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Open Mike 21/02/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 21st, 2016 - 179 comments
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179 comments on “Open Mike 21/02/2016 ”

  1. paaparakauta 1

    As a patriotic dual-national I am appalled by reports that after Key-Turnbull negotiations in Canberra only New Zealanders earning more than A$90K pa will be eligible for Australian citizenship.

    None of the convicts at Sydney cove, or most aboriginals, immigrants and current Australians would meet this criterion – Vonnegut would have been proud of this Catch-22.

    This was not a meeting of ANZ prime ministers, but of ministers for Goldman and Merrill.

    • savenz 1.1

      Globalism is allowing free movement of nationals and the countries having the most problems with migration are those who have (worldwide) high standards of living and social welfare. It is dropping the wages of the people who live in countries with social welfare and tightening social welfare at the same time. Some of the migrants I know are just in NZ to get the passport and leave for OZ, (while leaving the kids at school and retirees in NZ) so maybe OZ not so keen on migration by proxy via NZ.

      Look at Britain – about to have a referendum about leaving the EU because migration has caused massive problems in Britain. (and these countries have a lot more money than NZ).


      I’m not sure what the answer is. But in NZ are we going to be able to afford free health care in 20 years time and the unemployment benefit and superannuation – and are we going to be tenants in our own country the way things are going?

      I think we should welcome those migrants already here, but halt more migrants until jobs, housing and social welfare allocations in NZ are up to what is required for the amount of new people coming into the country and work out a way to balance the intake so that it is positive and sustainable for NZ and increasing jobs and wages while protecting the environment here, not decreasing them.

      • paaparakauta 1.1.1

        The world is a dynamic place and we can’t stay in the 19th century by raising a metaphorical drawbridge. The flag referendum, I think, will opt for no change – but the issue has been put on the public agenda and may recur in unexpected ways.

        Our geology makes long-term planning especially fraught. It could take one burp from Rangitoto to crash Auckland property values, another from lake Taupo to kill the tourist industry .. need I go on ?

        Australia has serious issues with climate change. Jared Diamond in his Pulitzer prize-winning “Guns, Germs, and Steel” points to the progressive collapse of mid-level towns serving various professions leaving a decaying rural hinterland and mega-cities on the coast.

        The world is full of futile dreams of grandeur. Search wikipedia for Fhatepur Sikri.
        Diamond has a good account of the fall of the Maya.

        Enjoy Aotearoa while you can.

        • savenz

          “Enjoy Aotearoa while you can.” Quite frankly it will not be long..

          “Bruce Bisset: It’s the finish for GE-Free fans

          Much as we might like to stay GE-Free, I’m sorry to say the argument is already settled, in favour of frankenfoods – thanks to the government’s slavish acceptance of the terms of the TPPA.”


          • rawshark-yeshe

            History will show this as Key’s greatest treason against NZ — releasing GMO’s into our environment and destroying our food.

            Can Te Tiriti help against this ? Let’s see. This cursed agreement is yet to be ratified after all.

            • savenz

              Interestingly in the Damian horror movies the devil takes over the food supply to bring about the end of the world. Always reminds me of Monsanto tactics.

              • Incognito

                One does not need to dream up an imaginary entity like The Devil to predict The Apocalypse when we possess the best self-destruct mechanism currently known to man: Ego. Ironically, this is also (!) an entirely human (man-made) construct, an illusion.

                Neoliberalism, personal responsibility, individuation, freedom of choice are not ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ per se but when they rampantly rule our behaviour that is dominated by Ego ‘bad’ things will happen.

          • savenz

            Volcanic activity we can not control (although rumoured evidence that oil fracking can induce earthquakes etc) and not at all like signing the TPPA two weeks ago by John Key at his favourite Casino, on behalf of our kids NOW which is obviously going to change the way Kiwis live, what we eat, how we export and the security we have, that is something people can fight!


        • Draco T Bastard

          The world is a dynamic place and we can’t stay in the 19th century by raising a metaphorical drawbridge.

          Unfortunately, physical reality always trumps peoples desires.

          Our geology makes long-term planning especially fraught.

          No it doesn’t. It does mean that it’s obvious that we have to plan our population level though instead of just assuming that we can take more and more people.

          Australia has serious issues with climate change.

          So do we. Estimations that I’ve seen pretty much have NZ going into continuous drought conditions compared to what we have now and that’s going to mean a decrease in ability to support a large population.

      • greywarshark 1.1.2

        Re 1.1.savenz. Questions and matters that have to be looked at savenz. And dispassionately, so as to understand the situation now, the trend line and to study future numbers and the outcomes from that. The hospital system in Auckland sees all the immigrants, from all the nations, with all the ailments and there is a need for access to nearly a hundred language translators.

        So the incomers, as is an old term for new people in a settled community, are here. Their numbers are being encouraged excessively both to bring in their dollars, so boosting our apparent national earnings, or to provide a group of low-paid, hard working, passive workers. And that is causing increasing social stress and our services being put under pressure, even ‘milked.’

        • savenz

          @Greywarshark – yep I agree. No one wants to be a right winger and going back to NZ own horrible past of discrimination (Chinese, Dawn raids etc) BUT global migration is not sustainable with a social welfare system the way it is going and governments are just now saying NO to everyone. Before it gets to that point in NZ, governments need to stop and plan.

          Right wingers love migration, it is bringing wages and conditions down and consumption up!

          But breaching the social welfare pact with Kiwis. How many Kiwis are off social welfare and waiting for operations?

          We just borrowed 2.8 billion where is the xtra money coming from?

          And is there a relationship to the environment that we want to protect? Should we mine or fish or build houses and cut down forests and make more animals extinct so that we can have more people in NZ and they choose where to live under globalism?

          And do people coming into NZ want to have a relationship with the environment or just want to exploit it for personal profit?

          My own personal experience is that a lot of migrant friends want to come here, buy a new house, buy a new car preferably a mercedes and live close to a mall as their recreation is shopping. I”m not kidding! These are educated and culture people too!

          They don’t go into the natural environment at all, and therefore have zero experience of it or want to protect it.

          • paaparakauta

            “Chapter 8 of the TPPA deals with technical barriers to trade. In article 8.6 it seeks to lower such barriers by adopting conformity to accepted standards, essentially saying everyone’s standards must conform to everyone else’s.

            Moreover any party must “accord treatment no less favourable” than for its own to any other party’s standards assessment bodies, and even should there be doubt about conformity, the concerned party MUST accept the other’s findings. Note well: This includes both non-governmental and for-profit assessment bodies.

            That means Monsanto, whose testing regime is accepted by the US FDA without review, and the FDA’s stamp of approval is in turn accepted as “conforming” by New Zealand, has the power to require New Zealand to accept that there is nothing wrong with a GE product – even one that isn’t licensed in the US!”

            Bruce Bissett is onto something here.

            • ianmac

              Harmonise. That is the word used to smooth the way for compatibility of international systems. Not only Monsanto but how about Pharma, Schools, Hospitals? And what will happen where countries do not harmonise systems?

            • Stuart Munro

              Never mind the GMOs – US beef – never tested for BSE in spite of the only extant wild reservoir of prion protein diseases (CWD) will compete equally and without labelling beside NZ product.

              An own goal only the Gnats could’ve come up with.

    • alwyn 1.2

      I can only suggest that you reread the information while wearing you glasses.
      The actual figure is $A53,000/year for 5 consecutive years since 2001.
      In the middle of the last 5 years (2013) the average full time wage in Australia was $A74,724 so it isn’t really that high.
      “The ABS says the average individual wage in Australia in November 2013 was $57,980 before tax. The average full-time wage is $74,724 before tax”
      This was from

      • Macro 1.2.1

        Keys announcement will exclude the 30% living in the bottom of the income stream and a lot more higher income earners if they are in a two income household.

        Australia will only welcome you if you’re rich and male. If you’re poor, a woman, took time out of the workforce to raise a family, or if you moved to Australia as a child and haven’t entered the workforce yet, you’re shit out of luck, there’s no possibility of citizenship or residency for you, and you’re under permanent threat of deportation.

        • alwyn

          I think No Right Turn is misinterpreting things. If a full time working man was to qualify that qualifies his spouse and young children to be included.
          If the children were born there they also qualify automatically when they turn 10.
          A spouse doesn’t have to qualify in their own right.
          In addition it would appear that if you are there now you can still qualify in the future. It is only people who were not living there prior to Friday(?) who aren’t able to take advantage of it.

          • Macro

            you have a link for that?

            • alwyn

              Have a look at this link in Stuff, and related material.
              As far as families go, look at this bit late in the link. It certainly appears to envisage the whole family doesn’t it?
              “The main application charge has been set at A$3600 per applicant, an extra A$1800 for partners and dependent children over 18 and A$900 for children under 18.”
              For those who don’t yet meet the income criteria look at this comment
              “You’re eligible if you moved to Australia between February 26, 2001 and February 19, 2016 and hold a SCV”
              It obviously is impossible to meet the 5 years if you went there a week ago so it clearly implies people can qualify in the future.
              There, does that help?

              ps. Complaints about the cost can be addressed to the nearest Australian High Commission. I don’t believe you can pin that on John Key.

              • Macro

                Thanks for the link Yes it does seem that it applies to households. I certainly hope so. My son-in-law and daughter and 2 g’children are there and I think want to stay permanently as National shoved them out 5 years ago.

  2. North 2


    Extraordinarily rich of Love Perks Hide to invoke credibility or how the public might feel about the judge.

    Given this supreme hypocrite’s rorts on the public you’d think the Herald would deprive him use of the word ‘credibility’.

    • Gosman 2.1

      Rorts??? What rorts (plural) did Hide engage in?

      • North 2.1.1

        Googley Gossy. Don’t tell me you’re denying. How very ‘living in a bubble right wing nutter’ of you !

      • joe90 2.1.2

        What rorts (plural) did Hide engage in

        Twenty five thousand in aid to his block & tackle.

    • I’d just like to note this addition to the extensive catalogue of Rodney Hide’s ignorance: he confuses the slang term “wedding tackle” with the more prosaic and distinctly inanimate winching equipment, “block and tackle.”

    • Andre 3.1

      Surely the lesson from Greece is to make sure enough taxes are collected so the hole doesn’t get too big to begin with.

      • Nic the NZer 3.1.1

        No the lesson is run a deficit to counter unemployment.

        This appears to be a straight up comment by the Gosman. ☺

    • North 3.2

      Did I say “Love Perks” Gossy ?

      “One night at a top-end London hotel in Mayfair cost the tax-payer $1435.93, …”

  3. Whispering Kate 4

    My partner and I drove over the Harbour Bridge, Auckland yesterday at 5.15 in the afternoon towards the North Shore and the two flags were flying on the bridge. I do wish to retain the existing flag but that has nothing to do with this. I honestly could not distinguish the colours on the new flag until we were almost underneath it, it was terrible, a mish mash of grey/blue/nothing, I couldn’t discern the white fern at all. The existing flag is an amazing deep blue and the ensign in the corner is very bright and clear and always looks regal and correct as an ensign. The weather was clear with sunshine and a fair amount of breeze to keep the ensign aloft. What on earth were they thinking about when they designed it? Did they make any ahead of submitting designs and hoist them up in different weather conditions. Design wise it looks absolutely terrible. Just my opinion, but my partner was with me on this – up on a flag staff its a bad choice for a new flag.

    • BM 4.1

      Christ, It’s basically the same fucking flag, the only real difference is that the Union Jack has been replaced with a silver fern.

      • One Two 4.1.1

        That’s the extent of your observational prowess

        No surprise you’re regarded as junk bond status here

        • Stuart Munro

          Be kind – BM is Newton, Einstein & the Borg all rolled into one by far-right standards.

      • Whispering Kate 4.1.2

        BM why do you annoy me considerably. It is not the same ….. flag, watch your language please, its anything but. The colours of the new flag are a disgrace – they do not show up against a blue sky or any climatic sky – and hey, that’s what the purpose of the flag was for – to be dynamic, show our originality and to bring in an era of change and to be seen well. This flag does nothing to enhance our fantastic talent we have here for true design, and believe me a flag designer had nothing to do with this new design – its just junk. Change the flag if you must but for heaven’s sake do the country proud and design something deserving of New Zealand and which hits you in the eye when it’s seen up on a flag staff..

        • Foreign waka

          I fully agree with you Kate, the proposed flag looks like training clothes – new design courtesy of Canterbury or Addidas. I expect a flag to be something that encompasses all of NZ.

      • Grindlebottom 4.1.3

        You’re wrong BM. If the fern just replaced the union jack and it is otherwise the same flag, the fern would be within the same area as the current union jack up in the top left hand corner on an all-blue flag with the southern cross.

        All five of the final designs are abominations. Google & look at the flags of all other countries. The basic design principles stand out clearly. If we adopted this ugly black/blue out of proportion white leaf brand logo we’d be an international laughing stock.

        This what you get when you ask people for designs that “represent who we are”. Company signage & clip art.

        • BM

          The white fern wouldn’t work if there wasn’t the black contrast.
          Therefore the black has to be considered part of the white fern.

          • Grindlebottom

            That’s true, but I think the black within the blue would look awful. It’s such a terrible representation of a silver fern as well. Stylizing it turned it into a leaf. I gather the panel did consult at least one vexilologist, but we still ended up with 5 final designs that were all out of step with the general layouts and designs of national flags.Our 5 finalists really do all look like logos.

            The design brief was too vague, and apparently (judging by the result) didn’t pay any attention to international country flag design principles. We should’ve done what South Africa did and got a professional flag designer to come up with several designs. It would’ve been simpler & probably produced more suitable designs than the free-for-all that garnered 10,292 proposals ranging from clip art to crayon drawings.

            We should’ve tossed out everything on our current flag – like Canada did – & started anew. By far the coolest design I’ve seen is the Tino Rangatiratanga flag. But that’d never be accepted because it’s the National Maori flag, and because its association with grievances & separatist sentiments make it far too divisive. If it had just been designed and submitted now, I wonder if our amateur-night panel would’ve picked it. Probably not.

      • maui 4.1.4

        The two lockwood flags are basically the same fucking flag.

        • alwyn

          Behave yourself. You will upset Kate. Someone else used that awful word (you know the one I mean) and she chastised him severely.
          As Kate said “watch your language please”.

    • paaparakauta 4.2


  4. Pasupial 5

    I expected to be typing about SC and Nevada today, but Fiji/ Cyclone Winstone is much closer to home!

    This CNN video shows the best track I’ve been able to find; straight between Vanua Levuand Vitu Levu, with the eye over water the whole time. Pretty much the worst possible scenario:

    while Winston weakened as it moved over land — as these types of storms do — it has since reintensified, and with the El Niño-warmed water serving as fuel, Winston’s eye has reformed.

    CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said Winston is expected to “keep strength as it continues on its path in open waters,” but said “it will weaken Tuesday or Wednesday once it hits cooler waters and stronger shear.”

    Winston’s 184 mph winds smashed the previous record for a Southern Hemisphere cyclone. According to Colorado State University hurricane expert Philip Klotzbach, both Cyclone Zoe, which battered the Solomon Islands in 2002, and Cyclone Monica, which walloped Australia in 2006, previously shared the record with their estimated winds of 178 mph.


    This Met service forecast is good too, but will update soon (it currently covers the whole sweep from Saturday avo on).


    Fortunately only one dead so far, though I’d expect that to rise. NZH live coverage is surprisingly good:

    One man was killed as hurricane force winds and 12m high waves battered the Pacific nation, homes were destroyed and terrified tourists hustled from their hotel rooms to hunker down for the night.


    Best wishes to all in the path of this storm!

    • Pasupial 5.1


      I kept getting a; “You do not have permission to edit this comment”, message in a pink box when I tried to edit the above. Just minor typos this time, so not too important, but could be bad if someone makes a glaring error they can’t correct (edit – this comments’s edit function is fine). Also, I am still getting occasional red flags when I try to load pages. Though there doesn’t seem to be any pattern there and these’ll usually clear up in an hour or so.]

    • AmaKiwi 5.2

      A few more degrees of ocean warming and a cyclone like that will be over NZ.

  5. Tautuhi 6

    I don’t think many Maori throughout NZ want the flag changed, they sought an allegiance with the British Crown as they felt the British were the best alternative to the French and the Americans, whether they made the right choice or not is debatable?

    I would be interested to know if the Natzis and Key consulted with Maori Iwi throughout NZ on the changing of the flag?

    • paaparakauta 6.1

      Pretty obviously .. not so.

      • Grindlebottom 6.1.1

        Well, hey, amongst the abominations was one with a koru. That one probably let the panel feel they could tick the box for “Maori input”.

        It’s a good point though. To be honest I was expecting to see more comment from Maori on the issue but don’t recall any getting much air or print time.

        • greywarshark

          Hundertwasser, an Austrian who adopted NZ as his home, designed a nice flag with koru. Maori might have chosen that one if they had a choice. It has been pointed out that the Maori sovereignty flag would not have been the right one for them to gather behind, as it would only confuse its association with themselves particularly and Maori aspirations for their own advancement.

          • alwyn

            A Hundertwasser type flag was in the last 40 but had to be removed after the Hundertwasser foundation claimed copyright.
            As the panel said
            “Please note that the ‘Modern Hundertwasser’ design has been removed from the long list following a copyright claim by the Hundertwasser Non-Profit Foundation.”

        • maui

          Hypnoflag and Red Peak were a joke in terms of Maori influence. Just because something looks vaguely like a tukutuku panel or the front of a marae doesn’t mean it represents Maori. Where was the Tino rangatira flag in this whole “democratic” process. A flag designed by Maori for Maori was ignored.

      • alwyn 6.1.2

        The design panel certainly claimed that they had consulted and that was their job, wasn’t it?
        “In finalising the long list we invited a number of cultural (including tikanga), vexillology (the study of flags), art and design experts to review the selection”

        • maui

          Youre supposed to consult before and during the decision making process, not once you’ve made up your mind. This has happened for the flag process, carbon emissions and tppa under this government. Its not consultation or democratic.

    • tc 6.2

      Key consults with the hollowmen who along with Crosby textor and the heavy lifters like Joyce etc sort out the agenda, execution and timeline.

      What follows is the well observed charade consultation comprised of stacked committees and the msm shillfest.

    • Until we have grown up as a country I suspect many will vote for the existing flag – it does accurately represent us as we are and where we are at – even if it is painful to admit.

    • Jack 6.4

      I don’t think American conquest of Aotearoa was ever an option in 1840. The Americans had not even explored their own country at that point in time and certainly we’re not looking for another.

      • AmaKiwi 6.4.1

        Correct. In 1840 the European Americans hadn’t even slaughtered off all the native Americans yet. They were too consumed with destroying Afro-Americans.

        It took until the second half of the 20th century for the Americans to really get into the swing of conducting multiple simultaneous genocides.

        The Brits, French, and Spanish mastered it much earlier.

  6. Pasupial 7

    A couple of links for those following the US presidential candidate selection process. The Guardian count is ahead of the NBC one, but doesn’t have as detailed a breakdown, plus there are strangely cutesy animations.



    Apparently, rather than coinflips, ties are decide by card cuts in Nevada. Clinton’s luck with these is making me lean towards the literal deal-with-the-devil scenario:

    Interesting: a precinct in Pahrump has been decided by cutting the deck. Pahrump precinct chair Peggy Rhoads with the cards drawn in tied Precinct 10. Hillary’s ace beat Bernie’s six.


    • ianmac 8.1

      Yep the change from “provided for under paragraph 1
      became “provided for under Sub-paragraph 1
      A tiny change means our courts would be forced to imprison some-one who dared to add local subtitles to a foreign film.
      Drastic! Criminal! Hidden!

  7. greywarshark 10

    I’m just glancing through an old book on past social history called The Bleak Age by JL & Barbara Hammond.

    I put this quote, and point out that this actually happened. A so called civilised society can oppress its citizens as is written, it did happen in Britain starting with the Poor Law of 1834, and it means that this could happen again. Once it becomes the norm, people have to make a huge effort to change that habitual behaviour, to admit wrong policies and behaviour, and completely overturn their systems and their thinking.

    This is one example of the Poor Law Commission’s approaches to poverty and treatment of needy humans.

    One of the forms of task work imposed in certain workhouses was the crushing of bones, and the master of the Andover Workhouse was accused of starving the paupers so that they fought among themselves for the gristle and marrow to be found in the half-putrid bones given to them for this purpose. Indignation led to a demand for inquiry, so vehement and general that the Government had to yield, and the revelations that followed made a profound impression on the public mind. For an inquiry that began with the Andover scandals ended as an inquisition into the life and methods of the Poor Law Commission.

    A comment from one being questioned added insult to injury by ‘regretting’ Parliament time spent on “a workhouse squabble”.

    We must not let this happen again to us – now.

  8. The Chairman 11

    Could Unelected Superdelegates Give Clinton the Nomination Even If Sanders Wins the Primaries?


    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Probably. That’s what they’re there for after all – to ensure that the right person wins the nomination rather than the person who the people want.

      • The Chairman 11.1.1

        The justification was to ensure the winner of the primaries (who the Democratic voters want) is electable in a general election.

        Therefore, are you suggesting Sanders would be considered less electable than Clinton?

        Before answering, keep in mind they may be going up against Trump.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Therefore, are you suggesting Sanders would be considered less electable than Clinton?

          No, I’m saying that the only reason to give a few people more power than anyone else is to have the vote go the way you want it to go and that’s usually against the wishes of the people.

          Surely the the person most electable by democrats is the person they vote for and not the person selected by the few people with lots of power?

          • The Chairman

            “No, I’m saying that the only reason to give a few people more power than anyone else is to have the vote go the way you want it to go and that’s usually against the wishes of the people”

            Yes I initially gathered that, thus I put forward their reasoning. Which is the grounds they will have to justify their decision. Hence, do you think the argument will stand?

      • Pasupial 11.1.2

        Like Ms. Clinton, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz also accepts money from super PACs and corporate interests. Given Ms. Wasserman Shultz’s campaign financing strategies—in conjunction with the virtual bankruptcy the DNC is facing under her leadership—the rescinding of the ban on donations from federal lobbyists and super PACs should come as no surprise…

        Growing calls for Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s resignation have stemmed from her alleged favoritism for Ms. Clinton—ranging from her position as co-chair of Ms. Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential campaign, to criticism over her limited and poorly scheduled Democratic presidential debates…

        A joint fundraising committee between the Clinton campaign and the DNC—called the Hillary Victory Fund—raised $26.9 million as of December 31, 2015, much of which has gone directly to the DNC and other Democratic candidates across the country. Thirty-three state Democratic parties signed pacts with Ms. Clinton’s campaign, meaning she is essentially buying support from Democratic leaders around the country. In short, the Clinton campaign controls the money and decides which states receive it after the campaign and the DNC get their cut. According to Bloomberg, New Hampshire received $124,000, where six out of six superdelegates supported Ms. Clinton while over 60 percent of the primary vote favored Mr. Sanders. Nevada and South Carolina also have pacts with the Hillary Victory Fund, where Ms. Clinton has already won support from three of Nevada’s eight superdelegates and three out of South Carolina’s six superdelegates.


      • AmaKiwi 11.1.3

        Unlike the NZ Labour caucus, the super delegates want to win the election. A lot of super delegates switch from Hillary to Obama in 2008 when they realized he had a better chance of winning.

        Sanders is the best match-up against any of the Republicans and Hillary is the least trusted candidate of either party. Even 35% of democrats don’t trust her. (Nor do I.)

    • Andre 11.2

      Yep – to ensure the backroom “elites” keep “their” candidate on a leash.

  9. Hami Shearlie 12

    Anyone seen the post just up on the NZ Herald website late this morning – Richie McCaw wants a new flag! This “big revelation” came to him on the rugby field. So we are supposed to listen to him with reverence and obediently change our flag because of rugby. Rugby is obviously so much more important than our sovereignty, so much more important than all the men and women who died fighting under our flag, and of course having a silver fern on an all black jersey means that it’s certainly good enough for our flag too. It doesn’t matter that the “new” flag is a hastily thrown together tea-towel which looks terrible on a flagpole. I thought Richie was smarter than this – I thought he wouldn’t let himself be used by a very obviously desperate Key and end up looking just as shallow. Obviously there is less to him than many thought! Maybe the New Zealander of the Year is just NOT!

    • Paul 12.1

      And only the other day Carter came out and said the same thing.
      Interesting timing.

      • Ffloyd 12.1.1

        Dear Richie. You are just a rugby player. You have a fern on your chest. You also have advertising logos on your chest. You are a bill board. Why makes you think your opinion is so important. Or even the fact that you had an epiphany on the flag and thought that the media must be informed IMMEDIATELY! Very disappointing. Just remember you have (had?) a lot of fans who revered your rugby playing skills, but more to the point saw you as just a humble, no airs and graces, accessible to everyone , Kiwi bloke. No longer. You now appear to be a corporate puppet. So sad.

    • Whispering Kate 12.2

      Never did think Ritchie was deserving of so much adoration. He is a great rugby player, no doubt about that but other than that, he doesn’t come across as anybody really special. Rugby was his career and he was well remunerated for it. So he should play well, he was paid well enough for it, it was his job for goodness sake. He brought some special prizes back to NZ and that was great. How about the many other people who do fantastic things for this country, and do it for next to nothing – the lady who ran the Auckland Mission for many many ears for one. Ritchie has choices, and if he wishes to keep company with politics that’s his affair but he owes it to the country to stay neutral on important matters like the change of flag and let the people make up their own minds. Dan Carter should keep out of it as well. If anything they are doing even more harm than good. I know many people who have turned off them and the team because of the farce of it all.

      Another thing, I have also mentioned before on this site that he invests in the Retirement Village industry and its a complete rort for the elderly, they would be better off going out renting (out of town if in Auckland) and letting their house out and keeping their equity in their home. Even Mary Holm recommended it. I do not think its good for his image to invest in unethical industries. But then there are many in this country who just think of money full stop and without the consequences of how it is earned. NZ of the year is way over the top, but that’s my own personal opinion.

      • Hami Shearlie 12.2.1

        I agree with all that. Now Richie will be making even more money as the retirement villages get involved with state housing! McCaw has damaged himself by doing this – the timing is very obviously desperation by Key! McCaw is OWNED now! Reputation is very easy to destroy!

    • chris73 12.3

      1. Our men and women may have died under our flag but they’re buried beneath the silver fern
      2. Hes allowed his opinion and hes allowed to express that opinion, mainly due to the sacrifices made by those same men and women who died fighting to ensure our continued freedom

      • Molly 12.3.1

        “1. Our men and women may have died under our flag but they’re buried beneath the silver fern
        2. Hes allowed his opinion and hes allowed to express that opinion, mainly due to the sacrifices made by those same men and women who died fighting to ensure our continued freedom”

        1. Apart from the ones who were blown to bits, and nothing left to retrieve – or those who came back injured, demoralised and broken and wanted no remembrance of their service on their graves. (My point being, this is not a very relevant point for the design.)
        2. McCaw is “allowed” an opinion – but he has a very public platform given to him – and pumped up by our PM’s attention, that is not linked in any way to his design, constitutional or sovereignty knowledge.

        If he was in any way self-aware – he would not be using this demi-god rugby platform to act as a promotional vehicle for a political movement.

        But like Dan Carter, their AB career was just as much about “selling things” as it was about rugby. It is learned, and profitable, behaviour for those who do it.

      • Paul 12.3.2

        Interesting time to express it.
        It is a political statement.
        In favour of Key.
        McCaw has lost my respect.

        • chris73

          Well I’m sure hes cut up about losing your respect I highly doubt he ever had it in the first place

          • Paul

            He did have my respect as he dodged Key’s pressure to get a knighthood.
            That is Key the republican who wants to change the flag yet wants to keep Lords and Ladies.

            By the way, on my view of McCaw, speak for yourself, not others please.

            • chris73

              I can easily guess you’re not a fan of Richie and heres why:

              He is perhaps our greatest all black and that means you don’t respect him because as a sportsperson hes strives to be better then anyone else, not the same as everyone but better then anyone else

              He gives everything to win, he wants to win more then anyone else and he achieves it (more often then not)

              Hes invested wisely in ventures that make him money, a lot of money

              He is everything the Right espouses and the Left despises

              • maui

                Sure you’re not related to Mike Hosking?

              • Macro

                Living off the poor, elderly, and vulnerable may earn one a lot of money. It doesn’t earn one respect.
                So if the Right espouses that sort of morality they know where they can shove it.

                • chris73

                  I would highly recommend that the Left in NZ should strongly publicize this train of thought to NZ

                  It’d probably produce a rather strong bounce in the polls

              • Paul

                What utter nonsense.

                • chris73

                  He played for team sponsored by corporates so that’s a strike
                  He strived to be better then his fellow players so that’s another strike
                  He played through injury so thats another strike
                  He knows John Key (thats worthy of excommunication)
                  Hes invested wisely that’s a major strike

                  Richie is blue through and through

                  • Paul


                    • chris73

                      Pissed is a more accurate way of putting it.

                      The people on here stating crap like Richie shouldn’t express an opinion because hes Richie is crap

                      You have the nutters suggesting the Richies being paid for this or possibly being manipulated into it and no thought given that he might actually support a flag change

                      Then you have people talking that his reputation has somehow been damaged because IF it has (I don’t think it will be) its because of the unhinged that have decided that derailing the flag change referendum will somehow impact on John Key therefore Richie is in league with John Key and must be punished

                      and lets not forgot the people using the sacrifice of our service people to try to link it to keeping the flag (thats just pathetic)

                      and some of us (yes including me) actually like the proposed new flag and prefer it to the current flag and don’t like seeing the left ignore the referendum, then try to hijack the referendum and finally try to shut down any positive talk about the flag

                      So yeah I’m a bit pissed

                    • Molly

                      Reply for chris73 below:
                      “The people on here stating crap like Richie shouldn’t express an opinion because hes Richie is crap”
                      You are missing the salient point.

                      I agree with you that everyone is allowed an opinion, but like anyone in an elevated position he should be taking due care and attention to using his high profile to speak about political movements.

                      He has been assisted by rugby, and the PM’s attention and NZers high regard for the game and players into a position of prominence. His circle of influence is much greater than that of the guy next door. (Even if supposed guy is well versed in politics, flag design, sovereignty and Treaty of Waitangi issues).

                      Because of that he should refrain from making public statements that seem to be coercing the public to vote in a particular way in a referendum. If he was a member of a political party, then he is using his political platform to speak on politics. No problem there. But he is not.

                      What he is doing is using – as if he was selling a product – his rugby platform to influence votes. And these votes have nothing to do with rugby, and his area of expertise.

                      Even though you may venerate McCaw – can you not see a problem with this in terms of people making an informed and considered vote in the referendum?

                    • chris73

                      My big problem Molly is that you want to censor him, dress it up however you like but you want him to not be able to freely express his opinion and thats a slippery slope no one here should want (least I hope not)

                    • Whispering Kate

                      Chris 73 – Honest to God man you just haven’t a clue have you about what all of us have been talking about. About knowing when to do the right thing and knowing when to refrain. You need to start re-thinking what’s basically right and wrong – what your Mum and Dad taught you. Simple really – common sense.

                    • chris73

                      If you think silencing someone for expressing an opinion is justified in this situation then I feel nothing but pity for you

                    • Paul

                      Read what I said.
                      You are speaking utter claptrap.
                      And I suspect it is dishonest.

              • Whispering Kate

                Chris 73 It’s only a game for heaven’s sake – get a grip, you would think he was putting his life on the line and had earned a VC – it’s a game and you kick a ball and you are bloody well paid heaps for it as well. He’s not the only person in NZ who likes to win and does, in other fields like scientific research when they find a great cure for something for example.

                Mind you he has put his life on the line, all for the money and the game, he will be a walking cripple when he is 50 maybe earlier. Most people suffer from joint problems when they are elderly, these gladiators/AB’s will be hobbling crippled with pain or bionic men long before that. For what – kicking a ball around, older people who have wear and tear pain will wince everytime these players have a shoulder, knee reconstruction done when they are so young, it will all come home to roost – the poor sods. All for money, pity you cannot put an old head on young shoulders.

                • chris73

                  Good so don’t begrudge him him the opportunity to say what he believes and since hes only a rugby player no one will take it seriously so everyones happy

                  • Macro

                    Well I for one don’t take any notice of what he says – even though he (like I) plays the bag pipes.

                  • DoublePlusGood

                    Chris, you have dishonoured your god with your petulant display here. Richie is far to modest to be discussing things in such a manner. You should follow your god’s teachings of modesty more closely.

    • One Two 12.4

      All Blacks are a paid for contracted commodity whose incomes are met through corporate sponsorships

      The players operate under instructions on and off the field. It is transparent and callow to be used in this way, but that’s the business world of which they are employees

      The public have previously, and will see through the propaganda obce again, just as they did last year when McCaw spoke in favour of flag change

      Recycled comments perhaps ?

      • Whispering Kate 12.4.1

        I had no idea about Ritchie making comments last year about a flag change, I remember Dan Carter on twitter on election day and he got away with it, so I didn’t deliberately recycle my comment. Paid by corporate sponsorship maybe but I am pretty sure the flag change would not been in his contract, but there is such a thing as a “conscience vote” and he and Dan should have put their clout behind that instead and used it – it would have been accepted just like Ritchie turned down a Knighthood but with the flag he chose not to.

      • chris73 12.4.2

        So isn’t paid by someone else and have conditions in their employment contracts?

        You do realise that maybe, just maybe Richie (arguably one of the greatest rugby platers ever) born and bred product of a North Otago farm, driven to be the very best he can be at what he does might actually want a flag change?

        • Whispering Kate

          Of course he wants a flag change, but he doesn’t have to convince others to change as well – we are all quite capable of making up our own minds without having to be lead to a decision. Its probably making things worse by having us needlessly prodded and steered towards making up our minds. Like constant background noise getting in the way of our thought processes.

          • alwyn

            Are you planning to follow your own advice Kate?
            Can we now assume that there will be no further comments from you telling us how much you dislike the proposed new flag and want to keep the existing one?
            How many comments have you made like that. Hundreds I would guess. All of them like Richies and trying to persuade us to follow your opinion.
            Try putting “Whispering Kate flag” in the search box and see how many you get.

            • Whispering Kate

              Alwyn – all I have said is people should be allowed, in their own time, to make up their own minds, we don’t need to be told what other people feel about their choices. to try and persuade us in our decision making. Its a personal thing making this choice. I would have loved a new flag if it had been a great design – this new flag is not a great design, its not even a sort of decent design. I am not going to vote for this flag for that reason, its a poor choice and we deserve better. If you think its because of “no name” then forget it, he isn’t even in the equation with such an important decision to make. Don’t be such a grouch.

              • alwyn

                I know, Kate. You say here that
                “people should be allowed, in their own time, to make up their own minds, we don’t need to be told what other people feel about their choices. to try and persuade us”
                You didn’t say that though previously. You have proposed, over and over again that we shouldn’t vote for the new flag.
                I don’t mind that in the slightest. However it doesn’t go down well when the same person thinks that someone with the opposite view should be told to stop advocating for their own choice.
                Would you seriously claim that these examples are not advocating for your own choice of flag rather than just asking people to think about it?

                Open Mike 21/02/2016

                John Key’s flag – an exercise in optics

                Key booed by rugby crowd

                Actually I withdraw the comment about there being hundreds. Dozens is closer

        • Hami Shearlie

          He’s a “product” now? Yep he sure is, bought and sold. Kind of sad really – he’s no Peter Blake or Edmund Hillary , that’s for sure!

  10. North 14


    Richie McKey demeans himself. Giving weight (and macho transfusions) to the weirdo prime minister. I don’t mention Carter cos’ who cares about that facsimile upper class ChCh laddie laddie anyway.

  11. Cameron Slater often appears pretty clueless about US politics, but his heading today demonstrates a surprising level of ignorance-


    “South Carolina goes to Trump and Clinton”


    Clinton won the Democratic caucus in Nevada. The Republicans held a primary in Sth Carolina.

    Next week its the other way around.

    Maybe Slater did not personally responsible write the inaccurate headline, but whoever is has no business running a blog commenting on US politics.

    Especially when they’re always so critical of mistakes made by the MSM.

  12. paaparakauta 16

    chris73: .. but they are all blokes ! Last time I checked, half the population was female !

  13. James 17

    From memory there were a lot on here who were very happy for an all black to say anti TPP tweets.

    So public figures shouldn’t. Make comments unless they suit your agendas ????

    • maui 17.1

      Expressing your feelings via a twitter sentence on a political issue is a bit different to being part of an orchestrated government campaign, like writing a piece in the herald or being part of a promotional video.

  14. amirite 18

    Latest Colman Brunton poll has National on 47%, Labour 32%, NZ First 10%, Greens 8%

    • James 18.1

      That’s a huge drop for the greens. I doubt that same result will show in the other poll results.

      If it is however – then things are getting more interesting.

  15. amirite 19

    Labour’s education policy helped switch few percentages from Greens?

  16. Muttonbird 20

    Is see David Farrar is having a cry about hate speech from commenters on the RNZ site.

    Here’s a thought David, if you don’t like hate speech – don’t peddle it!

    • James 20.1

      I challenge you to find farrar saying comments like is being posted.

      • Muttonbird 20.1.1

        Please. Farrar’s site is jam packed with unmoderated hate speech from commenters.

        That’s the issue here, is it not? Not that Farrar himself would become so abusive (even though he thinks that way) but that he allows it from his commenters without moderation.

        • greywarshark

          Is Farrar having a go at Radionz because it isn’t one of his patsy channels?

          • Muttonbird

            He’s piggybacking Slater who was the one (ironically) who had a problem with the hate speech comments.

            Their argument is that RNZ is taxpayer funded yet the thing that is lost on the slug and the gnome is that their sites are government funded also – through dirty politics. The catch is that this government blurs the line between party and state at will…

          • Muttonbird

            Yep. That hate speech flows unregulated from the mouths of his followers seems lost on him.

            Of course he and his close friend Slater will argue that RNZ is taxpayer funded. but what they ignore is that their own sites are also funded by the government through dirty politics.

    • Rolfcopter 20.2

      Nice to see you standing up for the people wanting to gas John Key’s mother…. *thumbs up for the red team*

      • Muttonbird 20.2.1

        Lol. You sound like furious John Key in parliament calling Labour backers of rapists.

        Fyi, he was forced to apologise for that later.

  17. Tautuhi 21

    Farrar is keys chief propaganda merchant the pot calling the kettle black?

    • Anne 21.1

      Farrar’s Curia Co. rang me about two weeks ago. It was a political poll and the questions came thick and fast. Just as the pollster was signing me off, he came up with an extra question – which flag are you voting for? Lo and behold within a week the ‘celebrities’ started coming forward begging people to vote for the new flag. The latest being that “Story” woman, Heather du Plessis Allan. In her case she didn’t ask people to vote for the new flag but spent her latest column in the S.H. trashing the current flag.

      They’ve got the positives and the negatives covered.

      • James 21.1.1

        Gee Anne. You must
        agree with her else I guess you would be calling her a slut or a bitch like you have about other women you disagree with.

        • Muttonbird

          No, no James. That speech is the domain of Farrar’s crowd. No doubt you’ve seen the way they talk about Jacinda Arden?

        • Anne

          Moderator: this rwnj called “James” is now being deceitful and offensive.

          • Barfly

            and the change from business as usual is??

          • James

            Anne. Have you or have you not called women on here a slut (in only the last few days) and a bitch? They were offensive and I called you on it. You on the other hand stood by your slut comment.

            Thus I came to the conclusion that you use terms like that on women you do not agree with, and don’t use it when you agree. Please feel to correct me and I will withdraw and apologise. But your own post seem to back up what I have said.

            • Anne

              In the seven years I have been commenting here, I have used those two terms only once each – the s-word a few days ago on a subject for which I feel strongly about, and the b-word at least a month ago. I am of the opinion both individuals deserved the description because of their behaviour. I have never called anyone else derisive names of that extreme nature before and I object to your insinuation that it’s a regular occurrence.

              As for the comment @ 21.1… I was not making the inference you have chosen to assume. I did not agree with the tone of the journalist’s article and I expressed as much. Nothing more nor less.

              • James

                I will concede that you dont use the terms regularly.

                However – my point is that it is NEVER ok to use terms like that against women .

                [RL: Deleted. You don’t get to shame or silence Anne for her entirely justified anger over Glucina’s slime-ball behaviour, by using it in another entirely different context. Leave it here.]

                • North

                  You’re a hypocrite James.

                  Clutching your pearls and hooting like a distressed dowager over some ‘words’ from Anne – the giggling man-child repeatedly assaults Amanda Bailey and the best you can come up with is an acknowledgment so limp and perfunctory as to be questionable for its sincerity.

                  The awkward fact out of the way so to speak you then launch straight into backing up the foulness of the man-child and that odious trash Glucina.

                  Shall we apply your absolutes to the man-child’s globally televised giggles about whether or not the child rapist/murderer comes to lunch ? Giggling, thus adding to the survivors’ renewed horror.

                  Get a life punk. Absolutely !

            • Skinny

              I have changed my mind on which flag I’m voting for. Richie McCaw is my hero he is voting for the new flag. So that tells me vote change the flag!

              Fucking dreamer!

        • greywarshark

          Since when has Anne used those words? You are a disgrace to this blog and we know what you are going to say as soon as we see your pseudonym. So don’t bother to come here and reduce the level of argument.

          • James

            I think Anne answered your question for you.

          • Anne

            Thanks greywarshark but I did use those terms once each recently. One in respect of Rachel Glucina’s disgraceful behaviour over John Key’s harassment of Amanda Bailey. The other was in relation to Josie Pagani’s ongoing undermining of Andrew Little and Labour. That was at least a month ago so James has a remarkably good memory?

            • greywarshark

              James has to save up our misdemeanours (in his eyes) to complain about, while we get a large supply to choose from each day from his scrofulous team.

  18. Tautoko Mangō Mata 22

    TPP and GMO
    Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (which is supported by the European Commission.)
    “TACD’s recommendations on the proposed food safety chapter in TTIP”

    The TPP SPS chapter includes a provision in the market access chapter to allow import of unapproved genetically modified organisms. There must be no such provision either in the TTIP SPS chapter or market access chapter. Regulatory approval of plant and animal agricultural products produced by a new generation of modification techniques, such as gene drives, could result in trade of undefined “low level presence” of synthetically modified organisms that could establish themselves as invasive species in the importing country.

    The TPP includes a low standard definition for scientific data to be used in SPS risk assessments: “reasonably available and relevant scientific data.” Adopting this low standard would allow trade in food and agricultural products whose risk assessments hide data affecting consumer health from scientific peer review by claiming such data as Confidential Business Information (CBI). TTIP must not adopt such a low standard for use of scientific data. According to the “reasonably available” standard, governments could claim that CBI data and unpublished corporate studies in commercialization applications were “science-based” but not “reasonably available” for independent peer review.

    (my italics)

  19. SaveOurNix 23

    I heard that Nick Willis-2006 Commonwealth games gold medalist and 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medalist (both for the 1500m)-isn’t a fan of a flag change. So, not every elite NZ athlete is in favour of a new flag.

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