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Open Mike 21/12/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 21st, 2017 - 216 comments
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216 comments on “Open Mike 21/12/2017 ”

  1. John up North 1

    Shades of the Barclay taping scandal and how well connected people roll.

    Latest report on the Marsden fuel pipeline rupture back in September, yeah we remember that ………. right?

    Seems the MSM has completely forgotten all about it cause I haven’t been reading about the huge financial costs, disruptions to 1000’s of people travel plans and the ongoing media demands to bring the culprits to justice…………… it’s like it never even happened!! Imagine if it were to occur now and be connected with a person/MP in this current coalition government?

    Link outlines story and that the land owner knows who the digger operator was but aint’ talkin and NRC (Northland Regional Council) for some reason can’t compel. I reckon just hit him with the invoice for full cost of the whole shebang, he’ll be pointing fingers and signing statements quicker than you can say collateral damage.


    • srylands 1.1

      What is ‘taping’? And how is it connected to a digger driver who broke the pipeline?

      Unfortunately shit happens. I guess the digger driver can be sued and bankrupted if it makes you feel better. I would prefer to know how it happened, and see lessons learned for the future.

      • cleangreen 1.1.1

        Srylands intel alert here; – working at the coalface?

        (Or should we say Swamp kauri face?)

        What angle do you want to rubbish this ‘next’ reported ‘national party left over scandal’ – seen here today – srylands?

        We need the new Labour lead government to dredge the ‘National Party’ swamp it seems a lot further!!!!!

      • JanM 1.1.2

        He he – I’m guessing from your attitude that you know who did it!

        • Naki man

          “He he – I’m guessing from your attitude that you know who did it!”

          I doubt Srylands knows any digger drivers from Ruakaka.

      • tracey 1.1.3

        Megan Woods says we will get to the bottom of it and know who dud it. The only way I can see that happening is if immunity is offered or if there was a 6 month limitation on prosecution ( of which I have a vague memory) and her investigation goes well beyond that 6 months.

        Wishing you and yours a happy and restive break srylands.

      • David Mac 1.1.4

        If a professional kauri extraction company and that is what was happening there is a possibility that they were carrying indemnity insurance.

        Odd that the landowner can have an event that costs NZ millions occur on his property and he need only say to the authorities ‘I don’t want to talk about that.’ If the authorities had found half a dozen dope plants on his spread he’d be in a Police interview room before Smoko.

        • tracey

          How do we make the owner talk though?

          And a few will “know” who was there but that is not proof…

          This is just another example of uf I dont get caught it’s cool mentality…

          • Draco T Bastard

            We don’t bother getting him to talk – we just hand him the bill. I’m pretty sure the amount he’s been paid won’t cover it.

          • David Mac

            I think a wiley detective could be to the bottom of it in days.

            Neighbouring farmers notice and monitor events like a pair of diggers ripping into a paddock. The extracted logs require freighting, check the trucking contractors records over the approximate dates. Who paid that bill? Check historic video footage of the machines passing through towns on low-loaders. There is a staunch but relatively small group that actively protest against Kauri log extraction, they might help. I understand it’s a competitive and dirty game, there may be a digger team that would like for nothing more than bring a competitor down.

            There is much that could be done, it appears next to nothing is being done.

      • rod 1.1.5

        @srylands.. ” Unfortunately shit happens”, so very true and 99% of it comes from all the RWNJ’s who visit this site.

    • Ed 1.2

      ‘how well connected people roll.’

      Was it a well connected person’s business that damaged the pipeline?

      You write ‘Shades of Barclay’

      So does this person also have connections to the National Party?

      • There’s some rumours around that it was a digger driver hired by the company that Judith Collins’ husband owns that damaged the pipe while looking for swamp kāuri.

      • Cinny 1.2.2

        Re barclay…. it involved a senior female poitician.

        Come on Glenys. the government has changed, key has gone, time to go public. Be brave.

        Greater protection for whistle blowers please, digger driver included.

    • tracey 1.3

      There is a 6 month window for prosecution isnt there? Tick. Tock.

    • tc 1.4

      Another example of infrastructure being impacted by contractors cutting corners to make a buck IMO and missing out the basics probably like a B4UDig request as the pipeline is well marked on GIS systems.

      The blame lies above the digger drivers head, they do as told.

      Follow the money and Labour needs to use this to expose the vulnerability the ‘money first’ approach has created across NZ’s vital infrastructure.

    • Link outlines story and that the land owner knows who the digger operator was but aint’ talkin and NRC (Northland Regional Council) for some reason can’t compel. I reckon just hit him with the invoice for full cost of the whole shebang, he’ll be pointing fingers and signing statements quicker than you can say collateral damage.

      It happened on his land and so he’s actually responsible – after all, nothing should have been happening on ‘his’ land without him knowing who it was and what they were doing. Bill him for the full cost. It should come to several million dollars.

  2. Carolyn_Nth 2

    Excellent. Twyford says government is to develop an improved meth testing standard: one that will distinguish levels harmful to health (usually a result of a meth lab) from low levels of contamination caused by meth usage.

    This means raising the level in the Standard from 1.5, which is too low to identify harmful levels.

    Newsroom reports:

    Twyford made the comments on Tuesday as he revealed he had asked for official advice on better standards for measuring what was a truly dangerous level of methamphetamine in rental homes.

    He told reporters he had instructed Housing New Zealand to reduce the number of vacant houses, many of which had been emptied after the state house provider detected trace levels of methamphetamine indicative of previous smoking rather than the more dangerous activity of manufacturing.

    lowest amount he could conceivably imagine a health effect occurring would be around 12 micrograms/100cm2. He said the lowest dose recorded to have a pharmaceutical effect is still 500 times higher than this 12-microgram figure, or over 3000 times higher than the 1.5 level set in the new standard.

    A National Party Bill has had its first reading and is at the committee stage. This Bill is an amendment that would make the standard (currently 1.5) law. So, presumably, changing the Standard will be needed before this Bill becomes law.

  3. Ed 3

    The way humans treat animals is shameful, cruel and schizophrenic.
    We treat our pet dogs like Gods and other dogs as disposable forms of entertainment.

    ‘The 93-page report by former High Court Judge Rodney Hansen QC found unacceptably high rates of dog euthanasia, high numbers of “unaccounted-for” dogs, and low numbers of rehomed greyhounds.
    It shows that over the past three racing seasons, more than 2000 dogs were injured while racing, and 165 were put down due directly to racing.
    Of more than 1000 racing dogs put down, two-thirds were euthanised soon after their last race.
    Most dogs do not race more than 40 times.’


    • Ed 3.1

      While other sentient creatures are tortured and killed.

      As James Aspey says ‘ Animals are not property to be owned, objects to be used, slaves to be taken advantage of, or machines to be put to work. They are here for their own reasons.’

    • cleangreen 3.2

      Ye Ed,

      I have a stray black cat sitting at my front door every day and have found him as a good loyal friend to us as he keeps the mice and rats at bay.

      He doesn’t enter the house, since he turned up here.

      So why would people want him killed, as the failed wannabe Politician wanted? – as it doesn’t make any sense.

      Good call Ed.

      • Ed 3.2.1

        Future generations will look at the industrial farming of pigs, cows and chickens and see little difference between a factory farm and a concentration camp.

        Torturing animals is fine for many people – because meat tastes good.
        If factory farms had glass walls, it would the end of our industrial killing of farm animals.

        • James

          The other day you were all upset that I had a free range cow killled.

          Your agenda is not industrial animals for food – it’s all animals.

          And that just is never going to happen. They taste too good.

          • Ed

            Many cultures have never eaten meat.

            • james

              and many have huge cultural ties with BBQ’ing meat – did you not watch the documentary I linked to the other day?

              • Ed

                The Aztecs thought it was ok to do child sacrifices to appease their Gods.
                It was a long held tradition.
                They were forced to change.

                Sugar farmers thought it ok to use slaves to run their plantations.
                They were forced to change.

                When the issue at hand is the survival of complex life on earth, humans don’t have the luxury of being carnivores. It’s cows, pigs, fish and chicken on an industrial level ….or the planet.

                I am debating with someone who cannot be bothered to research the topic.
                The film Forks Over Knives is a good starter for you.

                • james

                  more false equivalences – slavery and child sacrifices.

                  By God some of you vegan types are hysterical.

          • Ed

            People in the Southern States thought they couldn’t manage without slaves.

            • james

              todays prize for most ridiculous false equivalence goes to Ed …….again.

              • Ed

                60 billion farmed chickens killed a year.
                The industrial killing of animals occurs on a level you wouldn’t even grasp.

                • james

                  No – I can believe that.

