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Open mike 21/02/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 21st, 2010 - 30 comments
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30 comments on “Open mike 21/02/2010 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    Jobs to go at Bleinheim’s Safe Air Factory because of delays.


    My question is:

    If the only reason these jobs are being lost is because of “delays” .

    Then what is happening at Safe Air, is a textbook case for a Nine Day Fortnight to protect jobs,


    The jobs are still there,

    There has only been a delay,

    If this scheme is not applied to protect jobs at Safe Air, then serious questions need to be asked of Key and his government.

    Was John Key misleading the unions and the public in the commitment he gave at the Job Summit to this scheme?

    Like the cycle way is the NDF only a cynical PR stunt to mislead the public into thinking that this government is doing something about unemployment?

    • The Voice of Reason 1.1

      Sadly, the original proposal for the nine day fortnight was watered down by the Government and it is not an attractive scheme for either employees or employers. The delay at Safe Air is years not weeks or months, so the minor tinkering the scheme allows does not solve the problem.

      You’re right to ask if its a cynical PR stunt. It is, like most things this Government does, too little, too late and lacking any vision.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        Hi VOR, can you provide the link to, or details on, the length of the delay.

        Thanks J.

        • The Voice of Reason

          A quick search around ‘safe air’ and ‘news’ should get the detail, Jenny, but as I understand it, it’s an ongoing contract to work on our Hercules fleet that Safe Air is having difficulty with, due to a delay with other work being done on the planes in the States.

          Until the planes are fixed there, they can’t be worked on here.


          • Jenny

            Thanks for that VOR, I see that there has already been a delay of 2 and half years, and according to the, Ministry of Defence deputy secretary for acquisitions Des Ashton, “….. it may be another three or four months before the software bugs were ironed out and the two upgraded aircraft were fully operational.”

            VOR you’re right, even though the delay is only a matter of months, the Nine Day Fortnight scheme, as it is presently set out, is wholly inadequate to the task of saving these workers jobs.

            As advertised the NDF is only budgeted to pay wages at the rate of the minimum wage for one day a fortnight, for 6 months.

            Under the NDF agreement, the National Government has agreed to a budget only enough to pay for the wages of workers facing redundancy at the rate of the minimum wage for two days per month for 6 months. Or put to put it a simpler way, 12 days pay at the minimum wage.

            In the case of Safe Air, $12.75 p/h, for an 8 hour day, for 12 days, times a 100 workers, this would only come to a total bill to the government of $122,400.

            Of course without lifting a finger the government could keep this money in their pocket.

            But for a bit more extra over this agreed amount, these 100 well paid workers if they are able to keep their jobs, would be able to pay back this principle and any extra amount and probably many times over that from their taxes within a year, (or even less) this would leave the government with a net gain. (not to mention the money their continuing wages will bring into the community.)

            I realise now, that the amount of money available under the NDF, even if it was paid to these workers as a lump sum, would still leave a big short fall in their incomes to bridge the three or four months before these planes arrive, ready for Safe Air to begin their work.

            But, taking into account the fact that the NDF as it was originally budgeted for, is vastly undersubscribed and that Safe Air themselves may agree to dip into their working capital to help make up some of the difference to be able to do this work, and that the workers, also may agree to use some of their holiday pay up;

            I refuse to see why something can’t be done.

            All it needs is a bit of good will and imagination from the government, and these jobs at least could be saved.

            For instance if as well as increasing the pitiful NDF subsidy and consider paying it as a lump sum, I think, if the Ministers put their thinking caps on, they could find some real world solutions. For instance, the government owns Air New Zealand, couldn’t they for a couple of months at least, put some ANZ work, Safe Air’s way.

            So how about it Prime Minister?

            At the end of the day the work on these aircraft will still have to be done. The only difference will be, that as well as having bigger dole queues to support, taxpayers will have to shell out, for some overseas company to do the work.

            In my opinion this would definitely expose a serious lack of imagination and leadership and judgement from your government.

            And would confirm in my mind at least, that as various writers here at The Standard have claimed, your government is not concerned about rising unemployment at all. And that you, Prime Minister are quite happy to sit on your hands and do nothing concrete about it, except hold phoney Job Summits where you can, look concerned and peddle sincere sounding platitudes about saving jobs with cycle-ways.

