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Open mike 21/04/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 21st, 2014 - 133 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

133 comments on “Open mike 21/04/2014”

  1. Paul 1

    “Mobil’s response to a Lyttelton Harbour fuel spill is being investigated as the regional council’s harbour master voices concerns about how the oil giant reacted.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9961953/Mobil-in-port-oil-spill-inquiry

    No doubt Simon Bridges will be either ignorant of the issue or blithely unconcerned.

    • David H 1.1

      As long as he don’t use it to show how good we are at mopping up other peoples screw ups.
      Mobil didn’t even have a tank to pump the shit into, it was pumped into another companies tank.

      “Dilley said other tank farm operators from NZ Oil Services Ltd helped at the site.
      They, not Mobil, provided a tank to hold the fuel being pumped from outside and inside the bund,”

    • Suzie 1.2

      He probably doesn’t even know where Lyttelton Harbour is.

  2. Paul 2

    Living wage pays off for business

    Chalmers Organics was one of the first small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to adopt the living wage, which pays a minimum of $18.80 an hour for all staff, in response to Living Wage Aotearoa’s campaign launched in March last year.

    One year after the living wage was phased in staff turnover was non-existent, morale was up and the workforce is proud to work for the company. “Employees are more engaged and point out inefficiencies, which is vital for a small venture, because we can’t afford to invest in bigger systems. We rely on staff,” she said.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/9961603/Living-wage-pays-off-for-business

    Good on this company. So a business can do well fine and pay the living wage. Amazing what a motivated staff can do.

    It would be great if massive companies like supermarkets, retirement homes, cleaning companies and fast food corporations also paid the living wage.
    They could lose just a tiny bit of their enormous profits.

    And it would be great to have a PM who cared for our most vulnerable workers.
    But then what to do you expect from a money trader?

    This, predictably.
    “Prime Minister John Key has defended wages paid to Parliament’s cleaners – and says there is no reason they should be paid more than other cleaners.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9117450/Living-wage-promise-could-cost-2-5b-Key

    • Jim Nald 2.1

      Good on Chalmers Organics!

      Am keeping an eye out for their products which will be a priority on the shopping list:

      http://www.commonsenseorganics.co.nz/suppliers/fridge-goods-dairy-alternatives/chalmers-organics

      • veutoviper 2.1.1

        Agreed, Jim. Good on them.

        Here is the direct link to Chalmers organics – TONZU ltd.as your link is to Commonsense Organics (another great company).

        http://www.tonzu.co.nz

        The Tonzu link also has a full list of their stockists, as well as recipes for their products.

    • bad12 2.2

      The Beast bares its fangs!!!, from the Herald online comes the story of an Easter egg ‘drop’ sponsored by a Church and a major choclate manufacturer,

      3 helicopter ‘drops’ of Easter eggs in the Auckland area, advertised beforhand as an Easter egg hunt for kids resulted in 1000’s turning out for the occasion,

      Not shy it appears that a large number of adults joined in the ‘fun’ snatching Easter eggs from the hands of children,scratching some in the frenzy and in one case stomping on the hand of one child who was taken to an A and E,

      i can only imagine the uglyness that would have been exhibited had the ‘prize’ been of more value than a simple Easter egg…

    • RedBaronCV 2.3

      Great story. Pity the likes of JK can’t see the downstream effects of low wages
      . Look at some of the bills and debates before parliament, everything from food in schools to warrants for rental housing. Large amounts of this would not be needed if incomes were spread more evenly so people would have enough funds to upgrade their own lives. And this is without going near the arguements about welfare subsidising employers.

      Why do the NACTs promote and enable welfare dependency to such an extent?

      • Paul 2.3.1

        Money. They have a price.
        In return for their comfortable houses and baches, their overseas holidays and private school fees, they get the chance to sell the country to overseas corporate interests.

      • Pete George 2.3.2

        Why do the NACTs promote and enable welfare dependency to such an extent?

        I call bull on that. In other threads National are accused on beneficiary bashing, they can’t be opposites at the same time. I don’t see any evidence that any party promotes low wages. Higher wages and fewer benefits are better for business.

        This from NZH on Saturday: ‘Mindset change’ cuts benefit roll

        A single parents’ group says “a complete change of mindset” has helped reduce the number of people on the sole parent benefit to the lowest level in more than 20 years.

        Numbers on sole parent support have plunged by 8600, or 10 per cent, in the year to March.

        It is the biggest drop in a single year since the benefit – previously known as the domestic purposes benefit, or DPB – was created in 1974.

        Sole parent support is now being paid to 75,844 sole parents, fewer than in any year in the DPB’s history since 1988.

        About 22,000 people with no children under 14 were moved to other benefits when the DPB was abolished last July, but even if they were added back in, the total number of sole parents on any kind of benefit is the lowest since 1993.

        Auckland Single Parents Trust founder Julie Whitehouse said tighter rules, which require sole parents to look for part-time work when their youngest child turns 5 and fulltime work when that child turns 14, had completely changed attitudes.

        “It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s so good that I can’t even get them to volunteer time. The whole mindset has changed.”

        Asked how many of her 580 members now had jobs, she said: “The shift is incredible, I’m almost tempted to say 100 per cent – it really is big. All the attitudes changed. Everybody knew that when your child is 5 you have to go to work.”

        More people working and more people earning more benefits everyone.

        National, Labour and Greens all understand this, they just have different ideas on how to try and achieve it.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.2.1

          They just have different levels of competence, and no-one expects you to understand that.

        • Paul 2.3.2.2

          “I don’t see any evidence that any party promotes low wages.”
          You aren’t looking very hard, then….

          Bill English
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4869938/Low-wages-advantage-for-NZ-English

          John Hayes, National MP, 5 June 2013
          “ I think we should celebrate because a rise in the minimum wage in Australia makes our labour force more competitive and will be helpful in attracting investment and jobs to New Zealand. A driver from the Australian perspective is that the New Zealand labour force is well educated, more productive and less unionised than their Australian counterparts.”

          • Pete George 2.3.2.2.1

            That’s not promoting low wages, it’s comparing our bottom end wages to Australia’s and points out some advantages in that.

            We do have to be careful about pushing wages up too high and pricing ourselves out of international markets.

            I haven’t seen anything suggesting National wants to keep wages low or push them lower. The minimum wage has been increased year by year. The rate of rise can be debated, but I don’t think there’s a valid claim that National want to keep people poor and on benefits.

            • Paul 2.3.2.2.1.1

              Wilful ignorance.

            • anker 2.3.2.2.1.2

              In the words of the Tui Billboard add Pete…………..”Yeah right”

            • fisiani 2.3.2.2.1.3

              Pete George stop being so logical and correct in saying that National are constantly raising the minimum wage whilst sustaining employment growth. Stop pointing out that thousands of mothers are getting off benefits and into work, stop pointing out that wages are rising more than inflation. Such logic goes against the fingers in the ears, hear no good news nihilism of those still on the Left. The good news is that they are diminishing in number. It’s encouraging that so many ex-Labour voters are changing to National especially in South Auckland. It’s encouraging when Tariana Turia says that Labour do not deserve Maori votes. I sense a turning point in NZ political history.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Fisi, if you’re going to ride to Petty George’s rescue, is a barrel of red herrings the best noble steed you can muster?

                Your lady will more likely turn up her nose than take your proffered assistance.

            • millsy 2.3.2.2.1.4

              So are you fine with us being a sweatshop economy?

              Do you think we should ban unions?

            • Naki Man 2.3.2.2.1.5

              Keep up the good work Pete. These fools from the left can’t stand the truth.

            • McFlock 2.3.2.2.1.6

              I haven’t seen anything suggesting National wants to keep wages low or push them lower.

              Really? open your fucking eyes

              Even if the comment was 6 or 7 years ago (link in the article if you want to count months), an exlicit statement would, for most people, count as “suggesting” that fuckwits might have a specific fuckwit objective.

            • weka 2.3.2.2.1.7

              “I haven’t seen anything suggesting National wants to keep wages low or push them lower. The minimum wage has been increased year by year. The rate of rise can be debated, but I don’t think there’s a valid claim that National want to keep people poor and on benefits.”

              If the increase in wages doesn’t at least keep up with the cost of living, then that is equivalent to wages not increasing or decreasing. What you have just said is vacuous.

              btw, WINZ benefits are deliberately set at below the poverty line. Any govt that maintains that is keeping people poor.

              • Not sure how it can be avoided setting benefit levels statistically lower then people who are employed. I’m not sure than any of the larger parties are suggesting that should be substantially changed.

                The aim is to raise people’s income by getting them into employment .

                I presume you know that if the minimum wage was raised by 50% and work was provided for anyone who wants it then we’d still have the same number of people under the statistical poverty line.

                • felix

                  Nope.

                  The poverty line you refer to is 60% of the median wage.

                  • karol

                    Yep. At least, that’s the one used internationally. NZ doesn’t have an official poverty line. The OEDC uses it. And now PG seems to be repeating WO or KB spin. The number of people, or rather proportion of people, under the poverty line does change over time. Depends on how wages are spread around the median.

                    The US also measures poverty threshold:

                    they represent a federal government estimate of the point below which a household of a given size has pre-tax cash income insufficient to meet minimal food and other basic needs.

                    And the percentage of people deemed to be living in poverty in the US; has been increasing in the last couple of decades. In 2012 it was at the highest level since 1993.

                  • McFlock

                    60% median household income.

                    2013 median annual household income = $69,249
                    Weekly median = $799.03
                    Hourly = $20.

                    Minimum wage = $14.25/hr
                    Half of that is $7 and change.

                    If everyone on minimum wage got increased to $21/hr, they’d be >60% median
                    Give the currently unemployed 40 hours a week, and they’d be above 60% median.

                    The median would increase to $21/hr, but the number of people under the poverty line would decrease as the wadge of currently poor people get closer to the average income (although those relying on benefits due to sickness, or kicked off benefits because WINZ suck, would still be in poverty).

                • weka

                  “Not sure how it can be avoided setting benefit levels statistically lower then people who are employed.”

                  Benefits were cut by $20/wk in 1990. In the mid 80s the unemployment benefit was around the same rate as what school leavers were earning going into office jobs. We used to have relatively higher benefit rates then, why can’t we now?

                  “I’m not sure than any of the larger parties are suggesting that should be substantially changed.”

                  The GP want a UBI.

                  “The aim is to raise people’s income by getting them into employment.”

                  That disqualifies you from having any opinion on beneficiaries until you answer the question: how many beneficiaries are not required to seek/gain employment?

                  Then you will have to answer how many people are now required to see work, despite previously being exempt.

                  Then come back and explain how those people are supposed to live. And why those people aren’t entitled to a livable income.

                  Then explain why you think that beneficiaries are all unemployed.

                  And then explain how unemployed beneficiaries are supposed to raise their income via employment when there aren’t enough jobs.

                  Then, when youve done all that, retract your statement that NACT don’t keep people poor.

                  “I presume you know that if the minimum wage was raised by 50% and work was provided for anyone who wants it then we’d still have the same number of people under the statistical poverty line.”

                  What everyone else just said. Plus, you’re a dick. If the people at the bottom end of the scale have enough to live on, then poverty stops being an issue irrespective of the statistics.

                  • felix

                    +a zillion weka

                  • karol

                    Excellent.

                  • I said I don’t think National want to keep people poor. But you’re right claiming National keep people poor. Labour have and would keep people poor. Greens would keep people poor. Some people keep themselves poor.

                    I agree with giving some poor people more to live on. That’s not easy, but it’s made substantially easier if a lot more people are encouraged and assisted off benefits.

                    If the benefit budget is significantly reduced that makes it easier to provide for those who need it.This excludes Government created and paid for jobs which increases Government expenditure.

                    My questioning of statements like “Why do the NACTs promote and enable welfare dependency to such an extent?” stand.

                    I don’t believe they promote welfare dependency. Neither do Labour.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      🙄

                      You’re completely ignoring reality but that’s to be expected of RWNJs.

                    • freedom

                      🙄 🙄 🙄

                      How’s that weekly budget for poor people coming along Pete ?

                      I realise it is a complex thing to engineer without looking like a $2 shop tool but you are Pete George, the man with the plan! Where is the budget Pete?

                      You are Editor in Chief at the fact checking site called Politicheck.
                      Are facts not an essential item for your researchers to have on hand?

                      How do you plan to check the veracity of Government statements about poverty, incomes and expenditure if you do not have a clear understanding of the weekly budgets required of people who inhabit the lowest levels of our economy?

        • ‘In other threads National are accused on beneficiary bashing, they can’t be opposites at the same time.’

          Of course they can. They stir up hate and prejudice against beneficiaries in order to reinforce rightwing ideas about individualism, and at the same time in practice they encourage economic conditions which favour short-term profiteering by businesses – keeping wages down through attacks on workers’ rights, maintaining a large pool of desperate unemployed people, and diverting government funding to subsidies on business such as Working for Families and wage subsidies paid to companies like McDonald’s.

          It’s all completely consistent, and not exactly difficult to observe.

          • Pete George 2.3.2.3.1

            “They stir up hate and prejudice against beneficiaries”

            I don’t think they do that, and I don’t think there’s any evidence that there’s any intent to do that. In other words, I think that’s a nonsense claim.

            Some opponents try to talk up “hate and prejudice against beneficiaries”, which arguably is more damaging for beneficiaries. It’s worse than claiming Greens are anti-growth (which I don’t wholly agree with), and is dishonest or ignorant.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.2.3.1.1

              🙄

              “Opponents” like that communist Guyon Espiner, for example.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  April 13th 2014, Fairfax media.

                  • That says nothing. Can’t you cite your claim?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Guyon Espiner, April 13th, Fairfax media:

                      “…beneficiaries can’t afford defamation lawyers. And they probably don’t vote National.”

                      “…In one of the more gratuitous examples of this, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett recently trumpeted…”

                      “… the dog-whistle to the small-minded…”

                      As for a link, find your own, Petty George, and please please ignore what Bill told you.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Ha 😆 it was his brother Colin. That communist.

            • weka 2.3.2.3.1.2

              “I don’t think they do that, and I don’t think there’s any evidence that there’s any intent to do that. In other words, I think that’s a nonsense claim.”

              In other words, “I think, therefore the world is the way I think it is” 🙄

            • Puddleglum 2.3.2.3.1.3

              Hi Pete George,

              John Key described some on the DPB as “breeding for a business” in 2002.

              I think it’s reasonable to suggest that such comments do stir up hate and prejudice against beneficiaries by echoing back derogatory remarks towards beneficiaries (i.e., ‘breeding for a business’) commonly used by some New Zealanders.

              Obviously, that comment was used by someone in the National Party – their current leader.

            • Murray Olsen 2.3.2.3.1.4

              Pete George, you don’t think, full stop. What do you think about all the beneficiaries jetsetting to luxury resorts on the taxpayers’ dollar? What did you think of this grave problem the day before Paula Benefat started talking about it?

              If I were feeling charitable, I’d label you a gormless fool. I’m not. You have one or two gorms after all, but the most dishonest PM of all time is your role model. This is not really a step up from Dunne worship.

            • Tracey 2.3.2.3.1.5

              are you still pretending you dont know who you are going to vote for?
              That disqualifies you from having any opinion on beneficiaries until you answer the question: how many beneficiaries are not required to seek/gain employment?

              Then you will have to answer how many people are now required to see work, despite previously being exempt.

              Then come back and explain how those people are supposed to live. And why those people aren’t entitled to a livable income.

              Then explain why you think that beneficiaries are all unemployed.

              And then explain how unemployed beneficiaries are supposed to raise their income via employment when there aren’t enough jobs.

              Then, when youve done all that, retract your statement that NACT don’t keep people poor.

              “I presume you know that if the minimum wage was raised by 50% and work was provided for anyone who wants it then we’d still have the same number of people under the statistical poverty line.”

              What everyone else just said. Plus, you’re a dick. If the people at the bottom end of the scale have enough to live on, then poverty stops being an issue irrespective of the statistics.

          • Rogue Trooper 2.3.2.3.2

            to the last line, yep, and, nope.

        • weka 2.3.2.4

          Why do the NACTs promote and enable welfare dependency to such an extent?

          “I call bull on that. In other threads National are accused on beneficiary bashing, they can’t be opposites at the same time.”

          They’re not opposites, they’re complementary. It’s not hard to see the advantages for National of having people on benefits and having a culture of hating people on benefits.

          • Pete George 2.3.2.4.1

            What are “the advantages for National of having people on benefits and having a culture of hating people on benefits”?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.2.4.1.1

              🙄

            • Anne 2.3.2.4.1.2

              Don’t answer anyone cos he knows the answer.

              What a miserable life PG must lead if this is the way he has to get his kicks…

              • Poor response from you Anne. I’m not the one trying to talk up misery for beneficiaries, many of them have enough hardship to deal without being labeled and used dishonestly as political footballs.

                • bad12

                  Here’s a little message from a beneficiary George, 🙄 then, 🙄 along with 🙄 …

                • weka

                  “I’m not the one trying to talk up misery for beneficiaries, many of them have enough hardship to deal without being labeled and used dishonestly as political footballs.”

                  No, you’re the one trying to talk down the shit that beneficiaries are subjected to because it doesn’t suit your world view or privileged position in the world. Try listening to the experiences of beneficiaries and see how markedly that differs from what you perceive.

                  • Nope. Several people here have claimed things and so far they’ve failed to back up those claims. They haven’t even tried to back up the claims, instead trying standard diversions.

                    • see what i meant by ‘a tap left running’..?

                    • bad12

                      🙄 🙄 🙄 …

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Petty George “Opponents are making it up”.

                      OAB: cites Guyon Espiner

                      Petty George: “No-one cites anything”.

                      OAB: 🙄

                    • blue leopard

                      Pete George,

                      Plenty of people have given you responses that back up the claim that National create hostility toward those in the most unfortunate circumstances in this country.

                      Others have realised it is simply a waste of time to do so because you appear to be trolling.

                      To give you a chance to be a decent human being on this matter and apologise for the idiocy you have been putting forward I provide you this link:

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11231545

                      Please note this comment of Paula Bennett’s:

                      “Every day we hear stories of how people cannot live on the benefit. Today you’re hearing that literally thousands can not only live on it but can afford to travel overseas as well.”

                      As Minister of Social Development she knows full well that NOONE can save up for overseas travel on a welfare benefit

                      She knows full well how much savings a person can have while still qualifying for a benefit (I don’t the amount but know some savings still allow one to qualify).

                      She may also know, like a lot of us do, that people are sometimes given tickets by family members for various reasons.

                      If she doesn’t know at least the first two points then she is not doing her job properly and what the hell is she making statement like the above for?

                      She is deceiving the public by making such a statement and she is creating hostility toward those without jobs by misinforming the public

                      So please no more of this ‘the Nats don’t Bene Bash’ crap. It is a poor reflection on you if you don’t know this is the case already and an extremely poor reflection on you if you do, yet attempt to promote such utter horseshit.

                    • weka

                      “Nope. Several people here have claimed things and so far they’ve failed to back up those claims. They haven’t even tried to back up the claims, instead trying standard diversions.”

                      That’s because everyone else here knows what we are talking about, and we also know that supplying back up to you just means another round of mindfucking inanity. The standard is full of examples of how the right in particular promote bashing of beneficiaries. That you can’t see that is about you and how your world view works, nothing to do with us.

                      In other words, no-one here believes that proving something to you is necessary, because your main role here is that of concern tr*ll and shit stirrer (in the nicest, centrist kind of way of course).

                      Now, you can disagree with the perceptions of most of the other people here, no problem with that, but don’t trying to frame this as ‘there is no proof’, because there is proof, we’re just not going to do your homework for you. You demanding proof is just another example of your disingenuous approach.

                    • karol

                      Beneficiary bashing has been the subject of many comments and posts in the past on TS. It’d be very time consuming to repeat it all every time it’s commented on.

                      Colin Espiner on Bennie bashing beign too easy.

                      It amounts to a prejudice, so it’s about the way its expressed in a range of contexts, publications and discourses.

                      Kyle MacDonald, psychotherapist on the psychology of beneficiary bashing.

                      Kyle MacDonald was a guest on Radio Live this weekend.

                      He cites research in the US which shows levels of prejudice against the poor and the homeless in the US are stronger now than the levels of racism.

                      And let’s not forget Sarah Wilson, whose blog post on her experiences with WINZ went viral.

                      But I would expect anyone into fact checking, would have a wide general knowledge of current issues. bennie bashing and prejudices against people on benefits, or unemployed or poor, is one that has got some news coverage lately. I would expect anyone who was interested in such things would do a bit of their own research,and not expect others to do the research for them.

                    • It wasn’t me who made the claims. Should any claims pass go unchallenged here?

                      It’s easy to claim ‘bennie bashing’, but that’s diverting from the original claims.

                      “Why do the NACTs promote and enable welfare dependency to such an extent?”

                      “They stir up hate and prejudice against beneficiaries”

                      “It’s not hard to see the advantages for National of having people on benefits and having a culture of hating people on benefits.”

                      There are advantages in having some people on benefits, but I don’t see these claims anywhere near justified.

                      Instead I see deliberate stirring up of hate and prejudice against National.

                      I think emotive overstating and making claims that most people would see as ridiculous are counterproductive. It would be far better to make good arguments for providing better support for those who need to be on benefits, and support initiatives to assist and encourage people off benefits as both Labour and National governments have done.

                      Labeling, name calling and making questionable claims don’t help beneficiaries at all.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Pete George

                      Yes you did

                      Pete George 2.3.2.3.1
                      21 April 2014 at 12:05 pm:

                      “They stir up hate and prejudice against beneficiaries”

                      I don’t think they do that, and I don’t think there’s any evidence that there’s any intent to do that. In other words, I think that’s a nonsense claim.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                      Questions claims, demands citations. Is provided with examples and citations. Fails to acknowledge examples and citations. Makes accusations.

                      Petty George is the embodiment of dishonesty and bad faith. No wonder he’s unelectable and everything he touches turns to bland failure.

                    • weka

                      “Instead I see deliberate stirring up of hate and prejudice against National.”

                      Yeah that’s right Pete. There is no bene bashing culture in NZ* that is promoted by National, but there is a terrible National bashing culture on the standard. Poor National of course have done nothing to deserve this.

                      *There is no depression in NZ either.

                      Keep it up mate, the more we see your values and perceptions of the world the better. You are dangerous, so making that apparent is a good thing.

                      I think emotive overstating and making claims that most people would see as ridiculous are counterproductive. It would be far better to make good arguments for providing better support for those who need to be on benefits, and support initiatives to assist and encourage people off benefits as both Labour and National governments have done.

                      Labeling, name calling and making questionable claims don’t help beneficiaries at all.

                      All I can say to that is go fuck yourself you rabid, blind, self-serving, egotistical, leftist-hating, conformist, sanctimonious prick.

                      You are the last person on this forum to have any idea about what is helpful to beneficiaries. The more I see of what you write and do here, and the more you insist on peddling your centrist, holier than thou hypocrisy to the detriment of this forum and the left in general, when so many people want you to just fuck off, the more I think your actual role here is to destablise left wing discourse. Whether you are conscious that that is what you do, I don’t know. But it is what you do.

                      If you don’t feel emotion in response to what is happening in NZ, then fuck off.

                      If you don’t bother to read karol’s links and see what we are actually talking about, then fuck off.

                      And if you want to tell us how we should be discussing politics in NZ when you still have no idea what we are on about, then you can fuck off in triplicate.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Weka,

                      I second that

                      [Except for the bit about destabilizing left wing discourse. He’s been distracting people but I wouldn’t give him any credit for destabilizing discourse – he is, however, severely destabilizing his own and Politicheck’s reputation if my shift in view is anything to go by.]

                    • weka

                      Agree about his own reputation (silver linings and all that).

                      I think the distracting is destabilising, but it’s worse than that. He’s a trll, and the function of the trll is to disrupt in anyway he can. Going into an election… can you imagine what it will be like if he is still here a month or a week before the election? How much time and energy will be wasted between now and then countering his bullshit? Not an ordinary tr*ll, because they don’t tend to last, they get banned (and unfortunately for us PG might just manage to be smart enough to not get banned again).

                      And not an ordinary right winger, because at least even though their views might be daft or repugnant, they’re reasonably competent at having an argument. PG is a clusterfuck of communication, just about every time.

                    • “..All I can say to that is go fuck yourself you rabid, blind, self-serving, egotistical, leftist-hating, conformist, sanctimonious prick…”

                      plus many more than one…

                      ..pete george..

                      ..putting the ‘con’ into contrived…

                    • If you think that exaggerated attacks and dumping on anyone who suggests being so negative mightn’t be the best of looks will appeal to disillusioned and non-voters and will get you the election result you want good luck with that.

                      No wonder the Greens are frustrated that when they have their best chance ever to make a significant difference the allies they need look like bitter old loners.

                    • weka

                      “If you think that exaggerated attacks and dumping on anyone who suggests being so negative mightn’t be the best of looks will appeal to disillusioned and non-voters and will get you the election result you want good luck with that.”

                      You’re not being dumped on because you made a suggestion. You’re being dumped on because you are tr*ll and insist on taking up so much space with so much inanity.

                      I really think you quite misunderstand what this forum is for, lolz.

                      “No wonder the Greens are frustrated that when they have their best chance ever to make a significant difference the allies they need look like bitter old loners.”

                      Oooh, PG, friend of the GP now. Or concern tr*ll 🙄

                  • karol

                    PG asks a lot of questions, but he still hasn’t answered this one.

                    The underlying values are as important as the evidence.

                    And the evidence is often detailed and requires time to digest – and can’t fully be captured in some quick sound bites, or easily quotable stats.

                    [Edit]

                    PG doesn’t seem interested in any in depth research like that of Dr Marriott, who compared the treatment of tax fraud with that of beneficiary fraud.

                    The research finds that tax offences are perceived as less serious when compared to other similar offences, such as benefit fraud, when measured by the likelihood of receiving a custodial sentence. Tax offences are significantly less likely to receive a custodial sentence than blue-collar offending and more likely to be given community work by way ofpunishment. The research also finds tax prosecutions are unlikely to act as a significant deterrent for non
                    -compliant taxpayers,with few custodial sentences and minimal reparation via the prosecution process.

                    He doesn’t respond to citing such evidence, then just comes back the next day with more questions to use up people’s time. Puts more time into his comments – lacking very much evidence from him, but keeps asking us to put our time into finding evidence than he ever does.

                    • weka

                      “The underlying values are as important as the evidence.”

                      +1 (in triplicate 😉 ) karol.

                      “And the evidence is often detailed and requires time to digest – and can’t fully be captured in some quick sound bites, or easily quotable stats.”

                      Very true. It’s not like Pete hasn’t seen all the discussion already about things like bene bashing. Now he uses the fact check thing as a shield for his own bullshit, which beggars belief given his role at Politicheck. Sometimes I think he is genuinely ignorant (cannabis), and other times I think he is just disingenuous in the extreme (bene bashing) and instead of stating up front his own ideas, he expects other people to provide evidence of proof for anything he doesn’t agree with.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      instead of stating up front his own ideas, he expects other people to provide evidence of proof for anything he doesn’t agree with.

                      And he’ll still disagree with it anyway. I suppose it comes with being a Sensible Centrist.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      That is a funny cartoon you linked to there DTB!

                      …he completely ignores any evidence provided and changes the subject….

                • captain hook

                  well what are you going to do about it then besides wasting yours and our time waffling on here. when are you going to do something pet e geroge?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.2.4.2

            It is when promoting trivial drivel as though it were substantive comment.

            • Paul 2.3.2.4.2.1

              I gave him evidence 6 and a half hours ago. He ignored it.
              Just got back and see he’s still wasting people’s time on this.

              • RedbaronCV

                Look what happens when I go out for the day!! Thank you to a large number supportive commentators, Nacts promoting welfare dependancy appears to hit a right wing nerve..
                As for the second bit about the DPB, Pete may be being a bit shallow here too, as demographics look like the answer here. As the baby boomers age and smaller generations come along the figure will drop just anyway. Like to fact check that Pete??
                The mind set change, one person is quoted, the rest probably too despeartely overworked to have time to think. Second fact check for Pete, -have you bought up children as a single parent?

        • greywarbler 2.3.2.5

          Once a group calling itself single parents trust would have been supporting single parents, helping them with their lives, not reducing them to numbers in paid work.
          It sounds as if its dedicated to getting them into some sort of job. Parents don’t talk to it much about anything else because it’s not their kaupapa.

  3. Tautoko Viper 3

    Claire Trevett has written an article about a simple question asked by Dr Prasad about the ruling allowing Nigella to visit NZ. The heading implies that this is a big issue with the Labour Party. This is all part of the plan to paint Labour as focussing on the irrelevant. The article in itself is trivial and the headline misleading. This is yet another example of poor and biased journalism.

    • Paul 3.1

      The Herald is a rag which acts as a propaganda outlet for the corporate elite.
      Claire Trevett is a puppet for the 1%.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        The article has been updated and from what I can tell included this paragraph:

        He [Prasad] assumed Immigration NZ gave it careful consideration and did not have a problem with Ms Lawson’s approval if that was the case.

        The headline says:

        Nigella’s visa clearance for new choc ad worries Labour

        The reality would appear to be the opposite.

    • cricklewood 3.2

      On the flipside I really don’t understand why he has bothered to comment on it. Imho its a trivial matter and immigration has made the right decision. He could have said as much rather than add his concerns about drug users et al.
      Its easy to moan about the herald bias but there comes a point where you shouldn’t give them the stick to hit you with.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.2

        Um, I’m not sure you understand how this works: right wing hack phones Labour MP and asks a question on some trivial matter of policy that happens to be their portfolio: reports comment as though it were unsolicited.

        Compare and contrast with the subjects of press-releases actually issued by the Labour Party: it’s not hard: you can find them over there to the right.

        • Sacha 3.2.2.1

          Unless Prasad somehow holds portfolios of drug policy and comparative morality, he should have shut his trap. What a fool.

        • cricklewood 3.2.2.2

          My point been if a right wing hack rings you for comment on a trivial matter like this you say im sure immigration officials have made a considered decision and leave it at that. No need for the worried about drug users et al that gets misconstrued and spun into a story.
          The Heralds reporting is bias and sensationalist better to not fall into the trap and give them a bone so to speak…

      • Once was Pete 3.2.3

        Agreed. Another very clumsy PR effort! For heavens sake don’t they get any coaching? Media bias doesn’t cut it. Some Labour politicians have been very good with the media.
        At the moment from Cunliffe down the performance has been very mediocre. Shane Jones has at least generated positive headlines even if he did get a rebuke for his efforts on the Greens!
        Time to dust off Brian Edwards retainer!

        • mickysavage 3.2.3.1

          Did Cameron send you with instructions on what to say? Honestly you guys are so predictable. You are like the borg. Can’t at least you think for yourself before you comment?

    • anker 3.3

      Claire Trevett is one of the worst offenders IMO. Fabulous National Party publicity hack. Picks up on trivialities all aimed at making Labour look bad. It’s all well and good saying Labour shouldn’t give them opportunities, but that would be impossible. Everyone gets it “wrong” at some point. Its inevitable. But there’s getting it wrong in a serious way and getting it wrong in a trivial way.
      CT brought us such fabulous pieces of journalism such as Key cracks a joke (in Hong Kong), dont we all love the Royals and who cares what they cost!

      • Paul 3.3.1

        The left parties must name and shame the bias in live interviews so the media’s put on the back foot.

  4. Te Reo Putake 4

    The former NSW Premier Neville Wran has died. I guess he wasn’t that well known this side of the Tasman, but he was a significant figure in the rebuilding of Labor after the constitutional coup in ’73. He was able to combine environmentalism and practicality in his approach to the job of growing the NSW economy and infrastructure in a way that should probably be replicated in NZ.

    http://www.theage.com.au/nsw/neville-wran-dead-aged-87-20140420-36ywh.html

    And, in the religious news, an Easter miracle for Mike Smith and the other Standard Kopites:

    • um..!..wran was as bent/corrupt as..

      ..his time in power was a time of endemic-corruption..

      ..his nickname in the criminal fraternity was ‘nifty neville’…

      ..as in ‘nifty’ll fix it!’…

      ..most things in wrans time could be ‘fixed’..

      • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1

        None of that is true, Phil, particularly the implication that he was responsible for the endemic corruption in NSW.

        For a start, the nickname was given to him by a fellow lawyer, decades before he entered politics (employment law, not criminal law, btw).

        As a polly he was accused of dodgy dealing with the Balmain league club, but cleared.

        Now, you don’t get to run the NSW Labor party without being a headkicker (to use his phrase), but he did a hell of a lot of good. The SMH has a good summary of his achievements:

        “However, he counted among his achievements the introduction of democratic elections to the upper house; ending systematic destruction of rainforests and giving them World Heritage protection; a $2 billion integrated transport system including the Eastern Suburbs rail line and electrification of the Newcastle and Wollongong lines; finishing what Mr Whitlam had started by ”creating a multicultural society in which all people are equal”; and revolutionising government administration.

        His government also claimed credit for extending parliamentary terms to four years; disclosure of MPs’ pecuniary interests and public funding of election campaigns; establishing a ministry of Aboriginal affairs; introducing anti-discrimination laws and the Equal Opportunities Tribunal; commissioning the Richmond report into mental health; introducing random breath testing; establishing an internal unit to investigate police corruption; liquor laws allowing Sunday trading.”

        Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/obituaries/neville-wran-praise-controversy-and-balmain-boys-dont-cry-quote-marked-time-in-office-20140420-zqx46.html#ixzz2zTg6skR5

        • phillip ure 4.1.1.1

          “..particularly the implication that he was responsible for the endemic corruption in NSW..”..

          ..so..let me see if i’ve got this right..

          ..you admit the ‘endemic-corruption’ of those 12 yrs wran was in power..

          ..but he sat perched at the top..snowy-white and corruption-free…eh..?

          ..(psstt..!!..wanna buy a bridge..?..it’s still in good nick..!)

          ..i was in australia for some of those wran years..

          ..and knew people who knew just how corrupt the place was..

          ..(at one stage i lived opposite a drive-in liquor-store that was owned by one of sydneys’ most notorious gangsters..

          ..and every friday i used to watch the top police/politicians rolling in and out of there.

          …(police in full-uniform..top-ranking..).

          ..and it came out later that that was where the envelopes of cash were handed over..

          ..and yes..a lawyer gave him that nickname..’cos he played straight..?..d’yareckon..?

          ..and all the crims knew him as nifty..

          ..and i’m sure i cd dig up some corruption-quotes for you..

          ..(and established ‘an internal unit’ to check corruption..?..eh..?..

          ..heh..!..that’s funny..!..)

          • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.1.1

            Everyone knew him as Nifty. It was his nickname. Now provide the evidence that he was responsible for the corruption. Or just quit while you’re behind.

            • phillip ure 4.1.1.1.1.1

              ok..he was snowy-white…

              ..so..just confirming yr claim..

              ..that wran headed a totally corrupt administration for twelve years..

              ..yet himself was corruption-free..?

              ….carry on..!

              • Te Reo Putake

                “.so..just confirming yr claim..

                ..that wran headed a totally corrupt administration for twelve years..

                ..yet himself was corruption-free..?”

                I didn’t make that claim, but I did point out that the one time he was accused of corrup behaviour he was exonerated. Now would be a good time for you to put up the evidence that he was corrupt.

                Oh dear, can’t do it?

                I smell a Phail Ure.

      • millsy 4.1.2

        Isn’t being corrupt a prerequisite to being the Premier of an Australian state?

        • phillip ure 4.1.2.1

          pretty much..

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.1.2.2

          😆

        • RedLogix 4.1.2.3

          In my modest observation the Aussies are a lot more honest about the way they do politics than we are. At least in Aus you know politics is a hard-ball, in your face business.

          NZ likes to pretend we’re lily-white when it comes to corruption – but I’m beginning to think that behind closed doors and out of sight from the public we’re in many ways worse than Aus.

  5. Paul 5

    This is what happens when you privatise energy companies. Short term profits for the shareholders come first.

    Power prices are soaring “out of control” on the eve of winter, with some companies hiking prices up a “staggering” 9 per cent in one month, Labour says.

    Shearer based his assertions on data from the PowerSwitch website, which tracks national power prices.

    The latest PowerSwitch figures show significant price rises from March to April across the country.

    Christchurch appears to have been hit the hardest, with two companies, Nova and Powershop, recording price increases of more than 9 per cent for the month.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9961956/Shearer-slates-soaring-power-prices

    I guess Simon Bridges will pretend the problem doesn’t exist.
    Predictably, yes.

    “However, Bridges discredited Shearer’s claims as “scaremongering”.
    The majority of New Zealand’s power retailers increased their prices on April 1 every year and the Powerswitch data “captures that increase”, Bridges said.

    • bad12 5.1

      The inflation economy, every year the power companies, Generators, Lines, and Retailers increase the value of their assets in a little book keeping exercise,

      All three arms of electricity generation and supply then base the ‘price’ of electricity on the increased value of their assets,( 3% increased ‘value’ of assets across the 3 arms of generation and supply leads to a 9% increase in cost to the end user),

      i cannot though fathom how the proposed single desk buyer of wholesale electricity will stop either the lines companies or the retailers from continuing with this ‘abusive practice,

      My view is that the ‘single desk’ buyer model ‘assumes’ that there is ‘competition’ in either the lines companies and the retailers of electricity,

      This assumption is patently untrue as the whole system is being operated as a Cartel where ‘paper savings’ by the consumer are really only imaginary as the retailers play their little game of ‘leap-frog’ with pricing…

      • James Thrace 5.1.1

        You have to question why, when electricity companies put their not insubstantial mark up on the variable rates, why they have to mark up the daily rate as well.

        The Daily Rate is supposed to be the fixed rate cost that is levied by the local lines network company. In Wellington for most people this should be $.90 per day. Most retailers are charging around the $2/day mark. Before the line charges went up on 1 April, retailers were charging around $1.15, and the line network only charged $0.15c p/day. This will be the same story around most of the country – one of the few exceptions I can think of are those on a low user plan. People with a standard plan (with no fixed rates) will be the most impacted.

        The Variable Rate is a bit different as retailers claim this rate includes their own costs – and where they should add on their charges. In Wellington the variable rate from the lines company is .0875. Retailers charge anywhere between .22 – 29c

        Why then are retailers allowed to add on hefty amounts to the daily rates when theoretically this charge is levied for the exclusive benefit of lines companies. If the fixed daily rate was passed on at cost this would save consumers around $300 – $400 per year.

        Note: for simplicity I refer only to those charges for consumers on a standard user plan that isn’t a fixed deal.

        • RedBaronCV 5.1.1.1

          And if you look at the Wellington Regional council’s annual plan they look like they want to aggregate water assets. So here comes the next one. submissions still open.

      • Herodotus 5.1.2

        Don’t limit such activities to only those within the power industry, have a look at other utility providers such as water . Eg waterways or before that manukau water with water increasing by 100% when the billing period was compressed from twice yearly to quarterly , and then again doubled when watercare then reverted to monthly billing. All legit and based on revaluation of the asset base.

    • Naki Man 5.2

      “This is what happens when you privatise energy companies. Short term profits for the shareholders come first.”

      The government is the majority share holder you idiot,
      you are either deliberately telling lies or you are more stupid than I thought.

      • Paul 5.2.1

        No longer fully owned by the state, so now beholden to corporate interests.
        When 100% owned by the state! shareholders were the government so long term planning possible.
        Now minority shareholders want good dividends.
        Let’s try debating mr naki without resorting to personal insults.

        • Naki Man 5.2.1.1

          Have you ever been a minority shareholder ?
          They have no say at all,
          you are talking rubbish

          • Paul 5.2.1.1.1

            Let’s agree to disagree then Naki Man.
            And let’s try to keep some courtesy in the conversation.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.1.2

            No say at all apart from certain legal obligations that the company must meet. I’m sure Naki Man was just about to mention those, weren’t you Naki Man?

  6. bad12 6

    From the ‘economics’ pages of the Herald online:

    ”US taxpayers would need to pay and average of $1259 more a year to make up for Federal and State taxes lost to Corporations and Individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens according to a report”,

    ”Tax haven abusers benefit from America’s markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law– all supported in onme way or another by tax dollars– but they avoid paying for these benefits”, Us public interest research group said in a report released today, the deadline for filing 2013 taxes,

    Who would have thunk it, the total amount of tax fraud is estimated to be nearly $200 million dollars annually which is around 5% of the total US tax take,

    Sounds remarkably like the New Zealand tax rort, not surprising as we operate our businesses in a mimic of the US system to a certain extent and with the latest figures showing a ”slow” tax take here in New Zealand for the current financial year of around a billion dollars i would suggest tx fraud here mirrors the US experience of 5% of the total tax take being fraudulently withheld by those with the ability to defraud the system…

  7. adam 7

    Love this – this is so classic. Also have a look at the link from this great artical. https://www.tytnetwork.com/2014/04/17/exposed-right-wing-radio-big-trouble/

  8. Poission 8

    On earthday there will be a release of evidence collected by the CTBTO’s infrasound network on the risk of large asteroids hitting earth.

    The scale of Chelyabinsk type meteors since 2001 is 26,3-10 times what is thought to be expected.

    http://phys.org/news/2014-04-astronauts-reveal-sobering-asteroid-impacts.html

  9. Populuxe1 9

    Will someone please remove Prasad’s foot from his mouth:
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Labour-questions-Lawson-visa/tabid/1607/articleID/340858/Default.aspx

    Someone please explain to him that he’s just said he wants to punish a woman who hasn’t got any convictions but has had the misfortune of having her past private life dragged through the media by a vindictive ex-husband who was abusing her.

    Honestly if Labour were a person this repeated self-harming would be seen as a cry for help.

    • amirite 9.1

      Have you actually read the article properly? Because I agree with every word Prasad says. It seems to be different treatment by the state services according to one’s wealth or celebrity status, we already see a lot of it in courts and now with immigration too.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 9.1.1

        Actually, Prasad essentially says “it is terrible that celebrities are given different preferential status, which I’m sure didn’t happen here, but when it does, and it didn’t here, it is terrible.”

        Cheers for that, Prasad.

      • Populuxe1 9.1.2

        Actually I’m pretty sure that anyone regardless of weath or status can have their situation reviewed by NZ officials. Seems? Do you work for Customs? Immigration? What makes you the expert?
        Basically Nigella has obviously been red flagged because the Yanks are puritan hypocrites, she has asked for a review of her case, and an exemption has been granted because she doesn’t have any criminal convictions (unlike, say, Dotcom, who has convictions but effectively bribed the feckless National government). Labour getting involved at all is counterproductive and really not a good look in the final approach to an election.

  10. Paul 10

    The Herald acts as a shill for the ACT Party.
    No investigative skills shown by journalist Sophie Ryan, no questions posed of a crime policy that has already failed the west. Just an appeal to redneck opinion. Repeating ACT policy is not journalism
    What a rag.

  11. Penny Bright 11

    HOW CORRUPT IS NEW ZEALAND?

    Try this for size ……..

    Did you know that the NZ Auditor-General Lyn Provost is a shareholder in Sky City, but she failed to disclose this when I asked her do an inquiry into why the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of NZ (OFCANZ) had failed to do any due diligence on the increased risk of money-laundering arising from the NZ International Convention Centre Bill?

    I’ve petitioned Parliament for an inquiry:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1404/S00334/select-committees-for-14-april-to-17-april-2014.htm
    Finance and Expenditure

    The committee met on 16 April when it further considered the 2012/13 financial review of the Earthquake Commission, and the petitions of Deidre Kent and 877 others and of Penelope Bright and 13 others.
    ………………………………..
    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/presented/petitions/50DBHOH_PET3196_1/petition-of-penelope-mary-bright-and-13-others-that-the

    Petition of Penelope Mary Bright and 13 others

    That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into why New Zealand Auditor-General Lyn Provost did not disclose that she was a shareholder in Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd at the time she declined to conduct an urgent investigation into the failure of the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand to carry out ‘due diligence’ on the increased risk of money-laundering arising from the New Zealand International Convention Centre (Bill) 2013.

    Petition number: 2011/101
    Presented by: Denis O’Rourke
    Date presented: 12 March 2014
    Referred to: Finance and Expenditure Committee

    Quite a BIGGIE don’t you think?

    Particularly when the Office of the Auditor General is the ‘Platinum’ sponsor of Transparency International New Zealand?

    http://www.transparency.org.nz/Partners-and-Sponsors

    “Partners and Sponsors
    Cornerstone Platinum
    The Office of the Auditor General ”

    Click to access Integrity-Plus-2013-New-Zealand-National-Integrity-System-Assessment-Executive-Summary.pdf

    “Overall conclusions of the report 

    New Zealand’s national integrity system remains fundamentally strong, and New Zealand is
    rated highly against a broad range of cross-country transparency and good governance
    indicators. Since the first NIS assessment of New Zealand in 2003, a welcome strengthening
    of transparency and accountability has occurred in some areas.

    The assessment found that the strongest pillars in the NIS are the Office of the Auditor General, the judiciary, the Electoral Commission, and the Ombudsman. …..”

    Oh dear ….

    Have yet to see any public comment from Transparency International NZ (TINZ) on this
    above-mentioned petition for an Inquiry into the NZ Auditor General – their “CORNERSTONE PLATINUM SPONSOR” …..

    Penny Bright

  12. Penny Bright 12

    Who is on the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee?

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/mpp/mps/current/?pf=committeeshortname&sf=finance+and+expenditure&lgc=0

    Finance and Expenditure Chairperson Goldsmith, Paul National Party, List
    Finance and Expenditure Deputy-Chairperson Barry,Maggie National Party, North Shore
    Finance and Expenditure Member Bennett, David National Party, Hamilton East
    Finance and Expenditure Member Clark, David Labour Party, Dunedin North
    Finance and Expenditure Member Hayes, John National Party, Wairarapa
    Finance and Expenditure Member Jones, Shane Labour Party, List
    Finance and Expenditure Member Norman, Russel Green Party, List
    Finance and Expenditure Member Parker, David Labour Party, List
    Finance and Expenditure Member Peters, Winston NZ First, List
    Finance and Expenditure Member Ross, Jami-Lee National Party, Botany
    Finance and Expenditure Member Wilkinson, Kate National Party, Waimakariri

    Penny Bright

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  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
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  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
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  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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