                  I just have zero issue with it.

                  And I think that the number will grow.

                  • Ed

                    Zero problem with this?

                    ‘Factory farms raise 99.9 percent of chickens for meat, 97 percent of laying hens, 99 percent of turkeys, 95 percent of pigs, and 78 percent of cattle currently sold in the United States.’

                    I doubt the numbers for chicken and pigs are much different here.

                  • Ed

                    Zero problem with this?

                    Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans. These shocking figures do not even include fish and other sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are only measured in tonnes.

                  • Ed

                    Zero issue with this?

                    ‘Slaughter: ‘They Die Piece by Piece’ After they are unloaded, cows are forced through a chute and shot in the head with a captive-bolt gun meant to stun them. But because the lines move so quickly and many workers are poorly trained, the technique often fails to render the animals insensible to pain.’

                  • Ed

                    Zero problem with this?

                    ‘History of factory farming. Up until the 1900s chickens were kept outside in coops and in backyards by families keeping a small number of hens. Indoor farming was introduced at the start of the last century, when layer hens were first kept in more intensive systems.’

            • Ian

              150 years ago Maori were keeping slaves for food. Between 1820 and 1840 cannaibilism was the Kiwi way.

          • Ed

            So if your argument is simply ‘animals taste good’ why don’t you eat dogs, cats, chimpanzees…..

            • james

              Again – your statement of ‘fact’ is based on zero knowledge and is again wrong.

              I have eaten dog many times when travelling. Not my first choice, but when travelling I like to immerse myself in the culture and try local dishes.

              I’ve also eaten horse.

              • Ed

                Defending being a carnivore in 2017 has many similarities to defending Belsen in 1944.

                I’m assuming you’ve bothered to see what the inside of one of those chicken and pig factories looks like.
                Where those animals are tortured for their whole life.
                Then executed.

                If you choose to turn the other way and not look, that isn’t an excuse. You’ve been told.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  How long is it since you last ate meat or dairy products Ed?

                  • Ed

                    I haven’t been on a plant based diet for anything like as long as red-blooded.
                    What about you?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      And dairy products?

                      I’m in the 30+ years range. I suspect that James has heard these arguments before.

                • james

                  Again – I know where most of my beef and lamb come from.

                  I kill or have it killed myself and they live on the property.

                  With Chickens – of course I know where they come from. But again – Im realistic and Im OK with where they are coming from.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    As an aside, I’ve always had a lot more respect for people who kill their own meals, than those who eat meat for decades, give up, and immediately get stuck into others for the same behaviour they themselves were so recently guilty of.

                • Sabine

                  I think you should re-think this comment again.

                  I seriously believe that while you might be sincere in your zeal to save animals from the human being, you are also rather offensive in using Bergen Belsen as an analogy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergen-Belsen_concentration_camp
                  And if you want it even take it further, your ‘example’ falls apart as animals who are killed for consumption serve a purpose, while the humans shoved in the ovens of Bergen Belsen dies for no other purpose than racism.

                  btw, i don’t believe that you have or will ever convince an omnivore to ever turn vegan. Maybe you should try posting some nice ‘vegan’ recipes rather then using the holocaust of the european jewish citizenry to bolster your points.

                  Seriously, if anything you create an active dislike in vegans in me.

              • cleangreen

                James cool it will you.

                Your’e becoming so bloody picky and annoying.

                James, it’s xmas time dont you know!!!!

                Give it a bloody break.

                • Ed

                  Nothing can get in the way of James’s pleasures.
                  Not the welfare of animals.
                  Not the planet.
                  Not his grandchildren.

                • james

                  Im engaging in debate – if you dont like it – bugger off.

                  and yes – Im aware its Christmas. Im looking forward to it.

                  Tomorrow is the last day of work until late Feb – Looking forward to summer.

              • McFlock

                What was the dog like?

                • james

                  It was a really ‘meaty’ taste.

                  I found it quite unpleasant. Not sure if it was because my mind was playing tricks with me (I love dogs – playing with them, not eating them).

                  But it was a really strong taste – but not in a good way (for example – slow cooked beef cheeks have a really ‘beefy’ taste a lot stronger than a lot of beef cuts – it was like that, but just…. well meaty.

                  Wouldn’t recommend it on a culinary basis.

            • Ad

              Some do.

              • Ed

                All images regarding the factory farming of animals are unpleasant.
                That’s because treating animals like machines is horrible.
                That’s just 1 reason why an increasing number of people have stopped using animals in this grotesque way.

                The other reason is the planet.
                Animal farming is very bad for the Earth.

            • red-blooded

              Ed, I’m entirely with you on this one. I’ve been vegan for 30+ years and can’t imagine choosing to eat flesh again. I also think people who are committed to action on climate change and to food security and water conservation should think hard about the hugely inefficient and highly polluting nature of farming animals for food. Plus, think about the effects that industrial fishing and fish farming is having on the balance of life within our oceans.

              • Ed

                And then I bump into a brick wall with James.
                I like the taste of meat.
                So who cares about the treatment of animals and stuff the planet.

                • james

                  My treatment of animals is very good. As mentioned I raise my own beef and Lamb,

                  They are killed in a humane way. Then eaten.

                  Circle of life and all that.

                  • Ed

                    And there is the brainless brick wall.
                    James, this isn’t all about you.
                    It’s about an economic system that has industrialised the torture and killing of animals.
                    Until you research this topic there is no point discussing the topic with you. Your wilful ignorance and unnerving lack of curiosity is the brick wall that prevents you being able to discuss this topic meaningfully.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke


                      Reading and watching material that supports your worldview isn’t “research”, Ed. How involved were you in producing the meat you were consuming until very recently? Were you killing it yourself, like James, or did you just unwrap and defrost it?

              • Ed

                Industrial fishing has destroyed our oceans.

                • james

                  I also catch my own fish – like a lot of Kiwis.

                  Extremely rear that we buy fish.

                  • AB

                    Do you iki the fish James? I do and it makes me more comfortable about killing them. And I usually stop short of the bag limit so as not to be greedy. One thing that does bother me is how much kit you need to catch fish with any consistency. A boat or decent kayak, gear etc. Puts it out of the range of a lot of people without discretionary cash.

                    • james

                      Yep – Im with you – I always iki.

                      We normally only fish for our feed – or a few more if we are giving to friends.

                      Never any wasted. and its nice to be able to give the gift of fresh fish.

        • francesca

          I’m coming round to your way of thinking.
          I think we damage ourselves by turning a blind eye to the way animals are treated as production units, and made to endure cruelty and torture day in day out
          And I think you’re right , in years to come (if we survive) people will be horrified at our backwardness, much as we are today about slavery or capital punishment

          • James

            I think you are wrong. As more and more people are on earth – there will always be a drive to a greater supply and lowering of cost for food.

            And the worlds never going turn vegan.

            Example a bostocks chicken is $25 for a size 16 chicken. It’s all happy and organic and that. How many on here buy them?

            I mean it’s a more ethical choice than the cheaper ones at pack and save etc? But people despite knowing the difference would rather have the $ – it just dosnt worry them.

            Btw – I do recommend bostocks – simply because I think they taste better (same reason I have my own beef and lamb)

            • Ed

              You should do more research James.
              Chickens …start there.

            • Grey Area

              Here I go breaking my own rule (well it’s more like a guideline really).

              What really annoys me James about your negative input to this site which I think is totally self-serving is that it is not debate. You normally state opinions as facts simply because you said them.

              “And the worlds never going to turn vegan.”

              Why not? Not I consider, or I think, or in my opinion, just a statement that you provide no proof for.

              You either don’t get it or you are too lazy to do the research to understand the problem or you simply don’t care: The world cannot sustain the use of agricultural land to industrially farm animals for humans to eat. We don’t have a choice but most people are happy to ignore the problem. The equation is simple – you can feed many more humans on a plant-based diet than using the same land to turn plant matter into protein via animals.

              Also meat production is contributing hugely to greenhouse gas emissions and thereby to climate change.

              A couple of references for information that a quick internet search found:

              Less meat helps with climate change

              How to feed the world

              I don’t think you really care so I’ll switch off again but I do wish you’d stop clogging up this site with your faux debating.

              • The world cannot sustain the use of agricultural land to industrially farm animals for humans to eat.

                The world can’t sustain the use of agricultural land to industrially farm plants for humans to eat, either. Not if there’s 7 billion of said humans.
                That’s a problem that isn’t solved by not eating meat.

                • Ed

                  It would seem the facts don’t back you up.

