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Open mike 21/05/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 21st, 2013 - 98 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

98 comments on “Open mike 21/05/2013”

  1. The Herald this morning has lashed the Government for legislating away the right of kiwis, apart from the few who already have, to seek to be paid for looking after their disabled Whanau.

    In a particularly hitting passage it said “[i]t could be argued the World Cup and the Canterbury earthquakes were events out of the ordinary that demanded such an urgent response setting aside constitutional nuance. But that can hardly be said to be the case in terms of improving the support of disabled people and their families. The Government’s unseemly focus on reducing litigation risk has triggered a shabby piece of legislation and a deplorable flouting of parliamentary process.”

    The editorial is at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10884930.

    So why smash this through under urgency even though it does not come into effect until October?

    The answer seems to be that in its haste to produce a “surplus” it had to get a potential liability off its books. Even very modest potential liabilities can negate the wafer thin surplus the government is pinning its reelection chances on.

    New Zealand it’s time to get angry.

    Shameful at so many levels.

    • Paul 1.1

      Maybe the Herald could lead with ‘Democracy under attack.’
      This totalitarian government should be a wake up call to the sleepy hobbits, as Bomber puts it.

      • Tigger 1.1.1

        Yeah, still waiting for that angry banner headline, Herald.

        • Paul 1.1.1.1

          We’ll have to wait till the government suggests we use energy saving lightbulbs….

          • Morrissey 1.1.1.1.1

            We’ll have to wait till the government suggests we use energy saving lightbulbs….

            Correction: We’ll have to wait till the LABOUR government suggests we use energy saving lightbulbs.

  2. Jenny 2

    A 19th Century style debtor’s prison for this woman if she should ever return?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/assignments/share-your-news-and-views/8694964/Me-and-my-100k-student-loan

    • ianmac 2.1

      We get angry when Loan Sharks trap the unwary and next minute the trapped are in an impossible place. So imagine the unwary being trapped through having the temerity to borrow for educational improvement! How stupid is she! Getting a degree indeed! Know your place woman!
      I have a relative who wants to complete his MA but there is no Student Allowance. More debt.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        Indeed there have been changes to tighten up the allowance and they were achieved by stealth which is the way this government likes to work. After 2.5 years as a fulltime extramural student I’ve had to stop studying because the allowance was ridiculous but the debt is still there. Anytime you go to studylink now it’s log on to igovernment so they can keep extra vigilance on students and make sure they get their pound of flesh.

      • Populuxe1 2.1.2

        I am still trying to work out how anyone would be eliagable for a post grad student allowance when most people would have used up their allocation in undergrad and honours

        • NickS 2.1.2.1

          Well, some of us made use of student loan living costs for undergrad, which if you can find a cheap flat that does communal cooking is nearly liveable without turning to student job search for work. But if you’re unlucky, pretty much you need to have a steady part time job just to pay for rent, bills and your own food, as well as stuff like car costs, recreation etc, so the student allowance becomes very appealing to avoid the debt and give yourself more time for study and living.

    • DH 2.2

      What’s the solution to this? She can’t be the only person in similar straits and it’s not a problem that will go away by itself.

      • NickS 2.2.1

        The rational solution would be to go back to fully subsidised university and tertiary study, with appropriate gating via GPA and a complete scrapping of bums-on-seats funding and declare the current student debt as a lose and wipe it. As effectively tertiary education is an investment by society that usually leads to a person earning higher wages and so paying more in taxes, along with providing valuable skills or new businesses via start ups.

        Unfortunately, well, NZ governments since the 1980’s have had an irrational love of short term benefits/costs and a rather twisted, non-empirical view of sustainable social costs vis viability, resulting in under investment in health, education and social security. Costs of which are now rather visible to all but the most ideological blind.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2

        Forgive all student debt and make getting an education free.

        • Bill 2.2.2.1

          Not free…if you gained an income advantage from your higher level of education, then a truly progressive tax system would effectively mean your education entered into the realms of ‘fair exchange’.

          But yup, although there would be a somewhat justified level of resentment from those who have bust their arses to repay loans to this point, wipe the debt.