            • Jenny

              I had overlooked the fact that the NDF is paid to all the workers at a company facing redundancies to take time off, and so share the lesser amount of work around. So in a case like Safe Air if they took up this offer, the Government will agree to pay up to 3 times my original figure of $122,400.

              At $367,200 this is about what the government would have to pay in dole payments to the 100 anyway over the same period.

              Considering that many of them may be out of work for much longer than 6 months, it would still be a bargain at three times the price to keep these jobs in Blenheim, as it has been estimated that these 100 jobs deliver $8 million into the Blenheim economy annually.

              For the government to take no action to save these jobs will be a false economy.

    • Mac1 1.2

      The Safe jobs were lost through a hundred workers being hired in anticipation of a big contract. There were delays and enough work could not be found to keep these employed. The local mayor gave the one only contract as being the issue, Wayne Mapp, as Minister of Defence, blamed the US contractor as did the Air NZ spokeswoman and a Defence employee, (a former Safe General manager), blamed software problems.

      The local National MP blamed the previous Labour government, of course, for the quality of the contracts. He, like a good troll, did not come up with any evidence for that assertion. I’m not holding my breath that he will respond to the challenge on that one.

      Safe Air are a leading firm. A hundred jobs lost means $8 million in wages per annum will be lost to the local economy and families gone from the district- all the attendant flow on effects will disadvantage the area.

      A nine day fortnight would not save things, unfortunately, I believe.

  2. RedLogix 2

    I’ve been following this blog for a while. Mental health warning: it’s not good for morale. On the other hand he’s pulled together a lot of information I’d be unlikely to find on my own, and the reality is still looking grim.

    • Angry Grandson 2.1

      thanxz RL

    • Bill 2.2

      And ‘everybody’ knows this.

      Unfortunately, some who try to articulate and generally make sense of it all slap into a mental flunk, can see no horizon to move towards and consequently do things like fly their planes into buildings…or shoot the boss…or the family…or..

      And the media writes them off as mad, bad losers …and a reality denied whooshes over the head of institutional comprehension like a low flying jet.

      Anyway, so how to pierce the noise, dust and general chaos of collapse and perceive clear spaces or horizons we can move towards as an alternative to directionless impotent rage ripping out our insides?

      Where are the readily accessible alternatives that people might choose to hitch their hopes and aspirations to being articulated and promulgated? Where are our movements? Are we really as devoid of ideas and vision…so chained to this way that things are… as our TINA media would have us believe?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1


        It’s when the same logic is applied to the industrial world, though, that Schumacher’s ideas become relevant to the project of this blog. If, as I’ve suggested, the United States (and, in due time, the rest of the world’s industrial nations) have begun a descent to Third World status, thinking designed for the Third World may be a good deal more applicable here and now than the conventional wisdom might suggest. It seems utterly improbable to me that the governments of today’s industrial powers will have the foresight, or for that matter the common sense, to realize that economic policies that deliberately increase the number of people earning a living might be a very good idea in an age of pervasive structural unemployment or, for that matter, to glimpse the unraveling of the industrial age, and realize that within a finite amount of time, the choice will no longer be between high-tech and low-tech ways of manufacturing goods, but between low-tech ways and no way at all. Still, national governments are not the only players in the game.

        So, you’ll probably want to read E. F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful to fully appreciate what he’s saying.

      • RedLogix 2.2.2

        directionless impotent rage ripping out our insides?

        It’s not a good place to be, but nowhere else seems sane. That’s why I’ve been posting a lot less lately…. the Tararuas are pretty much my last refuge. But even now the pricks want to sell it off.

  3. Anne 3

    Helen Clark on Q&A strongly opposed the government’s plan to mine parts of our conservation estate. As a New Zealander she has every right to take a stand on a matter of principle like this, but you watch the howls of protest from the wing-nuts accusing her of interference and much worse…

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      The wing-nuts like to think of themselves as always being right so when they get their ideas condemned, especially by someone who has such status as HC, they’ll feel all hurt and throw a hissy fit. You’ll also note that one of their complaints basically boils down to but she got that position through us so she should be showing far more gratitude.

  4. I found some more video about Anne Tolley’s trainwreck of an appearance in Parliament this week.

    The video is here.


  5. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3354558/Pack-assault-cop-lucky-to-be-alive

    i figured it was a white cop and brown pack ?…interesting how he was also a brit ? reckon it woulda happened if the cop had been of the same culture as the pack ?…doubt it

    “O’Connor called on the government “to instil in offenders that an assault on police officers is more than an assault on the individual, it’s an assault on the security of society”.

    yeah yeah…blood on the streets and cops are the frontline protecting society, but whose society are they protecting ?

    I mean look at that piece of shit kiwi cop show where they target poor drunk mostly brown people ? You think that shit helps ? Pulling over poor people in junked out cars and parading them on national TV for not having vehicles with warrants and rego’s, giving em tickets they can’t afford to pay cos if they can’t get the car fixed, how the fuck you expect em to pay the fine ? and the reason they can’t get the car fixed is cos it’s not part of the weekly budget. too busy spending what little they have on food and clothes. So what…poverty is a crime now ?

    Why dont we see TV cops busting white collar criminals ?


    Cos thats the culture and society they protect, the one that allows taggers to be stabbed, bank robbers and drunk hit and run drivers to get home detention, handicapped charity fraudsters to be bailed to million dollar homes, sexual fiends to get names supressed, cop rapists histories to be wiped, politicians rorting the system. That’s the culture and society the law favours by judges who buy into the cultural elitism cos they are of their kind ? Not attacking that culture is to allow it, by a tacit agreement of cultural silence, to propagate and afford it the security thats not warranted.

    You want a change and vision then show us how that vision is applied fairly and i don’t mean hanging the odd brown poly ala Taito Field out to dry either. You want us to own the problem then let us own the solution. Maybe ‘whanau ora’ is the answer in our case but whats yours ?…More cops, more jails, more TV shows, more distractions.

    Y’all need to step and own that shit or step the fuck off cos there’s plenty more where that came from and the generational timebomb is ticking !

    • Zorr 5.1


      I have been watching your comments for a while now pollywog and was watching them approach the point where I would actually feel compelled to say something.

      “I mean look at that piece of shit kiwi cop show where they target poor drunk mostly brown people ? You think that shit helps ? Pulling over poor people in junked out cars and parading them on national TV for not having vehicles with warrants and rego’s, giving em tickets they can’t afford to pay cos if they can’t get the car fixed, how the fuck you expect em to pay the fine ? and the reason they can’t get the car fixed is cos it’s not part of the weekly budget. too busy spending what little they have on food and clothes. So what poverty is a crime now ?”

      If you don’t have the money to have a car that is both registered and warranted, I have a very good suggestion. What about the bus? I have been in that situation previously where the money to get repairs+rego+WOF have been out of my league and I eventually got the expected slap on the wrist for it. Lesson learnt: ride the bus until I had enough money to afford to drive the car I owned. Also, if they are drunk and driving – screw them, they deserve to be ridiculed for being drunk drivers, I have absolutely no tolerance for them.

      The reason we don’t see cops busting white collar crims is because they are notoriously difficult to prove and prosecute. Often, when such a case does make it to the courts, it has come about due to a whistleblower or employer complaint and not actually an initial investigation by the police. It becomes the jurisdiction of the courts and lawyers at that point and considerably out of the hands of the police.

      “Y’all need to step and own that shit or step the fuck off cos there’s plenty more where that came from and the generational timebomb is ticking !”

      In the entire time you have been posting here you have attempted to advance the position of polynesians in NZ society (even going so far as to include Maoris in your catch all) without actually providing any actual answers to the questions you raise about our current society. If I may ask, what timebomb is this? We going to have our own LA riots? Or maybe someone is going to get really pissed off and mail an angry letter to the editor in their local paper? I have known enough “polynesians” to know that, as a majority, the mix of ethnicities implicit in that label often don’t see themselves as part of the same community, in the same way you can’t lump all “asians” together. I feel all you are doing is attempting to stir up a racial divide to benefit yourself in a very selfish fashion. All the people I respect don’t spend their time tearing down buildings but instead go around building bridges, maybe it is time you changed your focus?

      • Quoth the Raven 5.1.1

        If you don’t have the money to have a car that is both registered and warranted, I have a very good suggestion. What about the bus? I have been in that situation previously where the money to get repairs+rego+WOF have been out of my league and I eventually got the expected slap on the wrist for it. Lesson learnt: ride the bus until I had enough money to afford to drive the car I owned.

        I have been in the exact same situation and have got the slap on the wrist. Reg/wof just makes living for the poor more difficult. It just another example of the kinds of costs that government puts on poor people for being poor. Unfortunately public transport is not available for everyone in this country and it entails its own cost and the difficulties that private transport doesn’t have and poor people of course do work hard and it’s simply condescending to say “I worked hard enough to own a beemer why can’t you”.

        • Zorr

          My issue came from the fact that for the majority of my adult life I have been living on what would be considered “the poverty line”. I have also only ever owned 1 car, an old ’87 (?) Toyota Corolla that I got for a song and I find it very condescending for you to assume that because I hold the opinion that I do that I must own an expensive car.

          Argue against the status quo all you want, the reality of the current situation is that if you drive without a warrant or rego you should be aware that you are running the risks of fines if you are pulled over. I would also choose to disagree that it is a cost put on the poor for being poor – it is a cost put on drivers for providing safe driving conditions, a minimum standard of vehicle safety, road works, ACC and some more I probably don’t know about. Next you’ll be saying that we unfairly “tax” those who don’t wear seatbelts or who use their cellphones while driving.

          The big issue here is not that poor people are poor but that they (and those on higher incomes as well) are encouraged to live outside their means. This leads to such problems as not being able to afford WOF/rego because the money has been otherwise spent.

          Also, a couple of other suggestions from times when I lived in towns/cities without any public transport:
          Both very viable options and much cheaper than a car.

          • Quoth the Raven

            More condescending bullshit. Distances are often too long to walk or bike and its not just about towns/cities without public transport many have inadequate systems as well. It’s a cost on drivers obviously, but it’s a cost that makes car ownership and mobility more difficult for the poor in this country and thus rising out of it poverty more difficult for them. Vehicle safety should be an issue of personal responsibility. What are the leading causes of car accidents? Distraction, fatigue, speeding, drunkenness etc. How often is it actually the condition of ones car? I’m interested in the numbers. And some of a warrant of fitness is arbitrary and cosmetic with little to do with safety.

          • RedLogix

            I sort of get both sides of it Zorr. My father once said, “I’ll believe there is real poverty in this country when the TAB goes broke”… and in this sense he’s right, that far too many poor folk piss away far too much cash in stupid unproductive ways… well at least to my middle class sensibilities.

            And before anyone leaps down my throat, those very middle class ideas ideas of work, thrift, independence and living within my means are the reason why I can afford a warrant/rego for my wheels (a not very flash 1996 Peugeot 405TD, fuel-miserly machine that makes the vestigial Dutchman in me proud… and cash in pocket for other things.)

            With just a smidgen of life experience it’s not a difficult exercise to write a long list of behaviours poor people do that keep them poor…and from the bottom of that list it’s not a long leap to mouthing off about the ‘undeserving poor’. In this sense QOR is right; condescending lectures from us chattering classes never changed anything for the better.

            • Olwyn

              Some parts of Auckland in which many residents are poor involve huge carriageways, poor public transport and distant shops, pressing people to take risks with dodgy vehicles. RedLogix; to develop the kinds of habits that permit you to keep your car registered, you need some level of consistency in your life; if the rug is regularly being pulled out from under you, your ability to plan diminishes, because plans have a habit of not working out. In fact, over on Red Alert, “a mother” commented “I swear National has looked into my personal file and based their policies around me personaly as how to best make my life unworkable. As soon as I come up with a plan on how to move forward, they find a way to screw it up and throw a spanner in the works.” And this is a person who does not lack the ability to plan; she is simply vulnerable to edicts that throw her plans off the rails.
              Finally, there is a level on which Pollywog is right; these television shows are slanted toward reinforcing the idea of poor/Polynesian people as the bad guys.

            • marty mars

              why don’t you distribute your long list of behaviours that poor people do to keep themselves poor and help our coummunities?

              • RedLogix

                I think that’s my point marty… it’s lazy and self-deluding to judge others when you aren’t wearing their shoes. While it’s trivial enough to write the list… pissing it away on alcohol and gambling, racking up expensive debt on unproductive assets, HP on cars you cannot afford, shopping in places that are lousy value for money, getting pressured into giving too much to family and church, getting into a cycle of Court fines that mount up, failure to form stable families….understanding why and how to change it is much harder.

                Olwyn hits it on the nail if the rug is regularly being pulled out from under you, your ability to plan diminishes, because plans have a habit of not working out..

      • pollywog 5.1.2

        “if you drive without a warrant or rego you should be aware that you are running the risks of fines if you are pulled over. I would also choose to disagree that it is a cost put on the poor for being poor”

        Yeah fair enough but theres no need to make TV about ONLY that type of low budget crime…you dont think that has effect on perception of police or on the self esteem of poor people while higher class crime goes un noted ? You think it enhances the polices image ?

        “The reason we don’t see cops busting white collar crims is because they are notoriously difficult to prove and prosecute.”

        Show us cops walking into multi million dollar homes and reading rich pricks their rights, get them to do a perp walk in cuffs to the trial, show us the paper trail as a series of scenes in a longer program. Intrude on these fraudsters privacy. Hell, target some drunken fucker in a beamer getting pulled over after leaving the gents club, show us how its one law for all and that it’s applied evenly..

        There was a piece on ‘campbell live’ ? the other night about some mistaken identity for a white middle class lady missing a court date and getting the usual process treatment and cell time. Apprently she was having bad dreams now about being in close proximity to the toilet in the tiny cell, so the courts sent her a bunch of flowers and apology…awww harden the fuck up lady.

        You dont think getting profiled and rousted as part of some mistaken identity doesn’t happen all the time for non white middle class people. Fuck, we were lucky if we even got a lift home but you don’t see us bitchmoaning bout it on TV.

        Ask yourself, how does that alter and reinforce public perception of society.

        “If I may ask, what timebomb is this? ”

        young jobless and idle polynesians, inclusive of maori, with no respect for a society that has failed them, taking it to the streets with their own brands of money making and justice with little or no respect for cops with attitude….and yeah, sure theres gonna be a riot when the police respond in kind with force. Maybe the tuakau incident will be the catalyst.

        “going so far as to include Maoris in your catch all, without actually providing any actual answers to the questions you raise about our current society.


        Exactly what possible benefit do you think i could gain from stirring up a racial divide ?

        Do you not understand I’m not talking race or ethnic community differences ? I’m talking shared cultural commonalities between polynesians creating the same problems, the solutions for which may lie in creating shared cultural initiatives. Treat polynesians as equal not as distinct entities and resource us to treat our problems ourselves. Thats the answer i keep putting forward. In ‘whanau ora’s’ case, as a trial expand the catchment to include the wider polynesian communities and not include others. In education/financial literacy, subsidise and use interactive media 2.0 and freeview to get into people homes without the shame of seeing how poor and desperate some are. Fearing some ‘race’ based backlash by a moral minority in the media who think all things being equal we will all prosper is just straight up bullshit…it’s a fucking lie and we should all know it.

        Spare me the race guilt over the past. Sure you personally weren’t complicit based on race, you were and are complicit based on shared cultural values and that applies to those polynesians who sellout their culture to succeed in the eurocentric market place. If you’re brown and wearing a suit and tie you’re repping for corporate culture no matter what your words say or what language you speak. Your’e not a race traitor you’re a culture traitor…shame on you, shame on all of us !

        Finally, regarding lumping asians together. If they share the same cultural values and the stats show asian crime on the rise or literacy on the decrease. How stupid would it be in creating a korean and a taiwanese and a chinese and a japanese social service to deal with the problem and what a waste of money it would be making the service providers compete for public funding. But isn’t that whats happening in polynesian communities and what you advocate continuing, the systemic failure in dealing with it from a shared cultural perspective ?

        Divide and conquer or divide and fail ?…your choice, your solution

    • Bill 5.2

      White collar crime ain’t sexy TV.

      There are no car chases or kicking down of doors involved in the arresting of white collar criminals. And definitely no throwing to the ground and cuffing…that would be disrespectful and if cops know one thing it is how to properly respect their perceived ‘betters’.

      Reality TV revolving around lawyers letters variously sent, received and couriered would be ever so slightly tedious I think.

      Maybe we could do a reality TV show based around us hunting down bankers and slapping them into stocks set up in public spaces? That could work. I’d bet it would be a top rating show…until we got chased down by the cops of the other Reality TV and busted for assault and the exercising of the commonly held fantasies and senses of justice

  6. logie97 6

    Anyone else becoming aware of police car sirens being used more during the wee small hours recently? Do you think this could be part of a directive from Wellington to make it appear as though they are getting tougher on crime? (Or could it be a symptom of an increase in crime). Either way, it’s making sleeping more difficult.

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