                  ‘The carbon foodprint of 5 diets compared’


                  • I don’t think the stupidity of growing crops to feed livestock was a mystery to any readers of this blog. It’s also irrelevant to the fact that no form of agriculture is sustainable for the population we have now.

                    • Ed

                      Again it would appear that opinion of yours is contestable.

                      ‘U.S. could feed 800 million people with grain that livestock eat, Cornell ecologist advises animal scientists.
                      Animal protein production requires more than eight times as much fossil-fuel energy than production of plant protein while yielding animal protein that is only 1.4 times more nutritious for humans than the comparable amount of plant protein, according to the Cornell ecologist’s analysis.
                      Animal agriculture is a leading consumer of water resources in the United States, Pimentel noted. Grain-fed beef production takes 100,000 liters of water for every kilogram of food. Raising broiler chickens takes 3,500 liters of water to make a kilogram of meat. In comparison, soybean production uses 2,000 liters for kilogram of food produced; rice, 1,912; wheat, 900; and potatoes, 500 liter.’


                      ‘A second major ramification of global vegetarianism would be expanses of new land available. Currently, grazing land for ruminants—cows and their kin—accounts for a staggering 26 percent of the world’s ice-free land surface. The Dutch scientists predict that 2.7 billion hectares (about 10.4 million square miles) of that grazing land would be freed up by global vegetarianism, along with 100 million hectares (about 386,000 square miles) of land that’s currently used to grow crops for livestock.’


                    • Ed

                      Have you any evidence to support your point of view?

                    • McFlock

                      Actually contesting the point would be pretty simple, Ed:

                      1) how much food is required by 7 billion people
                      2) how much food can be sustainably produced if a portion of the diet is animal
                      3) how much food can be sustainably produced if we were all fucking vegans

                      If 3>1>2, you’ve got a point.
                      If 3>2>1, you don’t have a point
                      if 1>3>2, we’re all fucked either way, so eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we all die.

                    • Ed

                      Have you read the articles by scientists that Grey Area and I put up?
                      I think I’ll stick with their opinion rather than your uninformed one.

                      The we’re doomed argument ( also used in climate change debates) falls into the hands of the industrial factory farm lobby.

                    • McFlock

                      You posted the links. You should be able to tell me if it’s

                      3>1>2 or
                      3>2>1 or

                      Which is it?

                    • Ed

                      Grey Area and I have a point.

                    • McFlock

                      You’re asserting 3>1>2, where the needs of 7B people are less than sustainably production for vegan diets but more than is sustainable for meat-inclusive diets?

                      Because Grey’s quote below indicates that if we reduced waste and marginally increased production, we wouldn’t need to reduce meat consumption.

                    • Grey Area

                      In reply to McFlock’s take of the article I posted of “if we reduced waste and marginally increased production, we wouldn’t need to reduce meat consumption”.

                      That’s not what I take Dr. Richard Oppenlander to be saying. I take his basic premise to be that there is plenty of food if we stop feeding it to animals, and killing and eating them.

                      His second aticle on these themes is also relevant:

                      How to Feed the World Part 2

                      “The short- and long-term solution to the hunger and poverty cycle appear to lie in connecting most of the dots—creating a path of optimal relative sustainability—for the people themselves. All efforts for global assistance, whether from a humanitarian or agricultural perspective, should be first directed at creating the most efficient and nourishing food production systems possible.

                      These systems should build and conserve topsoil and soil fertility, while using the least amount of land, water, and other resources.

                      These goals can best be accomplished by devoting all agricultural efforts toward purely plant-based systems—no livestock, no dairy, and no chickens. “

                      Humans eating animals is not only morally wrong it is dumb. It’s clearly not sustainable. As Oppenlander says: No livestock, no dairy and no chickens.

                      Human beings can and have changed. This is another shift we can and must make.

                    • I take his basic premise to be that there is plenty of food if we stop feeding it to animals, and killing and eating them.

                      Then his basic premise is wrong. There’s plenty of food regardless of whether we kill and eat other animals, it’s economic systems that result in some having too much food and others too little. Focusing on type of diet is meaningless – a straighforward indulgence of food faddists.

                    • McFlock

                      we are producing enough grain globally to feed two times as many people as there are on Earth.

                      So we’re producing double the required amount

                      In 2011, there was a record harvest of grain in the world, with over 2.5 billion tons,

                      Ok, cool,

                      but half of that was fed to animals in the meat and dairy industries.

                      So we produced twice as much as needed, and fed half of it to food animals.

                      We still produced enough to feed the world, if we went to zero waste.

                • Grey Area

                  The writer of the second link I posted doesn’t agree with you.

                  Even with increased climate change and ominous weather extremes, we are producing enough grain globally to feed two times as many people as there are on Earth. In 2011, there was a record harvest of grain in the world, with over 2.5 billion tons, but half of that was fed to animals in the meat and dairy industries.

                  Seventy-seven percent of all coarse grains (corn, oats, sorghum, barley) and over 90 percent of all soy grown in the world was fed to livestock.

                  Add to that the 30 percent food waste from farm to table, and we see clearly that the difficulty is not how to produce enough food to feed the hungry but rather where all the food we produce is going.

                  • Even with increased climate change and ominous weather extremes, we are producing enough grain globally to feed two times as many people as there are on Earth.

                    Big whoop. We can already feed as many people as there are on earth even though fuckwits are raising grass-eating meat animals on grain. The issue isn’t one of not having enough food to feed however-many-billion it is (probably 8 bil by now), it’s about the sustainability of feeding them. Neither animal production nor crop production is sustainable for that population over the long term. The issue is size of population, not diet. Diet makes fuck-all difference.

              • Ed

                Thank you.

            • francesca

              I’m not so sure. More and more the research coming out is that animal farming is unsustainable, for many reasons. Its not quite the fringe thought you think it is



              • Grey Area

                The Monbiot article is a great find thanks. As usual he nails it.

                The profligacy of livestock farming is astonishing. Already, 36% of the calories grown in the form of grain and pulses – and 53% of the protein – are used to feed farm animals. Two-thirds of this food is lost in conversion from plant to animal. A graph produced last week by Our World in Data suggests that, on average, you need 0.01m2 of land to produce a gram of protein from beans or peas, but 1m2 to produce it from beef cattle or sheep: a difference of 100-fold.

                There are no easy answers, but the crucial change is a shift from an animal to a plant-based diet. All else being equal, stopping both meat production and the use of farmland to grow biofuels could provide enough calories for another 4 billion people and double the protein available for human consumption. Artificial meat will help: one paper suggests it reduces water use by at least 82% and land use by 99%.

                The next Green Revolution will not be like the last one. It will rely not on flogging the land to death, but on reconsidering how we use it and why. Can we do this, or do we – the richer people now consuming the living planet – find mass death easier to contemplate than changing our diet?

          • James

            If you can’t trust the onion who can you trust ?

            • tracey

              Have loved the Onion since they posted a parody of George W’s inauguration speech only to see a month or so later that is was spookily accurate of the one he delivered.

              Of course now it woukd be called fake news

        • Psycho Milt

          Future generations will look at the industrial farming of pigs, cows and chickens and see little difference between a factory farm and a concentration camp.

          They’ll probably look at industrial farming of plants the same way, but I guess vegans prefer not to think about that.

    • Psych nurse 3.3

      I have had two retired racing dogs, the first gave the cats a bit of a tickle up when she arrived, the second who had won a lot of races was a lovely, kind and gentle soul who had completely lost any desire to run again, she would lay on the lawn as rabbits sat grazing only metres away. So for any one who wants to save one give it a go, they make easy care pets, no grooming,sleep most of the day, exercise in short high speed bursts, have been trained in all aspects of socialisation bar toilet training as they have lived in kennels. But for every dog that adapts well to living in a houshold there are others who fail. Most dog trainers know which will adapt hence the high euthenasia rate, thats the nature of the beast.

      • alwyn 3.3.1

        I was recently talking to someone involved in the “sport” and who organises the adoption of retired dogs. It was only a casual conversation, but quite new information to me.
        I thought it was quite normal to get them adopted but she told me that very few of the dogs are actually able to be adopted out. Their life as a racing dog means that they have never been used to people and have normally been kept for long periods in cages. They mostly cannot adapt to a normal pet’s life.
        According to her only about 5% of the retired dogs actually were able to be adopted. I was quite appalled at that.
        Can anyone confirm whether adoption is genuinely that uncommon? From the study that has just been done it would seem to be true. That would seem to make the well publicised scheme just a smokescreen for what really happens to the animals.

        • James

          There had been a big stink on grayhound racing in the UK. I think the banned it (or are talking about doing so).

          I would be very supportive of banning it in NZ also (and I’m normally pretty much against banning anything).