          • McFlock 2.2.2.1.1

            I reckon that concentrating on the private benefit, provided it’s not extreme, is the wrong way of looking at things that are broad-brush policies.

            Question is, do we as a society need an ongoing or even increasing number of highly trained individuals (from plumbers/gasfitters to brain surgeons)? If so, sticking a disincentive like fees and loans on people who we need (and who we need to stay in NZ) is counter-productive. If they get a massive income benefit from the increased training, then they pay tax on a higher threshold.

            [edit] argh crap, that’s exactly what you said. My bad – busy day at the office

          • muzza 2.2.2.1.2

            Who officially owns the student debt , these days?

    • Murray Olsen 2.3

      Chomsky claims that one of the main purposes of student loans was to discourage activism, both during and after the university years. When the government can arbitrarily change the interest rates, repayment thresholds, and minimum payments, any debtor is certainly in a vulnerable position.

      The whole idiotic scheme should be done away with. University can be paid for via progressive taxation, or maybe even some form of work bonding. As it stands, someone setting up as a dentist, for example, basically has a mortgage to pay before they even start earning. This cost is pushed onto the wider community through increased professional charges. Taxpayers still pay for tertiary education indirectly anyway, so wouldn’t it be better to just pay for the study and maybe even benefit from said dentist working at a public clinic for a couple of years?

  3. “Middle East a hot topic as McCully meets Kerry”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10885007

    Yeah we get it. We were us bitches, then we weren’t for a bit, now we are again.

    • Morrissey 3.1

      McCULLY: Mr. Secretary of State, I hear the Arabs are revolting.

      KERRY: Revolting? They’re utterly disgusting, noisome, beastly, loathsome, monstrous, obnoxious, odious, hideous, foul and frightful.

      • Populuxe1 3.1.1

        Gosh, that must be why the Democrats have been pushing for a two state solution since the Clinton presidency.

        • Morrissey 3.1.1.1

          You know nothing. Do some reading, fool.

          • ghostrider888 3.1.1.1.1

            some reading below Morrissey

            • Morrissey 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Thank you, my friend. I’ll have a look when I get back from downtown. Have to go now.

          • Populuxe1 3.1.1.1.2

            Actually if YOU do some reading (other than the Protocols or whatever it is you usually read), the US hasn’t stopped calling for a two state solution, they are in fact warning it must come soon before Israel goes too far.

            http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/05/why-kerry-was-wrong-to-say-the-two-state-solution-is-nearly-dead/275758/

            • Morrissey 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Actually if YOU do some reading (other than the Protocols or whatever it is you usually read),

              There you go again, attempting to smear instead of argue your corner. If you had any credibility, perhaps that crude jibe would have annoyed me.

              • Populuxe1

                Not really, I just like winding you up because I don’t like you

                • Morrissey

                  Not really, I just like winding you up because I don’t like you

                  No need to admit that you’re not serious; that’s been obvious for a long time. But why the personal animosity? That’s intriguing.

                  Do you often just start hating on people away from this Second Life forum?

                  • Populuxe1

                    No, but your hysterical Israel conspiracies incorporating any remotely Jewish celebrity beyond simply stating: Israel is a country in the Middle East and is doing bad things to further its interests, does mark you out as having a special antipathy for Jews. I don’t particularly like bigots. Nor do I like your relentless monologue of vitriol. You have nothing nice to say nor anything particularly constructive to contribute apart from one-sided anti-Semitic rants and acid bitchfests about broadcasters for th emost trite reasons.

                    • Morrissey

                      It’s been the usual very bad day for poor old Populuxe1, and it just keeps getting worse. Let’s enjoy—if that’s the word for how one feels after encountering the outpourings of the deranged—his latest splash about in the depths of depraved rhetoric….

                      …your hysterical Israel conspiracies incorporating any remotely Jewish celebrity beyond simply stating: Israel is a country in the Middle East and is doing bad things to further its interests, does mark you out as having a special antipathy for Jews.

                      Of course, that unhinged barking says nothing about me or anything I have said. It does, sadly, say quite a lot about the unfortunate fellow who was driven to write it.

                      Nor do I like your relentless monologue of vitriol. You have nothing nice to say nor anything particularly constructive to contribute….

                      Yes I do, actually. And you know it. You go on obsessing on the bits that enrage you, though. I’m actually looking forward to it, in a grisly sort of way.

                      …. apart from one-sided anti-Semitic rants and acid bitchfests about broadcasters for th emost [sic] trite reasons.

                      Again with the anti-Semitic allegations. I challenge anyone—not you, Populuxe1, you’re not capable of rational argument—-to find one thing I have ever written that is anti-Semitic.

    • Murray Olsen 4.1

      So? The BBC one deals with a number of proposals to ameliorate global warming, proposals being the key word.
      The Guardian one gives a few symbols on a map, without any details. To look at one example, “increased precipitation” presumably means cloud seeding. This has been around for years, isn’t done on a global scale, and isn’t highly effective.
      You ominously mentioned some program that had been going for fifty years. I see no evidence of anything like that.
      However, there are several things which have been done and are still happening that affect climate over quite large areas. We can begin with CO2 and CH4 in the atmosphere, which have a truly global effect. Deforestation, forestation, urbanisation and the flooding of huge areas for hydroelectricity all have marked effects over reasonably large areas, but are not generally considered as being geoengineering.
      I still have no real idea what you’re on about.

  4. Morrissey 5

    LIARS OF OUR TIME
    

No. 9: NewstalkZB PR dept

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    “News you NEED! Fast, fair, accurate!”

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    —NewstalkZB, just before the news begins.

    See also….
    No. 8: Simon Bridges: “I don’t mean to duck the question”

    Open mike 20/05/2013


    No. 7: Nigel Morrison: “Quite frankly, they’ve been VERY tough.”
 /open-mike-15052013/#comment-633295

    No. 6: NZ Herald PR dept: “Congratulations—you’re reading New Zealand’s best newspaper.”
    
/open-mike-13052013/#comment-632598

    No. 5: Rawdon Christie: “…a FORMIDABLE replacement, it seems, is Claudette Hauiti.”
    
/open-mike-13052013/#comment-632594
    
No. 4: Willie and J.T.: “The X-Factor. Nah, nah, there’s some GREAT talent there!”


    Open mike 06/05/2013


    No. 3: John Key: “Yeah we hold MPs to a higher standard.”
/open-mike-06052013/#comment-628703
    
No. 2: Colin Craig: “Oh, I have a GREAT sense of humour.” (TV3 News, 24 April 2013)

    Open mike 25/04/2013


    
No. 1: Barack Obama: “Margaret Thatcher was one of the great champions of freedom and liberty.”
/open-mike-19042013/#comment-621738

  5. karol 6

    A very good post on Waitakere News about the government’s now-you-see-it;now-you-don’t food in schools policy.

    • while seeing the case for food in schools..(aside from qualms about it being used by fonterra (and other unhealthy ‘food’-peddlers) to hook the young generations on their vile/cancer-causing-products)..

      ..isn’t such a move too much ambulance at bottom of cliff..?

      ..and would not so much of that clear need be obviated by the institution of a guaranteed minimum income for all citizens..?

      ..that would come close to ending poverty with one fell stroke..

      ..so my question would be..why not focus on moving the common-will towards that concept..?

      ..and my concerns are that the bandaid to poverty that food-in-schools will be..will be deemed for far too long to be ‘having done enough’ to fight the poverty that blights nz in 2013..

      ..that the energy of that common will/concern-at-poverty will be dissapated before the real reforms needed will/can be enacted..

      ..phillip ure..

      • Populuxe1 6.1.1

        How is Fonterra an unhealthy food peddler again?

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Is your new baby a calf or a human? Does your new baby prefer human proteins and enzymes to grow or cow proteins and enzymes to grow?

          • Populuxe1 6.1.1.1.1

            Hmmm. So I’m guessing fuck all those mothers whose milk has dried up for medical reasons, or because they are in the middle of a famine, or they’ve had a double mastectomy, or they can’t for other reasons, or they don’t want to (I’m old-fashioned enough to think women should have the choice), or the father is raising the baby on his own because the mother has died in childbirth, or any one of a number of reasons. And the ant-milk hysteria is farcical, as ably demonstrated by the many generations who have grown up on cow milk.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              you got me there fair and square, having cow’s milk is indeed better than starving the baby on nothing during a famine.

            • phillip ure 6.1.1.1.1.2

              populuxe:..first:..there are other options than just cow and breast milk..

              ..and yes..’generations’ also puffed furiously on cigarettes..

              ..put morphine/opium in cough medicines..

              ..(the list goes on and on..)

              ..surely you can see that is not really a rational argument/rejoinder you have proffered..?

              ..and like i said..do yr own research..make up yr own mind..

              ..just try to keep yr mind open to new knowledge..

              ..phillip ure

        • phillip ure 6.1.1.2

          there is increasing evidence of the ill-effects from consuming baby-cow food..and bye-products..

          ..i have lots of that evidence at my place..under ‘vegan’..or if averse to going there..

          ..just google the question..and be overwhelmed by the evidence..

          ..don’t just take my word for it..eh..?

          ..phillip ure..

          • phillip ure 6.1.1.2.1

            and a jaw-dropping (local-focused) fact from that evidence..is that the cancers increasingly being linked to dairy consumption..

            ..are cancers that we here in nz have at world-beating rates..

            ..and funny story..!..i think we are second in the world for consumption of that dairy…

            ..so..when you have that knowledge/awareness/warning locked in..

            …it is easy to move to the opinion..that as far as health outcomes as adults are concerned..

            ..fonterra had may as well be handing out free-cigarettes to those schools..

            ..the concept/fonterra-plan is the same..hook ’em while they’re young..

            ..cancer..?..what cancer..?

            ..(and like i said..don’t take my word for it..do yr own research if doubting the veracity of these claims..

            ..and then start spreading the word..eh..?..

            ..but be warned..under the current repressive-laws..you could be opening yrslf up to charges of ‘economic-treason’..eh..?

            ..for even writing/talking/warning of such matters..

            ..wither free-speech..?..eh..?..)

            ..phillip ure..

            • phillip ure 6.1.1.2.1.1

              and as compelling evidence of the benefits to be had from shedding that dairy-habit..

              …have you seen bill clinton lately..?

              ..whoar..!..eh..?..he’s never looked that good..!..as fit as a jailhouse-rat..

              ..his daughter talked him into trying an animal-flesh/dairy-free diet..

              ..and ‘bubba?’…has now become “bubba!”

              ..and his heart-issues have all cleared up..

              ..go figure..!..eh..?

              ..phillip ure..

              • Populuxe1

                How can you tell a vegan? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you. Worse than Evangelical Christians.

                • how can you tell a reactionary-carnivore/dairyvore..?

                  ..they don’t have to speak..usually the high-blood-pressure-flushed-face/short-breath/power-belly/old-skin will give them away..

                  ..eh..?

                  phillip ure..

                • Morrissey

                  He even tells the simplest jokes wrongly.

                  Bad day keeps on gettin’ badder.

                  • so..morrissey..i take it you don’t follow the dietary-recommendations of the person who’se name/persona you have borrowed..?

                    ..um..!..why actually did you choose that name to borrow..?..that not eating animals thing being so important to morrissey..eh..?

                    ..do you lean into his all round glumness..?

                    ..(i’m having an irony-moment here..heh..!..)

                    phillip ure..

                    • Morrissey

                      It’s the music and the politics, phillip.

                      Unfortunately, I lack my namesake’s strength of character and have remained something of a carnivore.

    • Clockie 7.1

      Thanks for posting the link to that high quality recording of When The Music’s Over, Marty. Really enjoyed that.

      • marty mars 7.1.1

        Thanks Clockie yes I loved it too – watched it 3 times and I’m loving it – Ray was amazing on that keyboard, amazing – and as a group wow!!!

    • ghostrider888 7.2

      R.I.P Crystal Ship

      • phillip ure 7.2.1

        i always found the doors (especially morrison) somewhat pedestrian/one-dimensional/white-boy/cartoon-rock..(especially compared to their competition/compatriots..)

        ..(a slightly heavier version of the eagles..?..monkees..?..)

        ..and given the signature organ-hooks came from manzarek..

        ..where does that leave morrison..?

        ..aside from flopping out his drug-addled wang a few-times on stage..?..and being generally ‘messy’ in his drug-use..

        ..what else did he do that any halfway competent bar-band lead singer couldn’t do..?

        ..phillip ure..

        • Matt 7.2.1.1

          Ha, Neil Finn’s an OBE and you’re concerned that JM reverence is unwarranted?

  6. Rodel 8

    It must disappoint Maori National party supporters (I’m assuming there are some) that they aren’t allowed to have a candidate in the up-coming byelection. ).

    Sure the result is predictable but it is still showing indifference if not contempt for those who would like to exercise their right to have their say in the democratic process and also those Maori who would like to stand as candidates for National.

    I guess the message is for National supporters is to tick the Maori party candidate while Labour, Mana and the Greens? split the vote.

    • Morrissey 8.1

      I don’t think Maori voters are as malleable and gullible as the bewildered folks of Epsom. It’s a Labour win, guaranteed. Look for the almost total collapse of the Key regime’s stooge party.

      • Rodel 8.1.1

        Epsom was a clear case of Johnnymandering…wait for the PM to have a cuppa with the Maori Party candidate …Honemandering?

  7. Morrissey 9

    Gavin Ellis is Mogadon
    National Radio, 11:59 a.m., Tuesday May 21, 2013.

    I’m listening to that bore Gavin Ellis droning on in his utterly uninteresting fashion. I don’t know how Kathryn Ryan manages to stay awake. I swear she yawned a couple of times as this dullard bored on.

    Surely there are more interesting media commentators available in this country.

    Surely?

    • Populuxe1 9.1

      I can only hope that if you were comatose you would lay off the vitriol. It get’s tiresome after, well, actually, almost immediately.

      • Morrissey 9.1.1

        Really? I’m as tiresome as Gavin Ellis?

        I don’t think so. And neither do you.

      • Morrissey 9.1.2

        It get’s [sic] tiresome….

        A little mistake, maybe, but it makes you look second-rate. Flustered, were you?

  8. Jeepers, Jim Bolger I applaud your speech.

    Not only did he canvass the pain of the Anzus rift over New Zealand’s anti-nuclear laws and his part in the healing, he used the occasion to vent about the perils of deregulation leading to the global financial crisis in 2008, on multinationals making billions and paying little tax, and the responsibility of free traders to be focused on people.

    He was playing to an audience that wasn’t there, that was obvious from the eye-rolling going on at the reception and the murmurs about it afterwards.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10884963

    I found this bit interesting too in a disturbing way

    Ten New Zealand companies with expertise in security and intelligence technology will spend several days at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington this week collaborating in a bid to expand their work with United States government agencies and companies.

    • muzza 10.1

      Hey Marty – always be weary of anything an ex-politician attmpts to take credit for, especially one who played a core role in the destruction of so many lives, he deserves the gallows, nothing less!

      Agree about the intelligence sharing, being disturbing, and that’s the little they want the plebs to know about.

      The grid is formed, and was dropped a long time ago, yet people are still discussing, *rights/privacy/constitution*, and so on!

      That’s all part of history now, cell phones, internet, smart meters, cloud et al, the control to legislate change at the whim of technology companies, and the control of the tech companies to enforce later versions of the technology through *retiring* earlier versions etc.

      Technology will be the end of most people (it already is), thats a certainty, rather like the designed financial collapse/bankrupcy of NZ/Major cities, it has to happen, it can’t be any other way!

    • Murray Olsen 10.2

      What struck me most about that piece is that the writer considers eye rolling and murmurs as an appropriate response to the issues Bolger mentioned. It really is “let them eat cake stuff”.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Couldn’t find anything about a Marxist perspective of the link provided to Brian S Roper’s blog but I assume you mean this one.

      • ghostrider888 11.1.1

        Thanks Draco. a much-needed sabbatical coming methinks; catch up on some book-reading.

  9. ghostrider888 12

    from the tele, and the radio;
    -Pacific peoples, soaring unemployment; 19-24 year-olds- 43.5%
    -Pacific children in poverty- 40%

    Parata’s inane response- “upskill”, “work harder”.

    China – U.S tech trade tensions; “a lose- lose for Obama” (and the ‘I’ word has been raised re Barack).

    China – E.U trade wars over Solar Panel import duties; “a great mistake”.

    Nietzsche and Taoism

    (our prayers are with the PRC).

  10. Morrissey 13

    A not so subtle propaganda exercise
    Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feast, Episode 6: Israel
    Channel 4, played on Choice TV, Thursday 16 May 2013, 8:30 p.m.

    When he unleashed his infamous foam-flecked rant against Hezbollah a few years ago, Anthony Bourdain established himself as the most aggressively ignorant of all celebrity chefs. The London-domiciled Israeli chef and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi is without doubt a more intelligent, personable and humane person than the coke-snorting, foul-mouthed, self-involved Bourdain.

    Ottolenghi’s exploration of the delights of Israeli cuisine made for a highly interesting, engaging show. However, it contained a couple of outrageous, politically charged statements, one of them an outright lie, and some carefully managed evasions of the actual situation in Israel.

    The outright lie comes first, as we see Ottolenghi speeding along a highway, enthusing about the hour of gustatory pleasures ahead of us: “I was brought up in the capital—JERUSALEM,” he shouts excitedly. “But the most dynamic city in Israel is Tel Aviv!” Cut to evocative shots of vibrant, bustling cafetarias and bars. It might be Italy, or Portugal, or Barcelona.

    It seems like a small matter, an oversight, a mere mistake perhaps, to say that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. But Ottolenghi understood perfectly well what he was saying. Deliberately, flagrantly insisting that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel was the first of several little dishonesties to mar this program and take it beyond mere entertainment into the more sinister realm of state propaganda.

    Ottolenghi might be an obvious and shameless liar, but he is a great guide to food and Israeli culture. The food he shows us is mouthwateringly gorgeous: hummus, flat breads, beef shakshuka, herb and ginger fishcakes with beetroot sauce, fig and goat-cheese tart with lemon icing, tomato and pomegranate salad. The men who cook these dishes are characters in their own right: smiling, affable, good-humored. But on his way out to the pomegranate farm of a chef called Shlomo, Ottolenghi casually drops another of his little propaganda bombs; as their car speeds past lush fields, he remarks that “until recently, this land was largely uncultivated.”

    In Ottolenghi World, Jerusalem is simply beautiful, and ancient and mystical; an aesthetic and spiritual experience. We see extended coverage of Ottolenghi gathering herbs in the hills, which are, needless to say, picturesque, quiet and Palästinensischerfrei. There is not the slightest hint that there might be anything wrong; all views of the illegal, ugly, internationally condemned annexation wall have been meticulously excluded.

    Then it’s back to the restaurant for pancakes stuffed with apple, sugar and goat’s cheese.

    Occupation? What occupation?

    • Populuxe1 13.1

      He’s an Israeli. As far as most Israelis are concerned, Jerusalem is the capital even if it isn’t internationally recognised as such. Hell, most Aucklanders are convinced Auckland is the capital of New Zealand. Not sure what your problem with Bourdain is – not enough Aryan baby blood in the motza balls?

      • Morrissey 13.1.1

        He’s an Israeli. As far as most Israelis are concerned, Jerusalem is the capital…

        No, most Israelis, except the likes of Binjamin Netanyahu and the terminally stupid, are aware that Tel Aviv is the capital.

        …even if it isn’t internationally recognised as such.

        Jerusalem (Al Quds) is not the capital of Israel. Except in your head.

        Hell, most Aucklanders are convinced Auckland is the capital of New Zealand.

        No they are not.

        Not sure what your problem with Bourdain is –

        Bourdain is a fool. You need to find out something about him. (Something else you know nothing about.)

        …not enough Aryan baby blood in the motza balls?

        Wow, that was funny. No, not really.

        • Populuxe1 13.1.1.1

          So, in short, the vast majority of Israelies as practicing Jews are “terminally stupid” because as mandated by their faith in their worldview Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish nation. And you don’t like anyone remotely popular. Especially if they’re Jewish….

          • Morrissey 13.1.1.1.1

            So, in short, the vast majority of Israelies as practicing Jews are “terminally stupid”…

            No, but I think we have established with a fair degree of certainty that you are.

      • ghostrider888 13.1.2

        on form today, we see, Pop. 😀 (are you reducing your carbon footprint).

        • Morrissey 13.1.2.1

          Don’t tease him, ghostrider. He’s got the ‘flu, and is thoroughly discombobulated.

  11. The Herald is reporting that the GCSB has been cleared of the illegal spying on New Zealanders by the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10885098)

    Of the 88 cases mentioned 27 were found to have had no information intercepted.

    The remaining were said to involve the collection of metadata and the Inspector-General formed the view that there had arguably been no breach, noting once again that the law is unclear.

    Metadata is the information surrounding a communication as opposed to the communication itself. For instance in an email it would involve the sender, receiver, and time of transmission. The content of the email itself would not be included.

    I am not sure that the legal situation is unclear, section 14 of the GCSB Act prohibits the “intercepting the communications of a person (not being a foreign organisation or a foreign person) who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident”. Overseas cases have always treated the metadata (for instance a phone number) as less worthy of privacy.

    But if this is the case why doesn’t the Government just clarify this rather than give the GCSB open access?

    • Dv 14.1

      I see they were investigating weapons of mass destruction.

      Those bloody pressure cookers are every where.

    • Rhinocrates 14.2

      But if this is the case why doesn’t the Government just clarify this rather than give the GCSB open access?

      Because clarification is the last thing they want – instead, they want an uncertainty maintained and excuses – and a hand-picked crony has given exactly that. This is just perpetuating what’s already gone before.

      What this country needs is a constitutional watchdog with teeth, but the Governor General is just another sock puppet and considering Goff’s actions over Peter Ellis and Ahmed Zaoui, as long as he’s in Labour, the “main opposition party” won’t do anything to change that once it’s “their turn” either.

    • SpaceMonkey 14.3

      “But if this is the case why doesn’t the Government just clarify this rather than give the GCSB open access?”

      Because the news item is a puff-piece designed to try and put the issue to bed. In the next few days I expect we’ll hear John Key saying that he’s satisfied nothing illegal has happened with the GCSB and the law change will ensure this is never an issue again. And he’s right… it won’t be, because from now on the spying on NZers will be 100% Pure-ly Legit.

    • Arfamo 14.4

      If there was arguably no breach, arguably, there was. So Mr Fletcher could also presumably have reported simply that the conclusion is that GCSB may have breached the law.

    • muzza 14.5

      MS, your barking up the wrong tree if you think the intelligence services, give a rats, about adhering to legislative piffle!

      The times they are a changin are way past concerning, but I’m pleased the agenda is becoming clear enough, that even the most stubborn mind should be starting to stir!

      Banking/Military/Intelligence, dominates this world, and they’re tightening the net!

      • reversevampire 14.5.1

        We’re through the looking glass here people.

        • Tigger 14.5.1.1

          ‘Arguably’. Says it all about Shonkey’s gummint. So much is ‘arguable’ in his world.

  12. AwakeWhileSleeping 15

    It’s so similar to Work and Income it’s spooky. The furniture and colour scheme I mean.

    http://tinyurl.com/par3jpj

  13. Rhinocrates 16

    Imagine my complete lack of surprise:

    “GCSB cleared of illegal spying”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10885098

    EDIT: Mickey, snap!

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    18 hours ago
  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
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    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
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    3 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
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    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
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    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
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    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
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    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
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    4 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
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    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
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    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
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    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
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    5 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
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    5 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
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    5 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
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    5 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
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    6 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago