly years of Key.

    But Garner cannot make that leap for either ideological or commercial reasons, so really comes to contradictory conclusions.


  3. Ed 3

    Some of the statistics in this article are really quite scary.
    It is as if we are being colonised for a second time.
    This reminds me of a book I read about 5 years ago, entitled the Land Grabbers by Fred Pearce.


    We have lost control of our money to Australian banks and foreign owned finance.
    We are now losing our land. With the loss of land, New Zealand loses its capacity to control its own destiny.
    John Key’s government betrayed the people of this land and sold our sovereignty.

    Here are excerpts from the article.

    “The wave of Chinese dairy investment money into New Zealand since 2014 has brought opportunities, but also suspicion in some circles.
    Increasing Chinese influence in the dairy sector is viewed as “soft power” imperialism by “red capitalists”, according to Canterbury University academic Anne-Marie Brady.
    China is the biggest foreign investor in dairying, and New Zealand now supplies more than half of all dairy products imported into China.
    More than 24 per cent of China’s foreign milk supply, 52 per cent of cheese imports and 87 per cent of butter imports come from clean, green New Zealand.
    Recent Chinese investment has included Agria’s 50.2 per cent stake in rural services firm PGG Wrightson, funding of Synlait, and investment in dairy processing by Yili in South Canterbury, and Yashili in the Waikato, Bright Dairy, and China Animal Husbandry, to name a few.
    Chinese-backed firms have recently set up new packaging operations in Christchurch, with plans for more in Auckland.”


    • We should be very wary of Chinese influence!


      “When you sup with the devil, be sure to use a long spoon.”

    • Exkiwiforces 3.2

      I’ve got two books on China’s influences in NZ by Rob Asher (never heard of this guy before) and on Australia by Clive Hamilton which has caused a bit of a stink of late here in Oz.

      Both books are the too read list.

      • Ed 3.2.1

        Thank you
        I’ll look them up

        • Exkiwiforces

          Here’s the name of the Australian book by Clive Hamilton, Silent Invasion China’s Influence in Australia.

          Has a very interesting preface in why he has written the book. When it was shown on the telly it shocked a lot of people including me at the time and still does which why I’m concern about the the influence of China and their lack for a international rules base order.

          Which is only going to bring us trouble in more ways than one as my dad has seen already firsthand in the tourism industry in the South Island.

      • Ed 3.2.2

        Ron Asher
        Into the Jaws of the Dragon.
        “China Inc., the business arm of China’s repressive dictatorship, is trying to take over the world by grabbing key sectors of various countries’ economies as part of its strategic plan for global control of the world’s resources.

        China chose New Zealand as the first Western country with which to have a Free Trade agreement, which is more about colonising and dominating New Zealand’s economy than about free trade. The same thing happened in Australia with its Free Trade agreement with China in 2016. The governments of both countries have bent over backwards to accommodate the interests of China Inc. – often at the expense of the prospects and interests of ordinary Australians and New Zealanders.

        The donations to political parties by Chinese business interests, often acting on behalf of China’s government, and the post-retirement financial rewards by Chinese companies to politicians who oblige China during their term of office are corrupting our democracy and public life.”


        • Exkiwiforces

          That’s the book, it’s has some very interesting chapters which are of interest to me and no doubt to a lot of other people here as well.

          Clive Hamilton’s book is very similar, but from an Australian perspective and from I can remember from the book review in the Oz Newspaper that Clive had some skin in the game as well.

          I’ll get the title to Clive’s book if someone doesn’t beat me to it, once I’ve finished fencing.

          Does anyone know if those papers written by that scholar from Canterbury University who buglar about a mth are public? As would like to have a read of them.

  4. Ed 4

    Another nail in coffin of the Guardian as a reputable source of news.

    Jonathan Freedland is one of the worst propagandists at the Guardian. If you want to understand why and how this newspaper has slipped so badly since 2010, you just need to read the rubbish he propagates.

    In this disingenuous piece he launches at Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. He probably doesn’t like Waters because the musician has also been a strong advocate against the brutal Israel occupation of Gaza. Hunt high and low for Freedland denounce Israel. You won’t.

    And Freedland dodges the fact that Robert Fisk, a journalist of far more repute, experience and independence than the Guardian opinion writer, has e is no evidence of chemical weapons in Douma. Robert Fisk, who actually travelled to Damascus and investigated the story rather than sit behind a desk in London and write garbage.



    • Adrian Thornton 4.1

      @Ed +1 The Guardian is the Trojan Horse embedded in the ‘Left’, disseminating distrust and purposely disrupting any real Progressive Left project that appears…The Guardian is the guardian of establishment power nothing more or less.

  5. adam 5

    Video – so some will want to avoid. Apple are a company with some bad practices, especially around repair and warranty. Here they are on their own official website offering the consumer a pile of crap – extended warranties. Extended warranties are effectively a con in NZ. You are covered, under the consumer guarantees act.


    As for the video – Louis Rossmann makes a fine argument about apple repairs, and just quietly, demolishes right libertarian arguments around the right to repair as well. 15 min length.

    • James 5.1

      Meh. I like apple products.

      Just have additional cover for phone – lose or damage it and I get a new one.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      It doesn’t help that he obviously doesn’t know what counterfeiting is. It’s not taking a device, changing the name on it and then selling it as something else. It’s building a device that does the same job, looks the same and selling it under the same name. Even reverse engineering a device, building one that looks the same, does the same job but selling it under a different name wouldn’t be counterfeiting.

      He does get round to describing it properly but it’s pretty much in passing and the wrong idea is fully developed.

      Other than that he’s got several good points.

  6. James 6


    Graham McCready Makes a bid for Penny Brights house.

    She better hope better offers come in.

    pretty obvious it will go for more a s he is just an asshole – but hey it made the papers.

    • Naki man 6.1

      A pair of delusional attention seekers

    • savenz 6.2

      Absolutely shocking the council are selling her house over $34k. They could just put on a lean rather than a forced sale. They are despicable and spiteful bullies.

      Apparently she has been hospitalised and may have cancer.

      Also those lefties than love to champion rights for the mentally ill, seem to have a lot less sympathy for someone who ‘may’ be mentally ill.

      I’m not saying Penny is wrong (because I have zero faith in the Auckland council’s ability to clearly show where all the rates money has gone on a more individualised basis, aka it should all be public record who all their contractors and service providers and so forth are and what they get paid). I’m suggesting that spending a significant amount of your life on this issue is either equivalent to being mental ill or a martyr to transparency and maybe a bit of both, in Penny’s case.

      Good luck to Penny. Hope someone at council has some sort compassion (unlikely though) and stops the forced sale and that her health is ok.

      Maybe the council’s private lawyers who have benefited hundreds of thousands of rate payer money over this, could pay her rates bill as it is a fraction of what they gained out of how they ‘advised’ the council how to approach the issues and benefited so much financially by their own advice on how to pursue it.

      • Chuck 6.2.1

        Why did Penny not put aside her annual rate payments into say a savings account? This day was always going to come…

        Surely her supporters can put together the $34k?

      • Sacha 6.2.2

        “They could just put on a lien rather than a forced sale. ”

        Bright has been offered the same deferred payment option as other ratepayers, many times, and refused. She will walk away from this sale with a million dollars. Spare your sympathy.

        • Stunned Mullet

          yep – she is the author of her own misfortune in this and many other cases.

          We should all still wish her the very best with her current health issues though.

        • savenz

          I don’t think deferred payment option is the same as a lien. Auckland council would have saved a fortune in lawyers and not being putting a women (who many or may not have some ‘mental’ issues out onto the street).

          Mr Town CEO of Auckland Council chose to waste over $100,000 to Simpson Grierson in legal fees to defend comments about her, rather than $10,000 and an apology – maybe he should stump up the $34k as a donation.

          Mr Town seems to have plenty of money from the rate payers to spare.

          And it’s not the only one they have done this too, apparently Charlotte Hareta Marsh lost her Manurewa home in a court-ordered sale because she was paying it to Tahoe instead…

          As the council pay for Westfield mall development and Billionaire boat races, I’m thinking that there seems to be plenty of money to burn at Auckland council and to take someones house over a small dept particularly abhorrent.

        • One Two

          Spare your sympathy

          So, so bitter….

          Why are you bitter, Sacha?

          What is it that you perceive Penny Bright has done to you….that your comments contain such a personal emotive venom?….

      • millsy 6.2.3

        Just goes to show that you don’t really ‘own’ anything. The reality is the council or government has the power to take it off you and sell it. Sure there is a process, but the power is there.

        • james

          Penny had the power to stop it – she just had to pay what she legally had to.

          Its called consequences.

        • savenz

          The Council can just take the money too from your bank account. Had someone I know have a bank overdraft just arbitrarily put with interest, to recover a measly rates sum. They didn’t consent to it, but apparently the council can make the bank just pay over the money, and if you don’t have it, the bank ‘gives’ you an overdraft with interest. It’s unbelievable.

      • Sanctuary 6.2.4

        “…Absolutely shocking the council are selling her house over $34k. They could just put on a lean rather than a forced sale. They are despicable and spiteful bullies…”

        Penny Bright is an eccentric who chose to challenge the law of the land in a campaign that would have made Don Quixote proud. Her agenda was inchoate and her message a muddled liquorice allsorts of various conspiracy theories.

        By being so openly and publicly defiant about not paying her rates – SOMETHING EVERY OTHER RATEPAYER IN THE CITY HAS TO DO – she forced the authorities hand.

        She left the council no wiggle room, no room for compromise, no room for any sort of compassion that wouldn’t have signaled that paying rates was a purely optional exercise if you kicked up a big enough fuss.

        This is the end game that she was always going to lose going up against the de jure and de facto state in this way. She has no one but herself to blame for her current situation.

        • savenz

          In spite of being such an ‘eccentric’ she also has managed to beat council lawyers 21 out of 22 times on trespass cases. What does that say about the council’s lawyers knowledge of the law!

          “Ms Bright, a former boilermaker turned “anti-corruption whistle blower”, is unschooled in the intricacies of law, but won 21 of the 22 trespass cases brought against her by the former Auckland City Council.”


    • Sacha 6.4

      ‘Hostile’ offer my arse. McCready and Bright have worked together for years. Another underhand manoeuvre to avoid consequences.

  7. Ed 7

    George Galloway’s most recent contribution to the debate about Salisbury.
    Starts at 10:00.
    If you want a definitive debunking of the government/ media conspiracy theories and lies about spies, here is George at his best.

    • Wayne 7.1

      By definition George Galloway can’t discredit anyone. He has no credibility.. Even Corbyn’s Labour Party doesn’t buy into him.

      • Ed 7.1.1

        Yes Wayne of course
        And Robert Fisk has no credibility.
        And Craig Murray has no credibility.
        And Patrick Cockburn has no credibility.
        And Jon Pilger has no credibility.
        And Jon Stephenson has no credibility.
        And Nicky Hager has no credibility.

        There is a method to your arguments.
        You shoot the messenger.
        And ignore the message.

        • Stunned Mullet

          Ed’s lack of self awareness is magnificent to behold.

          • alwyn

            On some of the people he is merely a bit out of date. They may have been credible sources at some point in the past but may no longer be.
            Nicky Hager is an example. He wrote one excellent book, Seeds of Distrust. Unfortunately that was in 2002 and since then he has descended into fantasy.

            • Stuart Munro

              It’s more a matter of whether they continue to use genuine sources. If Fisk uses his extensive local experience to find sources and reports what they say he’s pretty reliable, if he doesn’t do that he’s gone out on a limb and may be deceived.

              • McFlock

                In regards Fisk, I hadn’t read him in a while. The Douma article was actually pretty good, and clear on what his assumptions were and the conditions of his interviews.

                But it wasn’t nearly so categorical as some people here said – he expressed little if any judgement one way or the other. He simply reported what he’d been told, by whom, as well as the absence of any doctor who’d been on duty at the time. Maybe they were testifying. Maybe the guy he spoke to was a doctor.

                But the lack of critical thinking by commenters who can obviously read the matrix as it streams past is the real problem, by and large.

                • Stuart Munro

                  That was my impression too – I’ve read quite a bit of his stuff over the years, and it was fairly good. It doesn’t exempt him from the standards of his profession though. The BBC continues to produce witnesses to a gas attack in Douma. Al Jazeera seems undecided, they’re reporting what they’ve been able to find, which isn’t terribly much.

        • james

          This is really funny because the other day you posted a lot of reputable MSM journalist that you stated had no credibility and were to be ignored.

          You do know – that just because “Ed” agrees with them or not is not the deciding factor if they are credible or not.

      • Incognito 7.1.2

        In a fact-free vacuum no-one can discredit any-one, which is why fake news is so insidious: it undermines trust in authority and erodes taking personal and collective responsibility.

        When facts speak for themselves a two-year old can discredit the best & brightest. It is not about messenger, it is about the message and that stands on its own merit (or not).

      • Barfly 7.1.3

        I don’t buy into the vast majority of your arguments Wayne so your credibility is?
        ( clue – In the eye of the beholder)

      • Ed 7.1.4

        Robert Fisk has been to Damascus and is an independent, experienced and highly respected journalist.
        Why should I take your opinion above his?

  8. arkie 9

    The Prince of Wales will succeed the Queen as head of the Commonwealth, its leaders have announced.

    Despite the country’s success at the commonwealth games I could see this move as strengthening the NZ republic argument.


    • Wayne 9.1

      Won’t happen for the next 30 years at least.
      The only prospect of a referendum is if there is a Labour/Green Govt (no NZF).
      And the referendum would then fail. No National voters would vote for it, in part because Labour opposed and campaigned against the flag referendum. And quite a few Labour voters would also be against it.

      • Sacha 9.1.1

        “No National voters would vote for it, in part because Labour opposed and campaigned against the flag referendum. ”

        Except the young ones who are not so petty and tribal.

      • arkie 9.1.2

        Seems a bit petty there, the flag referendum was opposed because it was a cart-before-the-horse, faux change. I think many national voters would be pleased to see a move to a republic then we would have a real justification for a flag change.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.3

        Won’t happen for the next 30 years at least.


        No National voters would vote for it, in part because Labour opposed and campaigned against the flag referendum.

        Upset that they got called on their stupidity?

        There’s no point in changing the flag until we become a republic.

        The only prospect of a referendum is if there is a Labour/Green Govt (no NZF).
        And the referendum would then fail.

        ATM, probably right but I think that there’s more support for becoming a republic than you want to believe:

        he New Zealand public are generally in favour of the retention of the monarchy, with polls showing it to have between 50 and 70% support.[30] Polls indicate that many New Zealanders see the monarchy as being of little day-to-day relevance; a One News Colmar Brunton poll in 2002 found that 58% of the population believed the monarchy has little or no relevance to their lives.[31] National Business Review poll in 2004 found 57% of respondents believed New Zealand would become a republic “in the future”.

        It’s pretty much inevitable but it seems we have to wait for old folks who are stuck in the past to die off first.

      • alwyn 9.1.4

        Do you really think things will change, even in 30 years?

        The main problem I would expect to be the manner of choosing a Head of State.
        The MPs are going to want to be able to choose the HoS, in the same way that a GG is chosen. That way means that Parliament will remain the dominant force.

        The Public will, I think, want to be able to elect the person in the HoS role. That will mean that the President, or whatever the role is caused, will have a moral claim to be above Parliament. They will be the only person in the Country to have been elected by all the people. I don’t think the Parliament will ever accept that.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That will mean that the President, or whatever the role is caused, will have a moral claim to be above Parliament.

          Unless someone has a better Māori word for it I’d go for Te Rangatira.

          And, yeah, I’d probably go for an position elected by the populace. In fact, being Green, I’d probably go for co-leaders.

          Just have to be clear that they’re not a dictator position and can only give a general direction to parliament and not commands. They’d have to sign law into legislature (as the GG does now) but they’d have the power to refuse if it goes too far against the platform that they were elected on.

      • bwaghorn 9.1.5

        must have been more than a few nat voter slap keys tacky snot rag of a flag down , i doubt all nats are moon royalists either

    • Exkiwiforces 9.2

      I don’t mind old Chuck as he has been quite vocal on a number of green issues such as climate change, the use of chemicals in the agriculture and horticulture sectors, general environmental issues etc and almost all of estates have gone 100% green/ organic which in turn has provided some cracking produce which I’ve tasted over the last co of years.

  9. Morrissey 10

    Why? Is Prince Charles worse than his vacuous older son or his shepherd-killing younger son?

    • arkie 10.1

      They’re all unelected sponges haha

      But I meant that there are people attached to the concept of the queen as sovereign of the commonwealth, not the prince

    • Ed 10.2

      Or his racist father.

  10. greywarshark 11

    Yanis Varoufakis on tax cuts by Trump and how every time Republicans reorganise tax they transfer wealth from the have-nots to the haves. BAU. Since the post war era the proportion of wealth going to the workers is at the worst level.

  11. gsays 12

    I have just heard on 11am news that north Korea are ceasing weapon testing and shutting down a facility.

    Wil the US president get any/much credit for this deal?

  12. Grafton Gully 13

    Cannabis grows well here and I’d love to see a thriving industry. Medical cannabis is finding more and more applications.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Yep. Legalising marijuana would massively boost the Northland economy while creating a huge need for R&D into it. Another reason to build a public university in Kaitaia.

      • Incognito 13.1.1

        Would be a good location for a third Medical School too.

      • gsays 13.1.2

        In regard to legalised marijuana, lower incarceration rates, free up police time for other tthings, help the soil as weed is a nitrogen fixer and it can be grown organically.
        Quite labour intensive too.

        What is the down side?
        Apart, of course, from the lobbying from the pharmaceutical, alcohol and forestry industries.

        • joe90

          What is the down side?

          Corporates will profit while institutional racism shuts out folk who pioneered the cultivation of marijuana in NZ.

          A white man’s industry: $710,000 for a license

          Horton is proud to live in Portland, he says, for it is the first US city to vote to dedicate a portion of its recreational cannabis tax revenue towards investment into “communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition”.

          Beyond investing in businesses and training, the fund will also partly finance the expungement of cannabis convictions.

          Such policies, reparative in ambition and nature, recognize that the current playing field was historically set up to be inequitable. Cannabis culture may be open in ethos, but so far, with few exceptions, the industry has proven itself glacier white.

          Horton and fellow advocates offer three reasons for this.

          One, most states have barred anyone with a criminal record from entering the industry. The US is home to an estimated 70 million Americans with criminal records, and a disproportionate number of those are men of color (according to a Pew Research Center study in 2013, black men were six times more likely to be incarcerated than white men).


          • gsays

            True Joe, but we don’t have to go down the US route.

            What you have pointed out, the big corporations taking over, is the main reason I would prefer decriminalisation as opposed to legalisation.

        • Chuck

          “lower incarceration rates”

          No one gets locked up for possession anymore, even growing a few plants rates no more than community service or similar.

          If you are a dealer though…then jail is more likely.

          Hemp is a wonderful plant, as you point out, lots of beneficial uses.

          There is a potential downside…some communities do have problems with addiction. The tax generated from legal sales could be in part used to help address those areas of concern.

          • gsays

            True about incarceration, however there are a lot of ‘negative’ experiences for some when it comes to police and marijuana.
            From fleeing police in a vehicle to unreasonable searches and questioning.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Addiction is a problem caused by poverty.

            Research shows that when a country has a healthy middle class – and low or at least moderate levels of economic inequality – addiction rates are lowest among the middle class and at least half of them (excepting tobacco) end by age 30, even without treatment. However, when unemployment, tenuous employment and inequality are high and the middle class shrinks, more people are at high risk. And their odds for early-life recovery decline.

            Eradicate the poverty and you get rid of the addiction.

            Of course, you also get rid of the capitalists ability to exploit everybody else. Which is why rich people prefer to give to charity, despite it obviously not working. than pay taxes. Makes them feel better as well and not like the total scum that they are.

        • JanM

          ” lower incarceration rates, free up police time for other things”. Agreed – such as doing something serious about those abhorrent meth labs!

        • xanthe

          “weed is a nitrogen fixer” gsays
          can you elaborate or show some source? I thought legumes were nitrogen fixers which weed is not….. but happy to to become enlightened in this matter

          • joe90

            Weed is an up taker, not a fixer.

          • gsays

            Hi xanthe, I may have gone off half cocked there in regards to fixing nitrogen.
            It is something I recall from a couple of decades ago when I was getting clued up on the demon weed.
            I will go and look at the references and get back to you.

  13. Draco T Bastard 14

    All gassed up: shedding light on the gas sector’s claims

    Rod Oram systematically dismantles the economic and environmental claims New Zealand’s gas sector makes as it doubles down on on its promises that it can help cut carbon emissions.

    All indications are that oil and gas in NZ doesn’t have an economic leg to stand on. Makes one wonder just what’s making it profitable at the moment.

  14. Jenny 15

    Request Timeout
    Server timeout waiting for the HTTP request from the client.

    Apache/2.4.33 (Ubuntu) Server at thestandard.org.nz Port 443

    • veutoviper 15.1

      Yes I have also had a number of those lately – meaning over the last week or so.

      I have also had comments submitted come up but as finals without editing time. And others that once submitted just disappeared into the ether with no indication as to why. Re the latter – sorry, with one exception where I did not find out as to why until many hours later.

      • Incognito 15.1.1

        I highly recommend doing as much editing (and spell checking) off-line. Years of e-mailing and making many avoidable mistakes have taught me this.

        • veutoviper

          On big ones I often draft offline in a word doc and then cut in, but even then I often change my mind and/or do some last minute editing – spelling, grammar, format etc

          Like you I learnt years ago of the pitfalls of ad hoc drafting of emails etc. LOL.

          I have a personal policy of not responding to emails etc that raise my BP for hours or days until the anger etc dies down and objectivity returns – and/or cold hard white anger replaces red hot reactive anger. And sometimes to allow time to take advice,

          • Incognito

            Many a draft gathered dust and slowly died away in my Drafts folder 😉

            I don’t think I’ve ever regretted not sending one of those highly-charged replies …

            • veutoviper

              Exactly – or sometimes I turn unsent ones into new ones that are appropriate in different circumstances or for different people!

              • Incognito

                Indeed, I do take sections & paragraphs or just sentences from unsent ‘material’ and morph these into writings that I actually do share with others. Sometimes the time gap is considerable.

            • Anne

              The best thing to do is to grab paper and pen and vent your spleen. You might end up with a few holes in the paper but better there than anywhere else. Then toddle off to the supermarket (or somewhere) and when you return, screw up the offending document and chuck it in the bin.

              That way you can be sure no-one will ever read it. 🙂

              Edit: Reply to Incognito at

              • Incognito

                Yup, that one works too but my recycle bin is already chocker with junk mail and empty bottles 😉

                Note to myself: drink less [I’ll put it into the Drafts folder for now 😉 ]

  15. adam 16

    A show not for the people who say it can’t be done, but are actually doing it.
    This is all about the labour movement in the USA. Good reflections for us over here.

    25 Minutes long. Oh and whole presented by the Awesome journalist Laura Flanders!

  16. tracey 17

    When will we give a shit about nurses? Their pay, their conditions, the work they do?


    Nurses have to pay to train. Police get paid. I will have more need of nurses in my lifetime than police…

    • Cinny 17.1

      Tracey that’s a really good point re the police being paid to train. Armed forces as well are paid to be trained.

      Could the answer really be as simple as free training for all nurses, doctors, and teachers? Far out I’d be down with my taxes being used for that. Free tertiary education please, we are off to a good start, gives hope for the next generation.

      Nurses should be paid more for sure, am not sure if they have any ‘extras’ in their pay structure but they definitely should have, they see so much trauma and save so many lives.

      • Kat 17.1.1

        Absolutely agree nurses should be earning more and while we are at it the general health/hospital system should additionally get back to being more palliative focused. Health is not a business.

    • gsays 17.2

      Thanks for bringing that up Tracey.
      There was a rowdy mob in the square here in palmy this morning, garnering support for their pay round.

      Nurses are underpaid.
      They deserve pay parity with the police, if not more.
      Their workplace is becoming more and more dangerous- drugs, alcohol, and the general fuck-wittery of the public nowadays.

      The immediate protection or response for them if endangered is a security guard.
      Don’t get me wrong, I am not dissing the security folk, but generally they are poorly paid (well below living wage), undertrained, and asked to respond to delicate or violent situations where drugs, mental ill health etc are involved.

      C’mon Labour, release the purse strings and give the DHB the go ahead to agree to the nurses requests.

      • Chuck 17.2.1

        “C’mon Labour, release the purse strings and give the DHB the go ahead to agree to the nurses requests.”

        Then next will be the requests from teachers, firemen, civil servants, police etc…

        I don’t disagree with what you have written above gsays.

        Labour has to now write the cheques and having already committed to their and their support partners election promises the cupboard is bare. Unless they disregard their commitment to debt levels, no new taxes this term (other than excise taxes) etc.

        • gsays

          There is always plenty of money, it is a question of priorities.
          South Canterbury finance for example.

          Plus if the public servants you list get a pay rise, then that is good for the economy…..

  17. joe90 18

    The gut bacteria of the estimated 145,000 surfers in NZ could be a great water quality indicator.


    Last summer, researchers at England’s University of Exeter Medical School partnered with environmental group Surfers Against Sewage in a novel, and slightly nasty, study of surfer’s gut bacteria. According to the researchers, surfers swallow ten times more seawater than swimmers. By sampling their gut bacteria they can test if surfers are more susceptible to carrying bacteria that pollute seawater, indicating the presence of coastal pollution. The recently published findings show the United Kingdom’s surfers tested were three times more likely to carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria than their non-surfing


  18. Ed 19

    Good news.

    ‘Trade deal with Russia still future possibility – Peters’


    • joe90 19.1

      Talleys will be delighted.


      The following lists for New Zealand are available on the Russian Federation’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance website which lists approved premises.

      • Beef
      • Beef offal
      • Farmed game meat (see ‘Wild game meat’)
      • Finished beef products
      • Finished food products
      • Finished horse meat products
      • Finished mutton products
      • Finished pork products
      • Finished poultry meat products
      • Fish
      • Fodder: feeds for non-productive animals
      • Goat meat
      • Horse meat
      • Horse by-products
      • Meat (consolidated list of beef, beef offal, goat, horse meat, horse by-products, offal of small ruminants, mutton, ovine and caprine offals, stand-alone stores, wild game meat)
      • Milk and milk products
      • Mutton
      • Sheep and goat offal
      • Stores (part of the meat list)
      • Wild game meat


      • Ed 19.1.1

        Your point?

        • joe90

          You’ve spent months berating folk who farm, or eat meat, yet more access for our major exports to Russia is Good news.

          There’s a word for that, sport.


          • Ed

            I am not suggesting we keep intensifying.
            I am suggesting we get off our dependence on China economically and the USA militarily.
            And it is important to be independent of China and the USA.

            We can trade in a different way.
            We could change what we produce.

            Like this,

            • joe90

              Currently we trade almost exclusively, our intensified farming industry products for their extraction industry products so do tell, wtf are we going to trade?

              • Ed

                It’s not trade that is important.
                It is about making connections in an ever more hostile world.

                • joe90

                  So, cuddling up to authoritarian Chinese thugs, bad, cuddling up to authoritarian Russian thugs, good?.

                  • McFlock


                  • Ed

                    Staying independent of big powerful countries is good.
                    We owe Russia a lot.
                    Your hatred of Russia is consuming you.

                    • joe90

                      We owe Russia a lot.

                      Oh do fuck off.

                      We owe nothing to a nation whose invasion and annexation of eastern Europe only went astray because of a falling out among criminals.

                    • Ed

                      25 million Russians died in WW2

                      Without their sacrifice the 1000 year Reich would have been 70 years long and the Eastern European peoples slaves under their local Gauleiter.

                    • joe90

                      Nah, 25 million Russians died in WW2 because Stalin’s shitty wee deal with the Reich went pear shaped.

                    • Ed

                      That proves it.
                      Your hatred of Russia has meant you cannot look at the history of Russia with any form of reason.
                      I recommend you read Stalingrad by Antony Beevor to improve your grasp of the country’s history.
                      Many many British and Europeans ( including Churchill) know their debt of gratitude to Russia for WW2.

                    • McFlock

                      I guess that when 25 million die against the Nazis, they’re “Russians”. When they occupy half of Europe for 50-odd years or develop a new type of chemical weapons, they’re “Soviets”.

                    • Daveosaurus

                      So the Poles, Czechs, Ukrainians, Romanians, Bulgarians etc. should be thankful that they were colonised by Russia?

                      That’s no better than the Bob Jones set saying that Aotearoa should be thankful that they were colonised by England.

                    • In Vino

                      Sorry, but Ed is right this time. USSR sacrificed and lost more in WW2 than we in the West could dream of. 80% of Hitler’s Germany’s war effort went to the east. We heroically beat 20% and still romantically claim all the credit. As Ed says, Russia lost 25 million, or close. Go learn some history and check out how few millions we (the British and USA) lost against the Germans. Peanuts. In the less than perfect world of realpolitik, the USSR fully earned the hegemony it gained over territory after WW2.
                      Stop dumb rantings. Stalin was as bad as Hitler in many ways, but he beat him because we failed to fully commit, sat back and let him slog it out with Germany. Plausible excuses abound, but look at the casualty figures if you want to argue seriously.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The obvious, solution would be that we don’t.

                We’d actually be far better off if we simply produced everything that we need from our own resources.

                There’s actually no evidence that ‘trade’ improves peoples lives. Lots to indicate the obverse.

                • joe90

                  no evidence that ‘trade’ improves peoples lives

                  Some of us once paid a weeks wages for a retread tyre, and twice that for a battery.

                  • Ed

                    Yes some of us have more things.
                    But are we better off?

                    Mental health issues.
                    High levels of imprisonment.
                    Low wages.
                    High levels of debt.
                    A lack of community.

                    • joe90

                      You may have a rosy picture of how things once were but the country I grew up in was a violent, drunken, racist mono-cultured shit hole where a woman’s place was in the home, Māori were still being forced off their land to make way for white New Zealand, Pacific people were drafted as factory fodder, having a mental illness could well result in extended detention in a place like Lake Alice and reliable transport with a safe set of tyres was on the nice to have list.

                  • JC

                    Those were the days eh … The Rosy Picture of NZ in the 80’s, (or most other years)

                • JohnSelway

                  There’s actually no evidence that ‘trade’ improves peoples lives. Lots to indicate the obverse.

                  Citation needed

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Well, we have Joe90’s tyres but is it correlation or causation? It’s possible that, even without trade with lower waged countries, the price would have come down (relatively) as productivity increased. It’s difficult to say one way or the other on such limited data.

                    Then again, wages have, at best, stagnated since the 1980s open trade reforms with a serious decrease in GDP going to wages. A decrease in GDP going to wages means that all waged people are worse off in real monetary terms.

                    But take another look at that first clause:

                    Even though the LIS has fallen overall in the measured sector of the New Zealand economy

                    And look at this, from the summary linked to above:

                    The LIS has recently been the focus of considerable international concern that growth in real wages has fallen behind growth in labour productivity. When this occurs, the LIS falls as the share of national income going to labour decreases and capital receives a bigger slice.

                    That is to say: even though workers are more “productive”, their income hasn’t increased in proportion to their productivity.

                    They’re working harder, but not getting paid more in return for it.

                    This is most likely a direct result of competing with lower waged economies:

                    The issue is simple: Although increased exports support U.S. jobs, increased imports cost U.S. jobs. Thus, it is trade balances—the net of exports and imports—that determine the number of jobs created or displaced by trade agreements. Rather than reducing our too-high trade deficit, past trade agreements have actually been followed by larger U.S. trade deficits.

                    The same could be said of NZ as our trade deficits have increased. In fact, economics predicts that wages in well paid economies will decrease when in competition with economies with low pay (Econ202) because of the shift to imports.

                    Of course, economists tend to say that that’s all good because the closure of some inefficient production will be replaced by other jobs but all we’ve really seen is an increase in low paid jobs which has, inevitably, resulted in an increase in poverty:

                    hree decades of massive economic change and restructuring since the mid-1980s have left many people worse off a generation later. The proportion of the population with low incomes increased sharply in the mid-1990s before it began to drop over the latter half of that decade. Despite a continuing slow drop, in 2004 the proportion of the population with low incomes was still substantially higher than in 1984. In 2004 the Working for Families financial assistance package aimed at low- and middle income earners was introduced and led to a reduction in poverty to 17% of the population compared with 22% in 2004. After a rise in poverty again during the global recession (2008-2011) in 2016 the poverty rate was 15%, still above the 1984 level (9%) and means that there remain around 682,500 people in poverty including some 220,000 children (See MSD Household incomes report July 2017, the total population of NZ in June 2016 was 4.55 million).

                    A few people are better off since the 1980s but a greater percentage are going backwards. Which of course brings us to The Spirit Level and how inequality damages society. Which brings up how the rich always destroy society.

                    • Pat

                      problem is as I see it is you and Joe are both right and both wrong….as you are measuring different things.

                      Either way neither model will prevent the ultimate concern albeit one more rapidly than the other.

                      Sadly where humans are involved there is no utopia only varying degrees of dystopia.

                    • Pat

                      “In sum, the results of our experiments, discussed in Section 6, indicate that either one of the two features apparent in historical societal collapses – over-exploitation of natural resources and strong economic stratification – can independently result in a complete collapse. Given economic stratification, collapse is very difficult to avoid and requires major policy changes, including major reductions in inequality and population growth rates. Even in the absence of economic stratification, collapse can still occur if depletion per capita is too high. However, collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.”


              • Ed

                We don’t.
                We become local and self sufficient.
                You obviously didn’t look at the trailer.

    • Stunned mullet 19.2

      ‘Mr Peters made the comments in London at the end of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

      Mr Peters has also been in Brussels this week and insists the Europeans he’s met have no concerns about his views.

      A Russian trade deal was not on the government’s agenda, but could be one day if Russia came to its senses, Mr Peters said.

      Even North Korea could be an option, he said.

      “EU first and other countries, but we hope in the long-term, we’ve got a free trade deal with North Korea – but not at the moment.”

      There would be no progress towards a deal any time soon given the suspected nerve agent attack in Syria and its ally Russia blocking a bid for an independent investigation, Mr Peters said.

      “It’s rather axiomatic – if you’re engaged or assisting a party … involved in a chemical weapon attack, then all such progress must stop right there.”‘

  19. swordfish 20

    Is Ardern’s Preferred PM rating comparatively poor and cause for concern ?

    In which I take issue with alwyn (from the Right) and lurgee (from the Left).



    I had a look at how Clark and Key rated as preferred PM at the same stage in their premierships.

    Clark was at 48%. Key was at 55%.

    Ardern’s 37% looks rather puny doesn’t it

    Open Mike 18/04/2018



    I am more worried that Ardern is only getting 37% support as preferred PM. In 2016, it was a shock when Key polled that low, after about a million years in power

    Pollwatch: Colmar Brunton, 16/4/18


    Ardern is PM. Usually that means a boost – even people who don’t instinctively support the PM’s party will often give them support in preferred PM. But Ardern – in spite of being quite lovely and pregnant and actually shown herself to be actually really quite good at representing New Zealand and being PM – is stuck on 37%.

    … skirted around this rather worrying point. I think it needs to be acknowledged.

    Pollwatch: Colmar Brunton, 16/4/18


    My response would be something in the region of:

    First: We’ve had 14 Prime Ministers since regular polling commenced in 1969: and Ardern is already out-rating 10 of her 13 immediate predecessors. Only Muldoon, Clark and Key were more popular (and with Muldoon, this was only in the relatively brief period when he reached his apex … he was rarely above early 30s most of the time).


    Second: Ardern did, in fact, receive a boost on becoming PM

    Colmar Brunton

    Ardern Preferred PM

    Late Sep 31%
    2017 Election
    Early Dec 37%
    Mid Feb 41%
    Early April 37%

    Most new PMs enjoy a boost in the first few months and then fall back in the PM ratings


    Third: for example:

    Lange surged to 36% 3 months after the 1984 Election … then fluctuated around the mid 30s … before falling to the late 20s after 10 months in Office.

    Bolger peaked in the late 20s just a month or two after the 1990 Election … then fell heavily to the mid teens by the 7 month mark … and was down below 10% by late 91, a year after assuming Office.

    Shipley rose to the mid 30s a few months after toppling Bolger as PM … but by the 10 month mark had fallen back to the early 20s


    Fourth: Ardern (37%) is actually mildly more popular than Clark (35%) was at the same point into her First Term.

    Taking the Colmar Bruntons and comparing the Preferred PM Polls based on time elapsed since the respective Elections:

    ……………… Post 99 Election …………………………. Post 17 Election

    1 month ………. No Polls ………………………………….. No Polls ….

    2 months ……… No Poll ………………………………… Ardern 37 / English 28

    3 months … Clark 43 / Shipley 16 ……………………. No Poll ……

    4 months … Clark 48 / Shipley 15 ……………………. No Poll ……

    5 months … Clark 46 / Shipley 15 ……………………. Ardern 41 / English 20

    6 months … Clark 41 / Shipley 17 ……………………. No Poll ……

    7 months … Clark 35 / Shipley 18 ……………………. Ardern 37 / English 10

    Clark certainly surged to a higher apex … but subsequently fell more steeply than Ardern (at least at this stage) has.


    Fifth: Key was always going to be an outlier. Freak of Nature. He remains the most popular PM since regular polling began (in terms of both his peak and average in the Preferred PM) … although (if memory serves me right) Clark may have outperformed him in both the UMR and Reid Research leadership measures.

    Winning the 2008 Election boosted his Preferred PM score from 40% to 51% and he remained on 50-51 for most of the next 12 months, not declining until early 2010.

    Bear in mind, though, that he’d been Party Leader a lot longer than Arden had going into the Election.

    • Incognito 20.1

      Well, that should settle it me thinks.

      Regarding Key’s popularity, do you think this was partly helped (boosted) by the lack of any decent competition?

      • swordfish 20.1.1

        Why, yes I do.

      • swordfish 20.1.2

        To answer more fully / less glibly … mainly, I think, Key’s Pull factor, though the Goff / Shearer / Cunliffe / Little Push factor clearly played an ancillary role.

        The 2011 New Zealand Election Survey highlighted just how crucial valence issues were to National’s electoral dominance. And positive feelings about Key’s leadership was by far the most important factor in anchoring non-partisan ‘swing’- voters to the Nats (followed by perceptions of National’s economic competence).

        Key’s UMR favourability and Reid Research performance ratings fell heavily during his second term … yet he clearly remained most Preferred PM by a very wide margin and the 2014 NZES suggests he retained a high ‘likeability’ factor.

        Voters began to increasingly see him as dishonest and out of touch … but those negatives were entirely eclipsed by a significant majority continuing to judge him highly capable and competent.

        And it’s not as if the four successive Labour leaders were widely disliked or deemed incompetent. Goff / Shearer / Cunliffe / Little all enjoyed net positive ratings in the UMR and Reid Research measures during their first year as Oppo Leader. But, against Key, they all struggled to get much above 10% as Preferred PM. Cunliffe was really the only one who (ultimately) became pretty widely disliked.

        Still, none had Ardern’s je ne sais quo … though Goff and Cunliffe could be formidable debaters when they put their mind to it.

        • Incognito

          Thanks heaps and I’ll (have to) adjust my simplistic thinking 😉

          I will do a bit of research on those “valence issues” you mentioned as that sounds mighty interesting & important to me.

          I like to think that all successive Labour Leaders (and hopefuls) were (and still are) highly capable people with very good skillsets but none had the ‘complete package’ to sway the polls & voters. Obviously, being a formidable debater in politics is essential but not sufficient.

          Labour Leaders also had to deal with ‘riots in the ranks’, which was amplified & distorted in/by MSM and other more subversive outlets …

    • swordfish 20.2

      Minor correction: should of course be Bridges – not English – Fourth point, Seven month poll

    • tracey 20.3

      Great analysis.

      Key was also the first to employ a consultancy and others to push hot buttons and use advertising/marketing/psychology in a concerted campaign to create a false front

    • Tamati Tautuhi 20.4

      I am more worried about Bridges polling 10%

    • Babayaga 20.5

      Excellent analysis. Key was a highly competent and likeable PM, hence his popularity being so high for so long. Ardern too is popular, but she came into her position after a series of poor performing Labour leaders, and a three term government. Time will tell just how long she can maintain her, and Labour’s, current level of support.

      • Kat 20.5.1

        Yes John Key was likeable with the golf, BBQ and beer swilling crowd. He developed his persona on what he considered a reflection of the Kiwi “bloke” and “sheila” with a huge dollop of corporate grey. A sad reflection on the gullibility and greed of a certain percentage of the NZ electorate at the time. His competency, apart from being a dab hand at the power golf swing was to know when to hold and when to fold. Then he became a quitter. In another time in history he would be the snake oil salesman with a few gambling tricks and a penchant for playing the silver tongued devil. John Key putting it bluntly is a fake leader and his legacy is the “Blighted Future” the one promise he lived up to.

        Jacinda Ardern is the real deal and that will be celebrated in the fullness of time.

        • Chuck

          “Jacinda Ardern is the real deal and that will be celebrated in the fullness of time.”

          The issue being celebrated, history will be kind or not.

        • Baba Yaga

          “Yes John Key was likeable with the golf, BBQ and beer swilling crowd. ”

          Based on John Key’s sustained levels of popularity, that must be a HUGE crowd.

    • Pat 20.6

      any thoughts on why Key walked when he did?….was it simply a case of he wasnt confident of winning the 2017 election and that didnt fit with his self image?

      • Kat 20.6.1

        Pat, in a game of poker Key is the one you would watch. His whole career prior to politics was putting it simply about placing large sums of money in the right place for the right people at the right time. He knew the odds of winning the 2017 election were not good when considering the electoral cycle and the vagaries of MMP. So he folded.

        • Pat

          maybe…am still wondering if there was something specific that caused the fold however…but as yet nothings surfaced

          • Kat

            Something sinister perhaps? I am sure Nicky Hager and others could expound on that more.

      • swordfish 20.6.2

        I can’t claim any special insider knowledge on this, Pat. Your guess is as good as mine.

        Three possibilities:

        (1) Self-perceived ‘Winner’ didn’t want to risk losing traditionally difficult fourth Election (point made by you and Kat). More than possible … although note that Key didn’t bail out mid-way through his second term despite the Oppo Bloc (such as it was) very regularly out-polling the Govt throughout 2012-2013, above all in the immediate few months following Cunliffe toppling Shearer. The Nats’ chances were looking pretty precarious for a while there. But Key didn’t fold.

        (2) Risk of a whacking great skeleton in his closet being exposed to the harsh, unforgiving glare of public scrutiny (a few unsubstantiated rumours floating about / some tacit speculation on an impending scandal in the media).

        (3) (related to (1)) … Wasn’t prepared to continue the game once all the fun went out of it. Key liked to be liked by an adoring public … and unfortunately for him his UMR favourability and Reid Research performance ratings fell heavily during his second term … and even more so during his third term. He ended up a polariser in the Muldoon mould. An enormous net positive leadership rating of + 71 in 2009, for instance, plunged to single figures during his final term. The fun disappeared.

  20. Rosemary McDonald 21

    Kristy Johnston has another article about the Family Carers issue in the Herald entitled “Advice to Government on ‘discriminatory’ Family Care Policy to remain secret”

    Sorry, not able to provide link from this phone.

    Gratitude and respect to the journalist for her continued attention to this issue.

    If some here think I am less than enamoured with our new ‘progressive’ government this article may go some way to explaining part of the reason why.


    • Sacha 21.1

      Health officials remain in driving seat as their advice to ministers is kept secret:

      • Rosemary McDonald 21.1.1

        Thanks Sacha for posting the link. (Another six sleeps and I’ll have access to a Young Person who can teach me how to make this smart (?) phone do that.)

        With all indicators pointing to extremely poor management of Health over the past couple of decades it confounds me that our elected decision makers continue to be so dependant on advice and guidance from Ministry bureaucrats.

        We, the voters, are many…the bureaucrats are few.

  21. Jenny 22

    Request Timeout
    Server timeout waiting for the HTTP request from the client.

    Apache/2.4.33 (Ubuntu) Server at thestandard.org.nz Port 443

  22. greywarshark 23

    Did anyone notice how our major newspapers have been captured for advertising today, Saturday. In the South Island anyway, we had the Nelson Mail Press and Dominion all with black front pages and large white lettering about some TV thing that is on. That was the news that was.
    That is all!

  23. Jenny 24

    Request Timeout
    Server timeout waiting for the HTTP request from the client.

    Apache/2.4.33 (Ubuntu) Server at thestandard.org.nz Port 443

    What is going on here?

    • lprent 24.1

      I would like to say that the server is probably missing me as I winged away from NZ again this morning.

      However it is more likely that you just hit a random glitch in a Apache or php or wordfence process..

      • adam 24.1.1

        I hope the server does not have to much separation anxiety whilst you’re away.

        Poor wee thing, you flying away all the time.

  24. Jenny 25

    My apologies for not giving my own observations of this link. I seem to be limited to what I can post. See if this works.


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