        • joe90

          More than a few greyhounds as pets around these parts.

          Since the programme was launched in 2006 there has been a marked change in attitudes, and with almost 2000 greyhounds now settled into family homes throughout New Zealand, many people are now far more familiar with their endearing nature.



          • alwyn

            That certainly sounds a great deal better than 5%.
            Any idea what the percentage really is?

            • joe90

              With a racing population of around 2000 , figure 4.6.2 shows about 800 animals are retired every year so I’d assume 20/25%.


              • alwyn

                That is a lot better than the 5% I was told.
                Still leaves about 80% though who don’t get the chance.
                I have seen a few of them at the open days where the people who run the adoption scheme show them off. Those ones do seem to be amazingly placid.
                Bit small though for my taste. The only real dog is a Newfoundland as far as I am concerned. Their only fault is that they slobber.

                • Naki man

                  ” Their only fault is that they slobber”

                  They also drop massive logs on your lawn

                  • alwyn

                    Oh well, as Longfellow wrote and Fitzgerald so memorably sang
                    “Into each life some rain must fall”

                    You are of course correct but I thought it was worth it.
                    Mind you when they are as big as ours’ was (a 70kg dog) you really have to expect it.

      • tracey 3.3.2

        I think some peole also think they need lots of exercise but the reverse is true. They are the canine equivalent of the 100 metre athlete. Fast twitch fibres. Is that yoyr experience?

        • Psych nurse

          Very much so, short bursts around the house usually at 5pm to 5.01pm, our last was a big bitch at over 40kgs, the only issue was loss of leg sensation if she happened to lay on you. They don’t like getting wet, need a cover for winter and have small hairless feet so don’t track the mud inside.
          NZ law still requires them to be muzzled on the streets.
          What most people will not realise is that most are imported from Aus, so blame them for the lack of socialization.

  4. Carolyn_Nth 4

    So, a comment of mine has gone into moderation, even though I’m signed in…?

    Edit: and this one went through OK.

    • cleangreen 4.1

      yes Carolyn,

      yesterday that happend to me also but came back later.

      We need to give all the presenters and the moderators a big thanks and appreciation for your dedication to monitor all our blogs at this time, – when we are all full ahead trying to prepare for xmas.

      So from us all we thank each and everyone on ‘The Standard’ as we deeply appreciate your hard work in giving us all the chance to express our issue on this social media platform.

      Merry Xmas and a happy new year all.

      • Carolyn_Nth 4.1.1

        Thanks, cg.

        Agree on the thanks and appreciation to moderators and presenters – their hard work is very much appreciated.

  5. eco maori 5

    The commissioner of the SIS rebecca kitteridge is supposed to be auditing the spy’s of NZ Crown. But the words she is using are just covering these people ass using trumps favorite word to slip a vale over the 99% and using this rhetoric to justify all the extra powers Shonky gave these people. Its all about control US the 99% controling OUR reality controling us phiscly he is the master of deceit he used the police to keep a hold of Parliament and he still has control of national party. Im telling you all we dodge a bullet when we won this election. One more term and shonky would have had to much control over our society to break.
    The rest of the World is rubbing there heads and wondering how we let shonky piss all over US the 99%. He had a plan from the start get control of the MSM and you control the 99%. The 1% know that this has happened but they say nothing because there bank accounts are over flowing this is another tactics of shonkys he knows the 1% are privy to all the information in the World The 1% of OUR WORLD ALL KNOW ABOUT ECO MAORI.
    This is the way OUR world is do you get it the rulers of our world rubb shoulders with the 1% and are part of the 1% so gossip takes over and this phenomenon is why the 1% know all the dark secrets of our so called democracy.
    Democray only function as design if there is no curruption. Changeing government every 3 years is just crap should be 5 years these short term government changes just creates chaos for the cheats of our world to carry on ripping off the 99%. That is why I don’t believe in luck believeing in luck just puts the 99% in limbo O I could win lotto when in reality you should be working hard to build you a monga and this helps the 1% can keep 99.9 % of the power. Ka kite ano

    • tracey 5.1

      Why do we think our spies will be honest? A spy by definition is deceptive.

      • cleangreen 5.1.1

        Another direct score of brilliance there tracey,

        “honest spy” what is a mis-nomer if I ever saw one.

        Tha National Party are in disaray here and loosing it.
        Merry xmas.

        • tracey

          Wishing you and yoyrs a happy restive time cleangreen

        • eco maori

          It’s not just the spy’s that are dishonest it the most of police force I thought you would have got that cleanan green Ana to kai

  6. eco maori 6

    Thanks for that song from Profits of Rage from the ROCK RADIO Kia kaha

  7. Nick 7

    Yes many thanks to the Standard, captain and crew for your efforts, and of course the passengers. It’s been very informative, interesting and funny. Best of luck to the new Government also …. Let’s do this 2018 and beyond.

  8. tracey 8

    A great piece by Newsroom outlining the quandry Ministers placed their ministries in over the sea level report. I note that during the delay Councils were approving developments for areas potentially impacted by the new guidelines.


    • patricia bremner 8.1

      8. Tracey, couldn’t get the link.

      • tracey 8.1.1

        Hi patricia

        I am trying to find it again but it seems to have disappeared.

        I shared it to my facebook too and that link is now dead

        Headline was

        -Official’s long struggle to publish new sea level guidance –

        Had a timeline and quoyes of officials trying to get it release over an almost 12 month period and confusion over whether Smith or Bennet were leading and so on. Really good example of how a govt can and does obstruct info release for purely political purpises

          • greywarshark

            Thanks DTB. Praise to Eloise Gibson for getting behind this important CC subject.

            Merry Christmas and thanks to all journalists who are trying to do a good job of reporting the news de Jour, and further put some past context and leads to possible future outcomes. Masters and mistresses of their craft, wise and knowing more than they want to I should think at times.

            Morning report not back to about January 21!

            We love you all you dedicated information-and-truth workers, and deception detectors from both the pollie, the business and the public sides – we can all be tempted from being clear thinkers.

            Enjoy some bevvies and some home and away comforts this silly season and will see you back in 2018 and will be pleased to hear more than traffic accidents and swimming and tramping and excess drinking near fails and failed saves.

      • tracey 8.1.2

        I have emailed Mark Jennings to ask where it has gone

        Mark Jennings, Co-editor


        Tim Murphy, Co-editor


    • JC 8.2

      Truly. A prime example of a National government’s interminable inaction, and incompetence!

  9. savenz 9

    The sort of stupidity that people now have to put up with, an application for James Hardie applying for resource consent to mine 1 million cubic metres of sand over 35 years at 353 McLachlan Rd, just 260m from Broomfield. If approved, 60 heavy trucks would drive the unsealed public road every week as it mined 23,000 cum of silica sand every year. Residents of a quiet northwest Auckland road are up in arms about the 100,000 extra trucks proposed to use the unsealed Kaukapakapa road.

    The JHNZ application said increased truck movements would have a “less than minor” effect.

    In Auckland you can propose anything and it will go through. That’s progress apparently, taking locals amenity so overseas headquartered companies can make more profit.

    From Wiki “James Hardie Industries plc. is an industrial building materials company headquartered in Ireland and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange which specialises in fibre cement products. ”

    I’m not 100% sure, but “possibly” James Hardie may have supplied some of the leaky home claddings and the government did a deal over the leaky homes products which mean’t they were never prosecuted which mean’t the rate payers had to pay the costs of the leaky homes debacle while the company was never held to any account. (of course the developers mostly went “bust” and set up shop under a new name leaving the council aka rate payers to pick up the tab).

    • tracey 9.1

      James Hardie is a leech. Yes they have supplied fucked up cladding here and before us North America. Dont forget their asbestos case in Aussie and the enormous bill they left that govt with. They move from country to country. They may be registered in Jersey now for tax and legal liability purpises.

      They are the opposite of a good corporate citizen.

    • cleangreen 9.2

      Our Gisborne unsealed roads are now under the past national government re-organisation of our civic council changes forcing them to use ‘sub-standard’ private contactors contracts for ‘do minimum’ standards on our rural roads.

      This rorting of taxpater funds to a overseas contractor must to be investigated by the new government for the rort of the ratepayers money that it is.

      Downers are the Australian roading contract now up here, and are their service is so bad, that their contract must be terminated please labour NZF ; – help here in the new year, the road dust is killing us all too.

  10. savenz 10

    Also from Wiki about James Hardie

    “For over 20 years, Hardie has also operated a research and development facility devoted solely to fibre-cement technology. The company was a key player in asbestos mining and manufacturing in Australia through most of the twentieth century.[2]

    Working with products containing asbestos – including the building material known as “Fibro” – caused people to develop various pleural abnormalities such as asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma.[3] The 2009 book Killer Company[4] and the 2012 TV docu-drama Devil’s Dust are about James Hardie Industries. In May 2012 the High Court of Australia found that seven former James Hardie non-executive directors misled the stock exchange over the asbestos victims compensation fund.[5]”

    Sounds like fantastic corporate company, sarc.

  11. savenz 11

    Wiki goes on…

    “James Hardie had been structured as a parent company operating through subsidiaries since the 1930s. All asbestos operations, including the provision of compensation, were undertaken by James Hardie’s subsidiaries, principally James Hardie and Coy and Hardie-Ferodo (later known as Jsekarb).[2]:3 Between 1995 and 2000, James Hardie (the parent company) began to remove the assets of these subsidiaries (since renamed Amaca and Amaba respectively), whilst leaving them with most of the asbestos liabilities of the James Hardie group.[2]:3 In 2001 these two companies were separated from James Hardie and acquired by the Medical Research and Compensation Foundation (MRCF) which was essentially created in order to act as an administrator for Hardie’s asbestos liabilities. Then CEO of James Hardie, Peter McDonald, made public announcements emphasising that the MRCF had sufficient funds to meet all future claims and that James Hardie would not give it any further substantial funds……”

  12. savenz 12

    This is on top of this practise..

    The dirty truth behind Auckland’s building boom


    And for those that think this is for affordability – since the building boom, houses have become less and less affordable. The boom itself and the ability for so many companies to make massive profits and control the discourse and lobby government, drives up the prices and removes the ability for real debate.

    Do Aucklander’s want this building boom, my guess is, if they were allowed to vote, nope they don’t.

    The locals are subsidising the roads and the health system, they bear the health and safety risks from all the dust and pollution of all the trucks on country roads not suited to consistent heavy truck use, and increasingly can’t even afford to buy a house within the centre of the city and have to sit in massive traffic full of trucks servicing the building industry that many overseas building and development firms in particular are profiting from.

    • savenz 12.1

      Not only that, as the 1.5 billion dollar company prospers, the locals effected will become poorer financially as well as socially, environmental etc, as the trucks will reduce the price of their houses and the ability to sell them, as few people will want to live on a relentless truck stop route.

      In short a small local example how free trade and globalism operates and why some the 0.01% are controlling all the wealth while the rest of world is becoming poorer.

      Under NZ RMA and ‘The environment (Development) court, amenity, in real terms environmental effects or financial effects of a resource decision are not given any weight. Therefore it is impossible currently to stop anything.

      NZ is a land to be raped for resources. It is set up by law.

      Only changing the RMA law to give equal weight for natural environment as well as local community being disadvantaged financially and socially to be considered as an effect, will make any difference, as currently (and bizarrely) this does not count as an effect in the legal consideration of environmental law in this country.

      That is why the ‘clean green’ image is such a joke. There is zero protection for that under law in this country and that is a much bigger earner for NZ (aka tourism) than destroying our amenity and economics to being a giant truck stop and minor mining operation.

      • cleangreen 12.1.1

        Agreed tracey and savenz,

        Absolutely a fine piece of editorial investigative journalism savenz .

        Please place this up as an article later so it shines for all (MPP’s to see the “real truth”) here please.

        Merry xmas.

        • savenz

          Merry Christmas to you Clean Green. I know you have had similar issues in your community. Stay well!

    • tracey 12.2

      Well written savenz. It is another rort in the making…

      Nats made builders personally liable but refused to make developers personally liable. And by builders they mean the one with the hammer not the executive of Fletcher Building…

      Guess who gets a swipe card to the 9th floor? Not the average builder

      • savenz 12.2.1

        I really hope the new government changes the RMA to protect NZ and the people in it. Something that voters will love because so many people are finding out they have little to zero legal protection when their community is threatened by someone or an organisation who just has to put in a resource consent. People are powerless in this country under the current rules.

        • tracey

          NZF hopes are pinned on rural and regional development. Labour are pretty middle of tge road( no pun intended) as shown by TPP, watered down Medical Cannabis Bill etc…

          • savenz

            Yes but the Natz voter in the provinces are the ones who are having all their resources extracted in many cases. Prime candidates for NZF to snap up if they can’t go to Labour or Greens.

            The system is broken and multinationals are hiding behind mum and dad farmers and orchardists to extract more and more resources but unlike the mum and dad farmers don’t actually live there or pay any taxes and are extracting a lot more resources with lawyers and accountants to pave the way.

            • savenz

              The farms and orchards are actually being sold off to offshore buyers because the prices and ability to sell produce through supermarkets and make profits is declining.

              Then the amount of new New Zealand citizens that National has granted in the last 9 years. Many of whom don’t actually live here or pay taxes (Peter Thiel comes to mind) but do manage to profit handsomely from this country, be able to use all the social support services like health and education if they choose too, buy prime property and takes away opportunity for local people to make money and spend it in the local economy.

              Then there are the new citizens who are earning below living wages subsidising employers and have to be topped up by the local taxpayers with jobs like beauty therapists, petrol attendants, chefs and level 5 IT support people. It really is a crazy system that has developed here by government plans when there are plenty un and under employed that could be working or being trained for those types of jobs and the employer should be paying a living wage and a 40 hour week.

      • savenz 12.2.2

        Thanks Tracy, Merry Christmas!

        On the builder note, that has also mean’t that the poorest now can’t get a builder in. Due to that and rulings if a builder works on an older house or leaky one, they can be prosecuted for subsequent issues even if they did not do, so it becomes more and more difficult to find a builder who will take on cheaper and older building work.

        The same with teachers, they have been hobbled by being forced to be liable for kids in their care, to the level that they are babysitters making sure they are safe rather than educating them like previous generations were educated.

        I saw a tree fell down on 4 children at a kindy, work safe is prosecuting 2 people . Don’t know the details but surely a tree blowing down in the wind is an act of god??? Soon there will be no teachers left as they have to worry about the trees and storms more than the kids education. Meanwhile 29 die at Pike river but nobody held to account.

    • patricia bremner 12.3

      Save New Zealand 12. Yes, there has been a consistent failure by authorities in developing regulations to cover contingencies. Sometimes a failure to use existing law quickly enough.

      The wellington Council, and the Rena debacle show how poor we are at collecting monies from contributing parties or insurance.

      Perhaps personal liability insurance should be mandatory for these plonkers so they take their roles more seriously.

      • savenz 12.3.1

        Even beyond having personal liability insurance which they no doubt have, is the question, is it in NZ long term interests to turn our country from clean green into a 3rd world truck stop and extraction operation for multinational corporations going about their business raping local resources which our council and government and laws are too weak to protect local interests?

    • mauī 12.4

      Appreciate your posts on this topic savenz.

      Not to pick on this digger driver, but it does sum a few things up for me with this building boom. Shoddy demolition work collapsing a wall on a neighbour’s house trapping someone inside.

      Pt Chevalier home demolition takes out a neighbouring house

      No accountability, no common sense, greed and stupidity affecting anyone in it’s wake.

      • tracey 12.4.1

        And is anyone surprised that we are seeing a rise in post chch earthquake repair failures?

        • savenz

          The new system has one registered builder signing off the work of dozens of cheap unskilled poorly supervised labourers on minimum or below minimum wages. Or the people don’t speak English and have fake qualifications to the point they can’t actually understand the plans or what is required and will be long gone if anyone is killed or injured by their work. They are spirited away if anything happens.

          They need to bring back ON THE JOB training (not tech courses) and make it easier to train locals who will answer to the community if their work is substandard. There needs to be less paper work and liability to the firm. Stop the imports so that firms have to hire local people and train them and make it easy for them to do that.

          • tracey

            Tech does both. Given the Building Act and Code I support Tech as an integral part of training. But a stronger focus on weeding out developers woukd help too. Cos they control the money and that often determines quality.

            savenz we now have builders in their 30s who I would not trust to train others given the climate they have been trained and i fluenced by

            • savenz

              I just think the whole Tech industry is providing some dodgy degrees. I know a great building apprentice who has dyslexia so can’t do the tech very well. I think the quality of the tech courses needs to be looked at as well as this has become more about bums on seats than quality courses in some instances. There should be ways local people can become builders or whatever with total on the job training. Maybe 2 tier system – who knows. Going through a tech degree means that the people have student debts that builders did not have 20 years ago.

              I heard even cleaners now are doing 1 year courses. It’s crazy putting them in debt when a 3 day course is all that should be needed and then 30% of 8 year olds can’t even write properly – god knows what the reading level is so again can’t get qualified for even low level courses and jobs and are on the scrap heap.

  13. savenz 13

    So next time you are stuck in a road block for repairing the roads which you will these holidays, bear in mind who that’s mostly for, the truck industry and the construction industry who seem solid contributors to the massive road maintenance bills and road blocks everywhere by their heavy loads, BUT also get to profit the most from it, by supplying the materials and labour for repairing the roads they are actually destroying on a daily basis.

    Then factor in, why NZ’s productivity is so low and the long term effects of that.

    • cleangreen 13.1

      My wife wrote this in the press recently about the highway 2 between Napier and Whakatane it is worth a read.

      About sharing the load
      Published: December 9, 2017 11:44AM


      Re: It’s time to value Gisborne’s railway, December 2 column.

      Thank you, Peter.

      Here are some facts to help quantify the benefits.

      An Ernst and Young report for the NZ Transport Agency in 2016 — The Value of Rail in New Zealand — put that value at $1.5 billion. The report was not made public until recently.

      A B-train (truck with two trailers) wears out the road 20,000 times more than a car, and we know that the local roading authorities are struggling to keep up with the maintenance on the road. I travel the Gisborne to Napier route often and am fed up with the constant wheel alignments necessary from the potholes and sunken bridges.

      Then there are the externalities — the consequences of an economic activity experienced by unrelated third parties: the social and environmental cost of increasing heavy trucks and reducing rail use.

      The Ministry of Transport has put the social cost of each road death at $4.5 million, and a crash involving serious injuries at $473,600.

      Living near a busy road increases the risk of premature death by 7 percent, increasing the risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, dementia, childhood diabetes, asthma, allergies etc.

      A diesel truck pollutes up to 1000 times more than a car.

      One truck tyre sheds 10 times the amount of one car tyre.
      Each truck tyre sheds 0.21 g/km of tyre compound (butadiene styrene); that is 5.46 g/km for a 26-wheel vehicle.

      Road run-off accounts for 40-50 percent of urban metal contamination to aquatic ecosystems.

      It’s not a matter of being anti trucks, it’s about sharing the load. Even the Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley, as well as local transport operators, are saying they can’t cope with the increasing freight task and may have to turn work away.


      Bob Hughes – 1 day ago
      No contest
      Rail as our main land transport method is the best long-term choice economically. It is also number one humanitarian, environmental, moral, and climate change choice as well.
      Thank you Janet and Peter.

      Delwyn Arthur – 20 hours ago
      Good facts Janet – I wonder how many times they have to be repeated to be taken as seriously as they deserve.

    • cleangreen 13.2

      savenz Here is my parners letter to the paper about this.

      About sharing the load
      Published: December 9, 2017 11:44AM


      Re: It’s time to value Gisborne’s railway, December 2 column.

      Thank you, Peter.

      Here are some facts to help quantify the benefits.

      An Ernst and Young report for the NZ Transport Agency in 2016 — The Value of Rail in New Zealand — put that value at $1.5 billion. The report was not made public until recently.

      A B-train (truck with two trailers) wears out the road 20,000 times more than a car, and we know that the local roading authorities are struggling to keep up with the maintenance on the road. I travel the Gisborne to Napier route often and am fed up with the constant wheel alignments necessary from the potholes and sunken bridges.

      Then there are the externalities — the consequences of an economic activity experienced by unrelated third parties: the social and environmental cost of increasing heavy trucks and reducing rail use.

      The Ministry of Transport has put the social cost of each road death at $4.5 million, and a crash involving serious injuries at $473,600.

      Living near a busy road increases the risk of premature death by 7 percent, increasing the risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, dementia, childhood diabetes, asthma, allergies etc.

      A diesel truck pollutes up to 1000 times more than a car.

      One truck tyre sheds 10 times the amount of one car tyre.
      Each truck tyre sheds 0.21 g/km of tyre compound (butadiene styrene); that is 5.46 g/km for a 26-wheel vehicle.

      Road run-off accounts for 40-50 percent of urban metal contamination to aquatic ecosystems.

      It’s not a matter of being anti trucks, it’s about sharing the load. Even the Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley, as well as local transport operators, are saying they can’t cope with the increasing freight task and may have to turn work away.


      Bob Hughes – 1 day ago
      No contest
      Rail as our main land transport method is the best long-term choice economically. It is also number one humanitarian, environmental, moral, and climate change choice as well.
      Thank you Janet and Peter.

      Delwyn Arthur – 20 hours ago
      Good facts Janet – I wonder how many times they have to be repeated to be taken as seriously as they deserve.

      • savenz 13.2.1

        Gosh scary stuff,.. do you have any links to the studies?

        A B-train (truck with two trailers) wears out the road 20,000 times more than a car

        Road run-off accounts for 40-50 percent of urban metal contamination to aquatic ecosystems.

        Living near a busy road increases the risk of premature death by 7 percent, increasing the risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, dementia, childhood diabetes, asthma, allergies etc.

        The Ministry of Transport has put the social cost of each road death at $4.5 million, and a crash involving serious injuries at $473,600.

        A diesel truck pollutes up to 1000 times more than a car.

        One truck tyre sheds 10 times the amount of one car tyre.

        • cleangreen

          Savenz here is the real scary stuff on today’s climate change blogs about what we all should be doing and if we dont……

          We sent the letter to the Government ministers today for a physicslesson so they get the “real facts” enjoy this;

          Public COMMUNITY letter;
          21st December 2017.

          Dear Ministers, Physics discussion.
          Climate change.

          Please consider this physics discussion we are having on the climate change situation and some steps you can use to control emissions.

          Less chlorine in our water also please, as it is toxic read here.
          Less trucks & more electric rail is required to lessen the emissions of alkenes from internal combustion engines.
          Rail must be used far more here in our regions of HB/Gisborne please.
          (Please read our physics discussion below here we have today on the social media.)

          Warmest regards,

          My blog of the day.

          I so much admire your knowledge AFEWKNOWTHETRUTH.

          “Removing large quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in a short time is chemically impossible. (It’s all to do with bond energies, entropy and enthalpy, the foundation of chemical reactivity.)”

          This is so correct as there they changes in all chemical structures during weather conditions, in the presence of salt sea spray, and sunlight for example in the presence of certain chemicals such as traces of chlorine.

          The changes in chemical structures is called “substitution reaction” and is the hallmark of learning science and is covered in the “common law of physics” in ‘General Chemistry.’
          “Scientific American” by PW Atkins Oxford University. Page 851

          “Substitution reaction is a reaction in which an atom or a group of atoms is substituted for an atom in a reactant molecule”

          For an alkane, The displaced is a hydrogen atom(7)
          An example is the reaction between methane and chorine.
          A mixture of these two substances is stable in the dark but in the sunlight when exposed to ultra-violet radiation or when they are heated they react.

          Their action does not only produce chloromethane but instead leads to a mixture that also contains dichloromethane, and trichloromethane and tetrachloromethane..

          Trichloromethane better known as ‘chloroform’ was one of the early anaesthetics.

          Tetrachloromethane which was commonly called ‘carbon tetrachloride’ as been used as a solvent and in fire extinguishers however the realisation that it is toxic has limited its use.” unquote.

          So we are in a real pickle now are we not, and we all need to get serious before we all are toxic and poisoned as I was 25yrs ago.

          Less trucks & more electric rail is required to lessen the emissions of alkenes from internal combustion engines.

  14. joe90 14

    I’ve always wondered when The Stand would become reality.

    The US government on Tuesday lifted a ban on making lethal viruses, saying the research is necessary to “develop strategies and effective countermeasures against rapidly evolving pathogens that pose a threat to public health.”

    Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, made the announcement, in which he outlined a new framework for the controversial research. The work with three viruses can now go forward, but only if a scientific review panel determines that the benefits outweigh the risks.


  15. patricia bremner 15

    Save New Zealand 12. Yes, there has been a consistent failure by authorities in developing regulations to cover contingencies. Sometimes a failure to use existing law quickly enough.

    The wellington Council, and the Rena debacle show how poor we are at collecting monies from contributing parties or insurance.

    Perhaps personal liability insurance should be mandatory for these plonkers so they take their roles more seriously.

  16. tracey 16

    For those who think NS are the only way to know how your child is doing read this article and Chris Hipkins report. As a 9 year old what more do you need to know?

    Who cares if he reads better than other kids or not. They are children. Are they kind? Are the inquisitive?

    Surely that is what matters.

    I have recently been involved in a Review for a large organisation. As part of writing it I gathered research on what employers are looking for. And guess what? It is NOT the grades it is

    Communication skills
    Team work
    Problem solving

    The so called “soft skills”.


    • BM 16.1

      That’s on top of being able to read and write.

      None of those skills mean jack if the employee can’t read or write at an acceptable level.

      • roy cartland 16.1.1

        You don’t need a government app to tell you your children can’t read. A word to the teacher is simple, and it ticks the old ‘personal responsibility’ box.

        • BM

          Missing your point there Roy?

          • tracey

            And you raised under the 3Rs BM? Cannot grasp his simple point tgat NS didnt deliver what you just complained of.

          • roy cartland

            NS is about giving parents the ‘freedom’ to engage the least, and receive the broadest, most simplified info about how the child is supposed to be doing. NAT is constantly trumpeting parental responsibility but NS is just the opposite. A formula for what occurs in a group is really no use to the individual.

            • tracey

              Yup. It is part of the “life is a game” mentality and I need to know if my child is winning and I define their success as how many people they are better than. Picture me rolling my eyes Roy.

              • roy cartland

                Exactly and a ‘standard’ implies that there is only one right way to go about life. It’s great if you want to create a generation of corporate-friendly, productivity-rated units, but unhelpful for an actual person.

            • BM

              A lot of parents don’t engage with their kids when it comes to education.
              They expect the teacher to teach their child because that’s the teacher’s job, not theirs.

              This is where National Standards were useful.

              BTW, the parents I’m talking about aren’t usually National voters.

              • savenz

                Absolute rubbish – National standards teach nothing. They just test and the teacher spends more time documenting than teaching. When they find anything out no funding or extra well trained teachers seem available to catch any kids up. It’s crazy.

                As for the reporting back to parents. In the old days around 10 subjects were listed and a grade for effort and a grade for achievement. So much better at reporting than national standards which does not show where your child is, just above or below some stupid standard produced by plonkers at the ministry and then smily faces for Te Reo and other subjects.Maybe no standard for Te Reo who knows what the hell going on in the primary schools.

                Language used to be split into written and oral. Now just written. Pretty sure that most employers want someone who can speak competently too! (or maybe that’s not necessary in the modern world where people are farmed like cattle and sent around the world to work for minimum or below wages) that the local taxpayers subsidise.

      • tracey 16.1.2

        NS have not impacted on those skills BM. That being the case what is your point?

        • AB

          Wealthy conservative voters want an education system that will make it easier for them to entrench privilege and pass it on to their children. They need to know where their children sit in comparison to others and based on that, do they need to pay for tutors, change to a ‘better’ school (hence league tables) or go private if funds allow? NS appealed because it appears to give the information to drive those decisions.

          • savenz

            The main reasons National standards were bought in were to break the teachers unions by making teachers use performance pay based on the National standard data. Then once the teachers unions out of way, more privatisation of the public school system and money siphoned away from kids and into the pockets of the administrators.

            Even the right wing thicko’s know that National standards don’t work – all statistics show it.

  17. alwyn 17

    I have now discovered that the old saw “Military Intelligence is an oxymoron” is really true”
    How did Andrew Little persuade the former head of the Army to take on the Pike River job?
    The guy is either stupid or Little has guaranteed that no attempt to enter the mine will be considered. Would you take on a job where you have no say in approving an entry but you are going to face the Courts if something goes wrong?
    I suspect he has been promised that in another year or two Little will announce that re-entry is impossible. Just drag it out until everyone has forgotten what he, Winston and the Green Party promised.

    • cleangreen 17.1

      Alwyn I am not convinced you are correct here, as any politician now needs to demonstrate that they have covered every choice/option before they jump, ‘so to speak’
      If Andrew little had not asked the military to give their input can you guess what would happen next??

      Yes you guessed it; – we all would have another barrage of screams from the ‘opposition National party’ who will cite ‘MP Little as being incometent for not considering the military in the mix’; – do you see this happening?

      Either way little will be seen as covering every base firstly, this is not a ‘stupid move’.

      I am in agreement with you; – that labour must honour what he & Winston and the Green Party promised.
      Merry xmas.

      • alwyn 17.1.1

        This isn’t really involving the military in the project. The guy is the retired former head of the Army.
        The military are probably the best people to talk to about how to work around IEDs which, lets face it, the mine is. I doubt if a retired Major General is the appropriate person to talk to though. Any time he spent in such circumstances is many years in the past. I expect they have genuine experts but they are probably Warrant Officers.
        No it is getting some mug to accept a job where he can be sent to jail for carrying out some task that someone else has ordered that amazes me. That is the stupid move, and it is stupidity on the part of the ex-General. Little’s action isn’t stupid. It shows a great degree of low cunning.
        I wonder how much General Plod is being paid to be muggins in the dock?

        • McFlock

          Actually, knowing how to draw the line between acceptable and not acceptable despite one’s instructions is and should be part and parcel of life as a military commander. That’s why I could see the logic in the appointment – he’s already worked under those exact conditions, where he could be personally liable if people under his command die because he failed to live up to his responsibilities.

          What terrifies you, he’s already spent a career working with.

    • tracey 17.2

      Perhaps he put a principle he holds ahead of his legal liability? There are a few on this issue prepared to run tgat gau tlet cos they believe re entering is the right thing to do?

      I dont agree with all the money being spent on this but I can understand someone being prepared to accept legal consequence for their principles? Can you truly not think of a situatuon where you might?

      • alwyn 17.2.1

        Of course I can imagine accepting legal consequences for doing something my principles cause me to do.
        However that is what Little, Peters and Shaw should be doing. They are the ones who promised to re-enter the mine.
        Instead they are palming it off on somebody who had nothing to do with it and is going to be landed with taking the punishment for something stupid that Little may do.
        Little, Peters and Shaw are certainly not taking any responsibility are they?
        I wonder if they have promised him an immediate pardon if something were to go wrong and he got charged?

  18. amirite 18

    Yet another proof that there’s one law for those in power and the rich, and another for the rest of us. If you’re the former, you don’t have to cooperate with the cops, ever.

    Police reinvestigating disgraced ex-MP Todd Barclay concluded in their final report there were “credible witnesses” and “reasonable grounds to suspect” he recorded a former employee, newly-released documents show https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/12/19/70082/grounds-to-suspect-barclay-made-recording-police

  19. Ad 19

    Tony Veitch is leaving ZB.


  20. joe90 20

    Blackmail as foreign policy,

    Taking a less-than-diplomatic tone, Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., on Tuesday night threatened member states who are considering voting in favor of a non-binding resolution deriding President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    In a scathing tweet, Haley vowed that the United States “will be taking names” on Thursday’s vote, which will take place at an emergency meeting of the council.


    Trump on Wednesday followed up on Haley’s threat by saying the United States would cut off aid to countries who vote in favor of Thursday’s draft resolution, which calls on the United States to reverse its decision on Jerusalem.

    “They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Trump told reporters at the White House,” said Trump, according to Reuters.


  21. Morrissey 21

    No. 4: ALLAN NAIRN

    His speciality being US-backed atrocities, Nairn has reported from the charnel houses of Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala and Indonesia. He’s openly challenged Henry Kissinger; helped bring American proxies to trial; exposed the US-training of death squads in El Salvador and Haiti; and in Guatemala he filmed what later turned out to be the country’s current president casually talking about his role in the 1980s highland genocide. Often, the irony is that those he exposes can’t kill or torture Nairn because he’s a US citizen, which would put their American aid at risk. With the insurance that comes along with his blue passport, he’s goaded Washington-approved jackboots and the suits that approve them.

    “In 1990 I went to then-occupied East Timor. Timor was actually the scene of the most intensive proportional genocide since the Nazis. A third of the Timorese population was killed, or died of hunger and disease. The military invaded Timor with a personal green-light from President Ford and Henry Kissinger. When I first went there in 1990 it was still under military occupation. That was actually the worst, most intense terror I have seen anywhere in the world. Guatemala in 1980 approaches it, but nothing close to what was going in Timor at the time.”



    “Heroes” is a series devoted to those courageous and brilliant people who show us that, in a world seemingly run by flag-fetishists, cowards, conformists, crooks, abusers, scoundrels, embedded churnalists, mass murderers and liars, there are still reasons for optimism.

    No. 1 Edward Snowden, No. 2 Gideon Levy, No. 3 Colin Kaepernick

    Produced by Daisycutter Sports Inc.

  22. Morrissey 22

    No. 19: Damian Green

    Damian Green, one of Theresa May’s closest allies, has been sacked from the cabinet after an inquiry found he had breached the ministerial code. He was “asked to quit” after he was found to have made “inaccurate and misleading” statements about what he knew about claims pornography was found on a computer in his office in 2008. He apologised for this and for making writer Kate Maltby feel uncomfortable.


    Mr Green’s political future has been in question since journalist and Conservative activist Ms Maltby suggested he had behaved inappropriately towards her in an article last month for the Times. She claimed the minister “fleetingly” touched her knee in a pub in 2015 and in 2016 sent her a “suggestive” text message which left her feeling “awkward, embarrassed and professionally compromised”.

    Mr Green, who is an acquaintance of the journalist’s parents, said the claims were “hurtful” and “completely false”. But they were referred to the Cabinet Office for investigation by a top civil servant – who is examining other claims that emerged during a swirl of allegations about harassment and other misconduct at Westminster.


    “GROPERS” is presented by GroperWatch®, a division of Daisycutter Sports Inc.
    No.1 George Herbert Walker Bush; No. 2 Bill O’Reilly; No. 3 Al Franken; No. 4 Robin Brooke; No. 5 Lester Beck; No. 6 Arnold Schwarzenegger; No. 7 Joe Biden; No. 8 Rolf Harris; No. 9 Harold Bloom; No. 10 Sir Jimmy Savile; No. 11 Dr Morgan Fahey; No.12 Prince Harry; No. 13 Bill Clinton; No.14 Judge Roy Moore; No. 15 Matt Lauer; No. 16 Richard Branson; No. 17 Warren Moon; No. 18 Donald John Trump

    (Hat tip to Maggy Wassilieff)

  23. The Hard Math Behind Bitcoin’s Global Warming Problem

    Let me freak you out for a second. You know what bitcoin is, right? I mean, no, but quickly, it’s a “cryptocurrency” that’s basically secret computer money. One bitcoin, which doesn’t actually have a real, physical form, is worth at this moment upwards of $16,000. But to get one, you either have to buy them from online exchanges or use specialized computing hardware to “mine” it. That last bit is where the freak-out comes in.

    In a report last week, the cryptocurrency website Digiconomics said that worldwide bitcoin mining was using more electricity than Serbia. The country. Writing for Grist, Eric Holthaus calculated that by July 2019, the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network—remember BitTorrent? Like that—would require more electricity than all of the United States. And by November of 2020, it’d use more electricity than the entire world does today.

    It won’t get that bad but it’s a concern that it’s already as bad as it is in uselessly using up scarce resources. And that’s before we get to the problem of private currencies and the effect that they have upon economies. Private currencies always crash economies. Making them crypto-currencies won’t actually change that.

    • David Mac 23.1

      Yep, I get the feeling the bitcoin thing is nearing that stage: ‘When your Uber driver is telling you to buy, it’s time to jump out.’

      I see it took a 15% tumble overnight. It’s at that stage of the cycle when competitors just need to find a strong enough magnet to draw players to their crypto currency.

      This from a key bitcoin player…

      ” It comes after the co-founder of the Bitcoin.com website and bitcoin cash backer Emil Oldenburg announced he had sold his entire bitcoin stash, describing the original bitcoin as “virtually unusable” as a currency due to high fees and long wait times.”


  24. Facebook sends Ars takedown notice from Pink Floyd over NASA audio

    On Wednesday, Ars received an official notice via our Facebook page that one of our videos was in apparent violation of Pink Floyd’s copyright. According to the takedown notice, just a six-second portion of our video was infringing. When we clicked the link to see, it turned out that Pink Floyd was upset about six seconds of audio that we had taken from an official NASA recording that we pulled from the Internet Archive.
    Here at Ars, we’ve been reporting on intellectual property disputes for some time. We know we’re in the right here. In fact, this isn’t the first time that NASA videos have been subject to erroneous copyright claims.

    As a United States government work, there are no commercial copyright protections on that recording, so neither Pink Floyd nor anyone else can assert a copyright claim over them. So, we’ll chalk this one up to an honest algorithmic mistake.

    Which sounds all very nice and reasonable conclusion but there’s this comment on the bottom:

    Just to be clear—and I think this is probably a strategic move by Pink Floyd, et al.—they did not send a DMCA takedown. Instead, they used Facebook’s system to make a complaint. Had they gone the DMCA route, that would have left them open to a DMCA misuse claim under section 512(f).

    And from that we can come to a couple of conclusions:
    1. IP is going to be very expensive and probably very lucrative to some lawyers.
    2. People’s free-speech is going to be impacted as bots trawl the internet and throwing out false claims.

  25. Morrissey 25

    Ivanka Trump visits a school, to the anger of many parents


  26. joe90 26

    The winter Olympics ain’t happening

    America is drawing up plans for a “bloody nose” military attack on North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons programme, The Telegraph understands.

    The White House has “dramatically” stepped up preparation for a military solution in recent months amid fears diplomacy is not working, well-placed sources said.


    edit: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DRiO6X4V4AI2xqv.jpg

  27. North 27


    You mean the rockstar is reduced to this? ‘Smile ‘n’ Wave’ corrupted into ‘Smile ‘n’ Wave ‘n’ Pay’. Poor John Key Man!

  28. Sabine 28

    tax cuts for thee but not for me……her emails, and sanctity of life before birth and right after birth a pair of gumboots and boot straps.


  29. joe90 29


    (he’s a Koch)

    can't look away pic.twitter.com/J88UwJ8eY2— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) December 20, 2017

  30. eco maori 30

    There you go the lakes council has installed the ambulance at the bottom of the hill using nets to contain algae the sud have had a nutrient budget set for there farmers years ago now they are trying to make it look like they value our lakes well if they did value our lakes and water they would have made laws to protect our water there inaction shows that they are looking after there farmer m8 instead of our best interests safe clean water. I went to the doctor yesterday she was asking unseral questions everyone was nervous I wonder why. I’m putting in a good word for a young Maori man in business in Rotorua he runs All tyres it on water road he has good service and will give you a competitive price it awesome to see our young Maori climbing high up there ladder of life Ka kite ano

  31. Koff 31

    Had a message from Greenpeace NZ about the govt approving a new permit to explore for oil and gas off the Taranaki Coast yesterday but can’t find any link to news about it. Have I missed something?

    Here is the message:

    “Yesterday afternoon, the Government announced a new oil and gas exploration permit has been awarded just off the South Taranaki Coast, in the critically endangered Māui dolphin habitat.

    This shouldn’t be happening.

    At this time of climate crisis, we should be transitioning away from fossil fuels, not searching for more. Yet our Government has just given away more NZ ocean to be pillaged for the next twelve years.

    I’m feeling pretty gutted by this news and I suspect a lot other people feel the same way. People feel let down and like the new Government isn’t really listening. 

But if we speak as one – we can make them listen.

    Tell us how you feel here, in one word, and we’ll send the Government your feedback in a word cloud greeting card made up of all our views. My word is ‘change’.

    The Government swept to power on the promise of bold action on climate change. But yesterday’s news hit like a bombshell, and it’s important the Government realises that. If they can see how unpopular this move is, they’ll be less likely to repeat it.

    This permit must be the last. If the Government is serious about its bold claims to tackle climate change, then the search for more fossil fuels has to end. And that begins with no more oil and gas permits being awarded.

    By strange coincidence, on the very same day as our Government awarded a new oil and gas exploration permit, France declared an immediate ban on all new oil and gas exploration permits in French territory. They also announced that they’ll stop all existing extraction and production by 2040.

    If France – the nation that belligerently fought against us in the ‘80s to continue nuclear testing in the Pacific – can be a leader on this, then so can New Zealand. We should have been ahead of the curve, but now we must follow their lead and begin the necessary transition to a renewable future.

    Maintaining the status quo is no longer an option if we have any hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

    PM Jacinda Ardern has called climate change her generation’s ‘nuclear-free moment.’

    Going nuclear free meant taking real leadership, standing up to the world’s superpowers, and saying “no” to the nuclear ships. By the same token, leading on climate change means saying no to the oil ships, no to more exploration, no full stop. It means standing up to Big Oil.

    The oil industry’s time in the sun is over. The resistance to fossil fuel expansion is here, and it’s snowballing.

    In just over a week, there’ll be a rally at sea against the Amazon Warrior – the world’s largest seismic survey ship, which is currently blasting for oil off our coastline. Please join the team in Taranaki if you can.

    In the meantime, tell us how you feel about this latest permit.

    Kia Kaha,

    Kate, and the whole crew at Greenpeace”

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    The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first major announcement to follow the release of the Climate Commission’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Continued investment in Central Otago schools supports roll growth
    Six projects, collectively valued at over $70 million are delivering new schools, classrooms and refurbished buildings across Central Otago and are helping to ease the pressure of growing rolls in the area, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. The National Education Growth Plan is making sure that sufficient capacity in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago