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Open mike 21/06/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 21st, 2014 - 260 comments
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260 comments on “Open mike 21/06/2014”

  1. funny story @ the herald this morn..

    ..supposed objective-political commentator john armstrong continues his ‘i hate david cunnliffe!’-campaign..

    ..with his third piece in this vein this week..

    ..and yes..it is as full of hysterical/batshit-crazy-rhetoric as the other two..

    ..armstrong claims cunnliffe ‘has driven the labour party onto the rocks’..

    ..whoar..!..eh..?..get a fucken grip there..armstrong..!

    ..(armstrong is clearly over-excited..and way past due for a cup of chamomile-tea..

    ..and a wee lie-down..)

    ..whereas avowed rightwingers roughan and o’sullivan both come to praise cunnliffe..(!)

    ..roughan expressing admiration for how cunnliffe hung-tough over the past wk..

    ..and o’sullivan echoed those sentiments..

    ..with o’sullivan also taking a tilt at armstrong..

    ..for his earlier over-reactions…

    ..and i find it quite astonishing how armstrong has pissed away any credibility he may have had..

    ..in the short space of a week..

    ..and the funny thing is..that he seems not to have yet realised that..

    ..and that is quite the ‘disconnect’ on the part of a supposed politics-‘expert’…

    ..must be time for him to hang up his quill..

    ..and retire to that rocking chair on the front porch..eh..?..

    ..he can continue to rail against the world..to passers-bye..from there..

    • veutoviper 1.1

      The same Roughan who has apparently written a biography of John Key which will be released next week ………..

      From Stuff’s Today in Politics – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10184603/Today-in-politics-Saturday-June-21

      Just in time for the election campaign a biography of Prime Minister John Key is about to hit the book stands.

      According to publisher Penguin the 256-page book, written by journalist John Roughan and entitled John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, will be published on June 26.

      That’s just a day before National’s annual conference opens in Wellington – where presumably there will be plenty of punters happy to fork out $38 for a copy

      In light of Judge Winkelmann’s ruling this week in respect of David Fisher’s biography of KDC that Fisher must release his sources for information in the book (ie the source protection rules in respect of journalism don’t apply to books), I hope Roughan’s book contains material that someone can query and seek his sources. EG, re the fuzzy dates of Key’s employment with Merrill Lynch (?) when Andrew Whatshisname was undermining the NZD. ( I am having an early Sat morning brain fade as to the details of that murky period of Key’s career.)

      • finbar 1.1.1

        Are they not pulling out all the stops the Nats,as the election approaches.Key,visiting a President,who!s Presidency of promise has only seen a continuation of business as usual for those well healed and the middle class,who!s Presidency only claim to fame will be holding the record above any other administration for deportations,2 million,and climbing by the day.

        Now we have the Key, book.I thought i had found the cure to insomnia when reading Geoffrey Palmers biography.The Key book, will be a light read whilst doing ablutions.

    • swordfish 1.2

      Yeah, a pleasant surprise to see O’Sullivan taking a (none-too-veiled) swipe at Armstrong:

      A few highlights:

      “(Labour’s policies) aren’t getting any play due to the news media’s fascination with Gotcha politics and accessible, orchestrated stories like following Key about on the world stage.”

      “There is already a media-fuelled expectation that Cunliffe should either step down or be rolled…”

      “…the resignation calls Cunliffe faced after the Herald broke the story that the Labour leader had signed off a letter on behalf of Liu bordered on risible. That letter was clearly a pro forma note written by his staffers. There was no element of special pleading. It’s no wonder he had forgotten it. It should not have sparked a Gotcha call from political journalists.”

      “…but it would reach the heights of delusion to equate this episode with the obvious transgressions that cost Maurice Williamson his ministerial role…and should have cost Judith Collins her place in the Cabinet…This is what really matters when it comes to probity in New Zealand politics. Not the simple oversight of an anodyne and quite benign note to immigration authorities.”

      “…this rather desperate politicking dressed up as a major scandal…”

      Fran O’Sullivan Here…http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11278532

      • freedom 1.2.1

        maybe O’Sullivan was clearing up around the office
        and found the bag she had dropped her objectivity into

        • phillip ure

          or she found what armstrong has clearly lost..

        • Tracey

          she also took a swipe at key…. hinting at a nasty side regarding rumours he said he got rid of jones the only effective labour leader… joking? maybe but deserves some zcutiny.

          wow fran. just wow.

          • ianmac

            I spotted an email address at the top of Fran’s column so sent a message of approval. Also sent an apology to Jared Savage after accusing him in an email of bias last week. Changed my mind 180 degrees actually. He is doing a great job as an investigative journalist. He is following up to the Ombudsman the question of non-release of the Banks Williamsom supporting letters for Mr Liu.

            • Anne

              Thanks for that email tip-off ianmac. I’m going to do the same. We may not like her politics – indeed hate them sometimes – but she is a journalist of quality and maturity which is something of a a rarity in NZ this present time.

              • Colonial Viper

                she has her moments but let’s not get too misty eyed, peeps.

                • yeah..!..get a grip..!

                  ..o’sullivan is just clever enough to see this was a non-scandal..

                  ..and that armstrong had lost the plot..

                  ..just calling the obvious..

      • FutureisRed 1.2.2

        Agreed. Its an insightful, piece from Fran O’Sullivan that cuts through the media hysteria this week with a basically open call for the debate to be steered away from its descent into manufactured scandal and towards debating ideas and policies; stuff that actually matters to the country. F’O offers a sagacious piece of advise to David Cunliffe: Take the lead with campaign and focus on your core strengths as the highly effective champion of Labour’s policies

      • TheContrarian 1.2.3

        She was pretty good on The Nation this morning too funnily enough

      • I can’t help but wonder if her capitalisation of Gotcha is also a dig at a certain Cam Slater style of politics …

    • bad12 1.3

      Just reading the tea-leaves there’s been the hint that David Cunliffe will start this weekend a prolonged release of Labour Party election policies,(much awaited for by us all),

      i have my doubts, but, the screech from the media this week may have been an attempt to derail such a release, perhaps there is some more than juicy policy among that that is to be released that has the knees of the denizens of the Beehives 9th floor all a tremble,

      Are we about to see Labour actually propose solid measures to alleviate the ‘child poverty’ that many of its MP’s constantly make political mileage out of, i have my doubts, but, ever the eternal optimist, can but hope…

      • ianmac 1.3.1

        David said last week that after the List has been published on Sunday evening or early Monday that Policy would start being released at the rate of one or two per week.

        (The good thing about the last week has that many more people will know and recognise just who the Leader of the Labour Party is. Face constantly on the news even if it was to defend which he did pretty well! I suspect that when polled many will have not known previously who David Cunliffe is.)

    • Bluey 1.4

      Dunno, I don’t believe for one moment Fran believes what she wrote. They are working together to try and distract from Collins. She is the big rockfall for National in my view.

  2. veutoviper 2

    This should re-open the spying on NZers debate – just when Key is meeting Obama.

    On Stuff this morning – surprisingly by Tracey Watkins

    New Zealand was “reintegrated” into the controversial Five Eyes intelligence network only five years ago, America’s top spy agency has revealed.

    Responding to questions from Fairfax during Prime Minister John Key’s trip to New York and Washington, the office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed New Zealand was welcomed back into the fold in 2009 after a “2 decade absence”.

    Spokesman Brian Hale said reintegration happened after talks between our Five Eyes partners – the US, Australia, Canada and Britain – on the basis that it was believed to be “in the best interest of their nation and their group”.

    Prime Minister John Key said he could not recall any such change since National took office. ”

    Wikileaks documents previously obtained by Fairfax appear to confirm DNI’s version of events, however, and suggest that former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had inadvertently announced a top secret deal on the resumption of intelligence sharing with New Zealand. ….

    So, does this mean that it is quite possible for NZ to withdraw from Five Eyes – and has done so in the past?

    • yes..i was cheered by that one..

      ..noting how easy it will be for the new govt to make it four-eyes..again..

      ..satrap-key.. and national.. signed us up to again be a vassal-state of america..

      ..after we had been out of five-eyes..’for decades’…

      ..very easy for us to again uncouple..

      ..that is much simpler/easier than i thought it was going to be..

      ..which is good news..!..for modern man/woman..

      ..and also..the latest snowden-drop proves key a liar in his denials that he has let the americans spook all over us..

      ..the/our mainstream/corporate-media have yet to catch up with that purler..

      ..they are still lost down the liu..seemingly…

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      New Zealand was “reintegrated” into the controversial Five Eyes intelligence network only five years ago, America’s top spy agency has revealed.


      I never saw any reports our Echelon spy bases were shut down or mothballed for that 20 year period etc. Probaby we were still feeding the network full info but they were cutting back our access privileges.

      • veutoviper 2.2.1

        I doubt that we would have seen any reports on any limits etc over that 20 year period; and I certainly don’t believe that Waihopai was mothballed – that would have leaked out. So the probability was that we were still feeding but our access was limited, as you suggest. But – what is good for the goose is good for the gander etc. In other words, if our access was limited over that period, then if we decided to limit our feed etc, any protest by the other partners would be a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Full of silly sayings this morning – more tea is needed.

      • freedom 2.2.2


        The cables also reveal an increase in New Zealand co-operation with US intelligence agencies and military, beginning under Helen Clark’s Labour government. A cable from March 2, 2007, said Clark, as minister in charge of the intelligence agencies: “is read into all major operations involving US intelligence… [and] grasps that NZ must `give to get’.”

        Action taken on the ground however shows Clark was strongly managing the fine line and NZ involvement with the warmongers was being well controlled to align with the public’s wishes of helping not hurting. Compared with the All Hail the USA attitude our PM is so enamoured of.

      • emergency mike 2.2.3

        Most likely once Key became PM it became clear to the Americans that we now had a leader that was licking their arse with an acceptable enough level of enthusiasm to be rewarded with better access to five eyes info.

        So much for the five eyes ‘partnership’.

    • Rosie 2.3

      Thats very interesting veutoviper and an option that we can only hope would happen, a withdrawal from the the 5 eyes network. I didn’t realise we had potential “flexibility” in that respect.

      Did I hear correctly on RNZ this morning, Obama say he would like to visit NZ this year, or if not this year before the end of his term? IF he did come this year, prior to the election (although it wouldn’t be as soon as that surely?) it would be excellent timing to raise such an anti spying campaign, and turn that “blowtorch” back on National. Borrowing Key’s term there, the one he used so gleefully in regard to “getting back” Labour for their focus on National dodgy donations in previous weeks.What a four year old! Sorry four year olds, you’ve got more class and more smarts than our PM.

      And thank you for posting that – I have a full ban on place on stuff after this sickening stunt stuff pulled that Richard linked yesterday http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10173411/David-Cunliffes-catastrophes so would have missed the story otherwise.

      As for Tracey Watkins, yes, that is surprising. She has such an embarrassingly shameless crush on key that makes her all go all giddy every time she writes.

    • karol 2.4

      Another mis-truth by Key.


      “I don’t know exactly what they are referring to.

      “My understanding of it is that even through the challenging times of the relationship post the anti-nuclear legislation, New Zealand continued to be an active member of Five Eyes.”

      Asked to confirm whether his Government had ever made a decision to actively rejoin Five Eyes, Key responded: “I don’t think that’s right, but I remember there were some vague things . . . “

      He then said he would check.

      “If they are increasingly sharing more, then that’s news to me but they would know that more than I would.”

      My bold.

      Dear gods, so our PM and head of 5 Eyes, really only has vague memories of something particularly significant that may or may not have happened with 5 Eyes.

    • ianmac 2.5

      Good one Veuto. Thanks. Hope the Media pick up on that. Wonder if it was timely for the spy agency to also spy on Dot. Com? 2009.
      And Prime Minister John Key said he could not recall any such change since National took office. ” Medi rush in and say Gotcha! Tricky memory or lying John Key?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.6

      Prime Minister John Key said he could not recall any such change since National took office.

      So John Armstrong will be calling for the PMs resignation any second now…

      So, does this mean that it is quite possible for NZ to withdraw from Five Eyes – and has done so in the past?

      It’s always possible to withdraw from an agreement.

  3. Saarbo 3

    After the events of the last week, its difficult to not question the underlying administration practices in The Labour Party. Im thinking Labour’s inability to know with 100% certainty who and who hasn’t donated to the party might end up costing the left in September. If we do lose then Labour needs to put some serious work into sorting its systems.
    It does make me wonder what Mike Williams and the Labour administration were doing in this area when in power…he needs to take some responsibility for this…these are governance issues.

    • indeed..!..time for mike williams to front up..!

      ..he was labours bag-man during this time..

      ..if liu donated money..

      ..williams will know how/where…

      • Blue 3.1.1

        He was too busy dumpster sniffing for information on Key, found nothing and fell in covering himself in garbage. So no wonder he can’t remember . Maybe it’s just a case of poor accounting, like $200,000 of misappropriated public funds.

    • karol 3.2

      What’s the problem? If Labour MPs also don’t know who donated to their party, how can they do favours for cash?

      It’s not the donations that are the problem, but the favours. And that is what the scheming Nats are trying to blur – they are automatically associating unknown donations with favours given.

      • phillip ure 3.2.1

        i think karol..it has become more a matter of undeclared-donations…

        ..and..if proven to be given yet ‘undeclared’..

        ..(which is what liu/labour are claiming…)

        ..and as labour have found no trace of that…

        ..who to/where that money went..


        ..and this should disturb labour as much as anyone else..

        ..where the fuck did all that money go..?

        ..labour are going to have to answer that one..and toot suite..!

      • cricklewood 3.2.2

        Declaring donations such as these are an important check and balance in our system hence it is a legal requirement to declare them.
        It was through the register that we knew he was a national donor and the was preferential treatment given.

        Why hide them? Unless you didn’t want the public to know… and that has a whiff of corruption…

        • karol

          You are assuming there was a significant donation and it was deliberately hidden. I need more information before I can start making those sort of accusations.

          And Liu has just made a vague accusation, with no supporting evidence. If he gave money in good faith, why can’t he produce the documentation for that from his accounting records?

          • bad12

            Have i missed something karol, did Liu make some form of veiled accusation of having given any monies ever to the Labour Party either centrally or at some Branch fundraiser…

              • bad12

                Exactly, Liu’s wife has been pictured receiving a bottle of wine at a ”fund-raiser”, (has anyone got a link to said picture),

                The Herald has ”said” that Liu donated 15 thousand to Labour, (have they said when,where etc),

                Slippery the Prime Minister has said via teevee from Amerika that ”the donations are 6 figure”(who believes the Liar in Chief),

                Who for that matter believes anything the media in this country says about anything???

                i will unhappily be proven wrong on this,BUT, befor we fall all over ourselves aiding and abetting the Whore Voice of International Capital,(aka NZHerald), and the National Party by buying into for more than a second such allegations lets demand from ALL of them the PROOF…

              • ianmac

                Thanks Karol.
                …”However, because I’ve built relationships with politicians, made donations, because it’s election year and, dare I say, because I’m Chinese, I suppose I’ve been an easy target for some to gain some political mileage and score some points.”…
                But Liu said he would not make any further comments about political donations or swear an affidavit outlining dollar amounts….

                Wow! Well done Jared Savage. Surely this means Mr Liu is pissed off with National and Key in particular for using him for political pint scoring. And no evidence of money donated? Mr Key’s pants are on fire!

    • ianmac 3.3

      You are assuming that Key is right with his smears. What if there is no evidence either in the Labour Party or anywhere else? Show me the money John Key! Mike Williams has fronted and said he has no knowledge of getting any such money from Mr Liu and the Party Secretary says there is no record and surely someone would remember a donation of $300,000 if it existed. Mr Liu has been challenged to show his evidence but so far nothing. No paper trail? Funny that.
      Now if no proof/evidence exists what does that show you about John Key’s credibility? Gossip monger? Sleazy? Unreliable? Mean spirited?

    • Anne 3.4

      Saarbo, I’m beginning to strongly suspect this $15,000 donation doesn’t exist. And if it does exist – or something of a lesser value – then it was either donated anonymously or under someone else’s name. It’s anyone’s guess why he (Liu) would have chosen to do it that way, but he may have had cause to want to remain anonymous at the time.

      Whatever… I recall a news item of some 2 or more years ago about the theft of a “computer” from Cunliffe’s former electorate office. Cunliffe and staff believe it to be the hard-drive that contained the details of Liu’s (or more likely his agent’s) contact with them. As we know, they eventually found a copy of the letter on the hard-drive belonging to a retired staff member.

      Given Cunliffe had no forewarning of the impending story, and in the circumstances of the burglary, I think they did very well to be able to retrieve the letter itself in such a short period of time.

      I’m coming round to the view that whoever stole that computer found the evidence of the contact with Liu and it is probable there is other stuff on that hard-drive that can be ‘misused’ by unprincipled Tories to discredit Cunliffe.

      This is by no means the first time National/ACT Party supporters (or paid agents acting on their behalf) have resorted to unlawful acquisition of material and files belonging to political opponents! Over the years there have been several complaints that I know of… made to the police, but nothing ever happened. Is anyone surprised after the John Banks affair?

      • Anne 3.4.1

        My time frame was a out. The “break-in” took place on August 7, 2008. Three months out from 2008 general election.


        The secret taping at a National Party conference was proven to have had nothing to do with the Labour Party. Culprit came forward and confessed. As we now know this is typical Key’s modus operandi. When on the back foot, make up allegations about his opponents.

        • Saarbo

          Thanks Anne, and now Labour has dismissed claims that Liu made a donation, so maybe I jumped the gun http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/247832/labour-dismisses-liu-donation-claims

          • Anne

            Easy enough to do especially given the hysteria from many of our 3rd grade MSM journalists who are now attempting to justify their orgy of misinformation by going into denial over their own foolish utterances eg. John Armstrong.

            It just so happened that I was in a unique position back in the 90s and early in 2000 to be witness to verbal evidence of politically motivated break-ins by a small cartel of National/ACT acolytes. Hence I know just how far they are prepared to go in order to destroy their opponents.

            And before any of the RWNJs get on this site with claims Labour does it too – Labour does NOT commit crimes of this seriousness – never has and never will.

            • karol

              TV3 News justification for their misinformation, is to continue with the misinformation – still beating up Cunliiffe as though he did something wrong re-the letter. Totally unbelievable!

              • Anne

                Yes. I saw it.

                There’s no way they are going to admit they are wrong. That takes maturity and guts. So, stick with the line boys and girls. Don’t admit you/we were mistaken.

                How Cunliffe can smile and wave when they come a’calling I don’t know. If it was me I’d be biffing them one. 🙁

  4. Grumpy 4

    Are we going to see Rick Barker’s explanation as to why he was visiting Liu’s cement factory and being wined and dined today?
    What is he hiding?
    Should have just popped in somewhere on the way to the airport for a glass of milk?

  5. SETI 5

    So Liu confirms the donation to Labour, so why wasn’t it declared, and if the party can find no trace then who embezzled it?

    • BM 5.1

      The way I read that article, it’s donations, not donation.

      Is there no trace of any of his donations or is it just the 15k where there’s no record?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      The six figure sum, eh. No, wait…

      Incidentally, no-one is criticising Liu, although Maurice Williamson interfered in a police investigation and resigned, and Judith Collins failed to declare a serious conflict of interest, diverted ministerial resources to benefit Oravida, and tried to cover it all up.

      • phillip ure 5.2.1

        i can’t see liu lying about donating also to labour..

        ..so the question has to be:

        ..where is the money..?

        ..what happened to it..?

        ..why is there no record of it being donated..?

        ..who was the money given to..?

        ..and in what form..?

        ..chq..?..or cash..?

        • Tracey

          in his short time in nz he has been on trial twice I yhink. once for fraud and that decision is worth reading for judges comments on his credibility. second is for assaulting partner and her mother and he pleaded guilty. he has not done the development he got into nz promising to do.

          he may have donated to labour but so far his integrity is not even close to unquestionable.

        • Chooky

          @phillip ure ..”i can’t see liu lying about donating also to labour.”

          i can, if he is doing favours for National…he doesnt seem to be a particularly moral character .

          why hunt for money that isnt there?….

        • ianmac

          phillip following your reasoning I have reason to believe that you are funnelling a huge amount of money into the ACT coffers. 100s of thousands of dollars. Where did you get it from? Why are you on this site pretending to be Leftish?
          Now prove to me that you haven’t done all of the above!

    • freedom 5.3

      Liu has not confirmed anything if he will not state how much was donated and when

      • karol 5.3.1

        Damp squid squib then.

        • freedom

          but National will call it a squib
          and claim the entirity of the left is collapsing into its own footprint 🙂

          • ffloyd

            Lui Liu said he donated equal amounts to both colours. So if he donated hundreds of thousands of dollars (key’s fantasy) to Labour then he did the same for the Invertebrates. Have they declared hundreds of thousands? AND BY THE WAY (sorry, channelling key) what’s the mad rush from Obama to come to little old NZ. He apparently wants to meet NZers because mrkey is so nice he is sure that the serfs must be as well. Who’s humping who???

            • ianmac

              @ffloyd :”Lui Liu said he donated equal amounts to both colours. So if he donated hundreds of thousands of dollars (key’s fantasy) to Labour then he did the same for the Invertebrates. Have they declared hundreds of thousands?”
              Good point. And rather funny! Show me the munny hunny!

      • weka 5.3.2

        “Liu has not confirmed anything if he will not state how much was donated and when”

        Yep. If the $15,000 was in 2007 at a book auction, how can Liu not have a better idea of when that was? Or how can the Herald not have a better idea, given their ‘reliable’ source. It’s not like book auctions happen every week. It’s also highly implausible that Liu or the source doesn’t know where the auction too place. It is however plausible that the source and/or the Herald and/or Liu aren’t being more specific because that’s worse for Labour.

  6. Clean_power 6

    Why are Mike Williams and Rick Barker keeping silent on this? They should be speaking out and clearing the air. The sooner, the better.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Another one for Blip’s list: Fairfax forgot to finish Key’s sentence.

    I would reject that proposition if it were false, and this form of words sounds like a denial but isn’t.

  8. RTM 8

    The Festival of Democracy being held in Nuku’alofa right now should remind palangi of Tonga’s unusual modern history, and of the country’s attempt, over the last century and a half, to combine an openness to the modern world with a repudiation of colonialism and neo-colonial capitalism: http://readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2014/06/why-tongan-democracy-should-interest-us.html

    • that’s an interesting/worthwhile piece..there..rtm..

      ..i’ve linked to it..

      ..and cd i nominate it/petition the powers that be..

      ..as being worthy of a guest-post..?

      ..it is one of those ones that increases the sum of the readers’ knowledge..

      ..by a serious degree..

  9. Jrobin 9

    Actually who gives a s*** what Liu says! why anyone takes this abusive, violent liar seriously is obvious, money talks to some. As of today all thinking Nzers should regard him as irrelevant. I consider him to be an overstayer who should never have been granted residency. crawl back into your corrupt dank cave Liu you are not a welcome here any longer.

    • it does matter what liu says..

      ..he gave money..

      ..it has seemingly vanished..was not declared by labour..

      ..so..wha’ happened..?

      • risildowgtn 9.1.1

        Wheres the proof of this claim you make?

        ” he gave money ”



        • phillip ure

          the corporate-media are reporting this..risil..

          ..and in all these years..i have never posted false information..(bloopers excluded..)

          ..i come dripping with links/footnotes..

          • risildowgtn

            UNTIL there is concrete proof of what you claim he donated,

            well your posts just make you out to be a fool and as bad as the tory scum that make such accusations here as well…..

        • Chooky

          @ risildowgtn….+100

      • cricklewood 9.1.2

        Exactly Phil and if it comes to pass that donations like this have been deliberately hidden or lost its fairly safe to say that Labour will be wide open to accusations of corruption etc and rightly so.
        What is becoming abundantly clear is that Labour are no better than the Nats in this regard…

        • Draco T Bastard

          What is becoming abundantly clear is that Labour are no better than the Nats in this regard…

          No it’s not. For that sentence to be true we’d have been supplied with the proof that such payments were made and that Labour hadn’t declared them.

      • karol 9.1.3

        But Liu also has provided no proof. The Stuff article last night said lawyers were poring over an afadiavit because there was lack of documentation.

        If Liu donated to Labour, how much and in what form? Why is he not able to provide any documentation of what is claimed to be a significant sum? Something to hide? lying?

        Just in case last night’s article by Vernon Small mysteriously diasappears (screen capture taken):

        Labour is bracing for the expected release of an affidavit claiming six-figure donations were made to the party by wealthy businessman Donghua Liu.

        A spokesman for Liu told Fairfax this week: “No comment is to be made at this stage.”

        It is understood the affidavit was being pored over by lawyers today because there was a lack of documentation.

        Dodgy as….

        • phillip ure

          perhaps you need to turn yr face the other way karol..

          ..and ask those same questions again..

          • karol

            Why doesn’t Labour know how much was donated? Who knows? There’s not enough evidence, only unsupported allegations.

            Good on you for going with the Nats smear bsed on very little. I’ll wait for more evidence.

            • cricklewood

              Smoke and fire etc this saga has resulted in my vote going Green.
              I have a severe distaste for monkey business when it comes to political funding.

              • karol

                I will be voting Green, too. But I have no faith in scheming Nats shouting fire, when someone is just as likely to be outside smoking a cigarette, or having dinner by candle light.

              • Colonial Viper

                I have a severe distaste for monkey business when it comes to political funding.

                Yep…so I would suggest full and timely transparency for all donations over $5000…and public funding to make up the majority of political party funding to make private contributions less important overall.

            • phillip ure

              karol..allegations of the disappearing of over a hundred grand in donations..

              ..cannot just be waved away/ignored..

              ..(and you are dreaming if you think they will..)

              ..and don’t forget..i m just the messanger..eh..?

              ..save yr rage for those who deserve it..

              ..and as a matter of fact..if you look back..i think i was one of the first to call ‘bullshit!’ on the letter-smear from labour..

              ..so to accuse me of being a smear-agent for national..

              ..is a tad rich..eh..?

              ..and of course all/any evidence will be drip-fed..

              ..key/national wd not outright lie about this..on the heels of the liu damp-squib..

              ..the blowback from being found out wd be too much..

              ..all of that tends to make me open to the idea that these donations happened..

              ..and wondering how/why no record/where did it go..?

              ..you aren’t asking those questions also..?

              • Draco T Bastard

                allegations of the disappearing of over a hundred grand in donations..

                ..cannot just be waved away/ignored..

                Actually, they can and should be ignored until such time as there’s proof. This shouldn’t even be in the news until that proof is provided.

                • well..it is..

                  ..saying ‘it shouldn’t be’..

                  ..isn’t going to make it go away..


                  ..and unless cunnliffe handled the money/has his fingerprints on it..

                  ..it is nothing to do with him..

                  ..this is all clark-era stuff..

                  ..and where is labours’ bagman from that time..?

                  ..mike williams..?

                  ..when you need him..

                  ..he will have all the answers..


                  • Draco T Bastard

                    well..it is..

                    ..saying ‘it shouldn’t be’..

                    ..isn’t going to make it go away..

                    Yes and we’ve seen the witch hunt that resulted because of it.

        • freedom

          That’s the bit I am puzzled over karol
          If Liu has said he won’t make an affidavit, what papers were they referring to ?

          looks like the bluff fell over
          and yesterday’s little teaser is as empty as the PM’s promises not to raise G.S.T.

          • karol

            Oh. Thanks for pointing it out about the affidavit. From the Herald article:

            But Liu said he would not make any further comments about political donations or swear an affidavit outlining dollar amounts.

            But last night there was the stuff report of an affidavit that lawyers were scrutinising closely. So the affidavit doesn’t carry weight, and no documentation, just Liu making a press staement. Dodgy as…..

            • NZ Femme

              According to Jared Savage, it’s his understanding that Liu made the donations in cash, and doesn’t keep records of same.

              In the initial Herald article on the $15 G donation, Jared wrote:

              “Political donations made at fundraising auctions or dinners are not recorded individually, but the total amount raised is declared.”

              It’s unclear where that info came from, but the sentenced is followed by a statement from Mike Williamson.


              Can anyone here/reading confirm that this is/was how Labour declares raised funds from auctions and dinners?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Can anyone here/reading confirm that this is/was how Labour declares raised funds from auctions and dinners?

                Can’t say about Labour but we know that National do that with Cabinet Clubs and Dinners. So it would seem to be legal.

                • NZ Femme

                  Yes, just posted a link re: wongs 2007 fundraiser and Keys $50 G Tye.

                  Open mike 21/06/2014

                  So even “if” Liu bid and won auctions for a book and a bottle of wine at a Labour Party fundraiser or dinner, it wouldn’t have broken any electoral funding laws in place at the time.

        • cricklewood

          He has said he gave to governments of both colours in good faith. I have no reason not to believe him, it is a fairly standard practice if you want to have some influence or access to donate to the govt of the day.

          • karol

            I’m sure he did give some money – but to who and how and in what amounts?

            I also see no reason for the current Labour Party managers to deny they had received some money from him, if they know about it.

            It certainly doesn’t look anything like the wild allegations on TS yesterday of $15,000+ in one amount, or of donations to Cunliffe’s leadership campaign fund.

            Cunliffe has distanced himself from historic Labour Party funding processes, and committed to tight and transparent processes in the future.

            • alwyn

              “I also see no reason for the current Labour Party managers to deny they had received some money from him, if they know about it”

              I can think of a very good reason why they would do so if the amount had been over the limit that required a declaration. To admit that the donation had taken place would, although not implicating them in a criminal offence, open the party up to that accusation and probably cause another slump in their poll scores.

              They would, on the other hand make darn sure that they did not come to know about it.

          • ianmac

            As ffloyd says if Mr Liu gave equal amounts to Labour and to National then National will be able to produce records of up to $300,000 that Key accuses Labour of receiving. Or not! Ha!

          • Draco T Bastard

            I have no reason not to believe him

            Except his criminal history.

            it is a fairly standard practice if you want to have some influence or access to donate to the govt of the day.

            Which is actually corruption that you seem to be supporting.

        • SETI

          Might be kinda hard to provide incontrovertible proof Karol. Who keeps a cheque stub from 7 years ago, and even a bank statement won’t show who received the payment, which is what the next line of defence would be. And the sentiment from this mornings Herald article says Liu wants to distance himself from political squabbles so probably won’t be forthcoming with evidence, unless it goes to court.

          You have to ask why, on the balance of probabilities, why Liu would lie over something like this? You think he believes National will somehow strip his citizenship if he fails to maintain the ruse?

          • freedom

            nothing to do with wanting continued progress on his $70 million inner city development in Auckland of course ? or his stated wish to lower the $10 million platform for buying residency ?

            and based on what we saw on Campbell Live on Thursday, he sure doesn’t want health and safety officials visiting his residential property developments.

          • karol

            I don’t know. But there have been rumours buzzing about an alleged 6 figure donation. Today’s article doesn’t mention a figure and mentions “donations”.

            So did Liu give multiple small amounts adding up to 6 figures?

            Why is Liu being so vague?

            I’ll wait til I see what Labour has to say.

            • bad12

              karol???? ”there have been rumors about an alleged 6 figure donation,

              The only person i seen advancing this rumor was Slippery the Prime Minister speaking through my teevee from Amerika, do you believe Him,

              The only other person i have so far seen commenting upon this was David Cunliffe, also via my teevee from Wellington, with words to the effect that Liu could/might have donated to Labour BUT there is NO record of such donations IF such were made…

              • karol

                6 The stuff article I linked to above mentions rumours of a 6 figure donation. Too much smoke and mirrors for my liking.

                • bad12

                  ”An affidavit the lawyers are scrutinizing”, ”but Liu says He will not make an affidavit”

                  To me that sounds exactly what i believe it to be, the Whore Voice of International Capital, aka the NZ news media, covering its collective exposed buttes over the absolute bullshit of the past week,

                  When/IF Liu comes forward with a public statement saying exactly when and what amounts He donated to Labour such donations i will take as having been given,

                  Until That day, and, i do not believe ”That Day” will be coming anytime soon then it is my belief that a bloke with a name that sounds a bit birdlike made this whole fucking story up, based around the 11 year old form letter David Cunliffe signed, and drip fed it to the aforementioned Whore Voice of International Capital,

                  My tune will only be changed by a little thing called PROOF…

              • David H

                More like by what’s out there it was 6 small figures, and TricKey forgot the word small.

      • bad12 9.1.4

        Exactly my question too Phillip, twice this morning now there is the ”Liu gave money to Labour”, who says Liu gave money and where’s the link to this supposed giving…

        • chris73

          Liu says he gave money and the point of drip feeding informatio is that you keep it playing out as long as you can to cause maximum discomfort so there’ll be more information to come it just won’t be all at once

          Which is a lesson to Labour in that its not a good idea to drag someone into political wrangles when they don’t want to be especially if they’ve donated money

        • phillip ure

          try the herald website..bad..

          ..liu sez liu gave money ‘to both colours’..

          ..a common practice..by many individuals/corporates..

          ..to ensure no nasties..no matter ‘which colour’ is in power..

          ..this all seems somehow ‘fanciful’ to you..?..really..?

          • bad12

            ”The Herald website” Phillip???, you are either stupid or a fucking hypocrite, do not we deserve, in your words, Better???…

            • phillip ure

              i don’t get yr false-equivalence..

              ..the quality of the messanger has got nothing to do with whether the basic claim they report is true or not..

              ..once again..you are focusing on the messanger..not the allegations..

              • Jackal

                In my opinion, a messenger who reports false or unsubstantiated claims knowing that they’re untruthful or without proof is just as liable as those making those claims in the first place.

                You’re simply arguing from ignorance phillip ure. Bad12’s request for proof is entirely justified, because without it this just looks like a continuation of National’s smear campaign.

                • you’ve all got group fucken hysteria..group-denial..

                  ..i am just reporting what was reported in the herald..

                  ..what the fuck about that simple fact are you all seemingly unable to grasp/understand..”

                  ..why aren’t you callng/asking for mike williams..?

                  ..he was labours’ bag-man during those times..

                  ..i am just the/a bloody messanger..eh..?

                  • and stick it in yr pipe..eh jackal..?

                    ..i was one of the first to call the liu-letter as ‘bullshit’..

                    ..don’t fucken insinuate i am running some smear-campaign for national..

                    ..i thought you were better than that..

                    • The Al1en

                      Yeah, if I know any thing about philip, he’d be smearing it on the other side for mip, the porcine snouts and eyelids in my sausages or to get cannabis butter on the shelves in pak n slave, but never for the nats.

                    • Jackal

                      My comment was more aimed at the MSM who have lavishly repeated these so-called rumours without any particular care for journalistic integrity or fact checking. But if you want to take it personally, so be it.

                      When you wrote:

                      it does matter what liu says..

                      ..he gave money..

                      You clearly sided with Liu. In your 8:40 am comment you appear to believe that he did indeed give money. You even imply that Labour has somehow hidden it.

                      These might be claims made by our biased media and whale spew, but you actually needed to qualify your initial statement so that it doesn’t appear they were also your beliefs.

                      You cannot make such a statement and then weasel out of it by saying; “but the media said it”.

                      Unfortunately such a claim cannot at this stage be proven either way. However the onus of proof is always on those making and repeating such claims. When you categorically state that he did actually give money, show us the evidence for your belief phillip ure?

                      It’s my opinion that such claims that look designed to damage Labour should be disbelieved until some actual evidence is forthcoming. It seems to be your belief that parroting John Key’s and the medias attack lines is somehow acceptable?

                      Believing the word of a criminal who should probably not have been granted citizenship in the first place is entirely pathetic…which clearly shows that many journalists and our PM have very little moral aptitude. Basically they believed it because they want to, because it serves their own selfish needs and goals.

                      Is that perhaps why you also believe Liu over common sense phillip ure, because you still think that damaging Labour will increase support for the Internet/Mana party?

                    • “..because you still think that damaging Labour will increase support for the Internet/Mana party?..”

                      sheesh..!..you’ve got me in one there..!

                      ..that’s why i was one of the first to call the liu-letter as ‘bullshit!’..

                      ..(that was just part of my fiendish-plan..to lull you all into a false sense of security..

                      ..that and my advice that even if these donations did happen..they are historical..and nothing to do with cunnliffe..

                      ..and why i advised it as time to release some of those ‘killer’-policies they have so well-hidden..

                      ..all part of my fiendish-plan to lull you into that false sense of security..eh..?..)

                      ..and as an aside..

                      ..can i ask w.t.f? u r smoking..?

                      ..and can i please have some..?

                      (btw..i can’t be bothered unpacking yr bullshit piece by piece in the above..

                      ..save to call it as that..’bullshit’..and given my record here and elsewhere..beyond laughable..

                      ..you silly person..!..)

                    • and perhaps the news this morn that liu has signed a statement detailing gifts of $150,000 to labour..

                      ..maybe this will turn yr attention from yr dirty-tricks claims about me..?

                      ..(not that i really care..you r the one making a joke of yrslf..i had my first laff of the day reading yr wild-eyed claims..heh..!..)

                      ..or once again..

                      ..would you rather just have a go at the messanger..?

                      (and once again i ask..where is the man who can answer all these questions.?

                      ..where is labours’ bag-man at that time..?

                      ..where’s waldo/mike williams..?..)

                    • Jackal

                      You can view todays front page news as proof if you like philip ure, but it isn’t. A written statement is pretty much the same in law as Dongau Liu making such claims verbally.

                      ..maybe this will turn yr attention from yr dirty-tricks claims about me..?

                      You seem to be a bit tetchy there philip. I haven’t actually made any claims about a dirty tricks campaign you might be running philip ure. I merely asked a question based on your previous comments on Frogblog about how terrible Labour is and that Mana was the only alternative. I asked that question because you automatically believed what Dongau Liu was saying. I want to know the motivation behind you believing him despite a lack of any clear evidence that he’s telling the truth?

                      This is still just the word of a convicted criminal who could have just as easily been coerced into writing whatever Maurice Williamson and Michael Woodhouse wanted in exchange for certain favours. Who is to say exactly how long National has been developing this smear campaign against Labour, who has essentially done nothing wrong even if Liu’s claims are true?

                      The other scenario is that Liu did actually donate to Labour but because such donations were allowed to be anonymous back then Labour hasn’t kept a record of them coming from Liu himself. It could be the donation made through Palmer Theron, Solicitors, on behalf of an undisclosed client is the donation in question. Note that it is an undisclosed client, meaning Labour probably didn’t know exactly who it was from. That lack of knowledge about who the donation was from actually speaks volumes. How can people buy influence if the party they are donating to doesn’t know who made the donation. It would take a far more close relationship to be able to illicit any payoff for a donation, a close relationship like Liu has with the National party.

                      It might be that Liu is simply making a claim that he made a large donation knowing it cannot be easily proven who exactly those anonymous donations came from. However I’m waiting for some actual evidence before forming an opinion either way. You will forgive me if I don’t take the word of a convicted criminal as gospel like you and the mainstream media philip ure.

                      Another scenario is that Liu thought he was making a donation to Labour, but instead these funds went to another party that had influence over him. That would explain a lot being that Liu has proclaimed he has made the donation and Labour has thus far not found any record of it.

                      In that event a Police investigation should be conducted but until there is some evidence of wrongdoing one cannot be launched. Unlike Bryce Edwards, David Farrar and other commentators, I think that’s the only scenario where a Police investigation is warranted. As far as I can tell there was nothing illegal about making anonymous donations back in 2007.

                      Either way I have a feeling we won’t find out exactly what happened until after the election. In that respect the breaking of this scandal is perfectly timed to caused the most damage to Labour. Funny that eh!

  10. Visubversaviper 10

    When Labour was in government we had lots of Chinese business people who seemed to have some sort of cultural expectation that you should show support for the “ruling” Party. They wanted a picture of themselves with Helen Clark that they would frame and put up on the wall of their business premises, and they wanted to show off their wealth and status by outbidding each other at fundraising auctions etc. As soon as the Government changed – they vanished. They then lined up to get the photo op with John Key and to pay silly money for golfing opportunities etc.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Ahhh the Chinese way. Backing the ruling party is de riguer in Chinese business, it’s just that over there, the ruling party is always the same one.

      If nothing else, this behaviour is very predictable.

  11. Ronnie Chow 11

    The anarchists put the thing upside down. They declare that the proletarian revolution must begin by doing away with the political organisation of the state. But after its victory the sole organisation which the proletariat finds already in existence is precisely the state. This state may require very considerable alterations before it can fulfill its new functions. But to destroy it at such a moment would be to destroy the only organism by means of which the victorious proletariat can assert its newly-conquered power, hold down its capitalist adversaries and carry out that economic revolution of society without which the whole victory must end in a new defeat and in a mass slaughter of the workers .

  12. fisiani 12

    Just out of interest does anyone posting here agree with the Green Taliban who oppose extracting dead logs from cyclone ravaged forests. Timber does not release carbon, rotting logs do. Does anyone with a brain oppose space for new plantings, hundreds of jobs, quality building material for the rebuild of Christchurch and valuable income for DOC?

    • cricklewood 12.1

      Im in favour with two provisos, that the extraction and processing is done by local companies and the profits stay on the coast.

      • fisiani 12.1.1

        Thank you. One voice of reason. Your wish is granted.

      • Rosie 12.1.2

        I am also in agreement in general cricklewood and also with your provisos.

        I wasn’t going to reply to fisiani however because I try to deplete his/her type of oxygen by not responding. He/her also asked that question in a hostile and aggressive manner.

    • freedom 12.2

      The single biggest problem facing the reclamation fisiani is removing the damaged trees without destroying the undamaged trees and the surrounding habitat and that is simply too fine a line to confidently agree that the work is worthwhile.

      The only way to securely achieve this, is by helicopter extraction of logs and that is cost prohibitive. As for the profits staying in NZ, this is highly unlikely but we have to await the application process to see who puts their hands up.

      There will be some areas of low lying forest that are easier to access without annihilating the forest itself but again, these areas are so small that the cost is not worth the crews time. Many in NZ have no real understanding of how different this type of logging is to normal plantation clearing.

      The forests will simply never be the same if nature is not allowed to run its course.

      As someone who knows first hand how welcome this wood would be to people all over NZ, it is a tough call to see it as beneficial to the brighter future NZ has been promised.

      • Rosie 12.2.1

        I had wondered freedom if the removal of dying and dead trees may provide light to encourage existing new shoots and saplings to develop. And would they leave the stumps in the ground to keep the land stable? Too hard and time consuming to remove them I would have thought.

        • cricklewood

          The stumps would stay and yes the light does encourage rapid regrowth native seedlings almost sit in stasis until they get sufficient light to take off.
          Removing the logs does interfere with the natural process of regeneration but only valuable timber will be removed so I dont think it would be a major issue.
          Access will be an issue to be resolved but heli lifting is cost effective when harvesting high value timbers.

          • Rosie

            Good points. Ta cricklewood.

          • freedom

            I hope the heli-removal process is the one employed cricklewood, but considering this is the same government that has sanctioned oil drilling in a dolphin sanctuary, I do not hold out a lot of hope for responsible well managed extraction of this complex and valuable resource.

          • weka

            “Removing the logs does interfere with the natural process of regeneration but only valuable timber will be removed so I dont think it would be a major issue.”

            I’d like to see if research supports that. Rotting timber is crucial to rainforest ecosystems. I don’t know which forests are being discussed here, but many forests on the west side of the divide grow on rock, and their nutrients are derived from the relationships between fungi, micro-organisms and debris including dense plant material like tree trunks. If you take that out of an area, what is the impact? Do different species regrow? What happens at the microscopic level and how does that translate into the macro level? How is that going to change with the effects of AGW? How much are those forests already in a process of adaptation which we know bugger all about?

            Ditto the GHG cycling issue. It’s misleading for fisi to claim that rotting logs emit GHGs, because you have to look at the logs in the context of the whole forest. You want the forest to stay intact and regrow because it’s whole ecosystem forests that are carbon stable. I would hazard a guess that native ecosystems left to their natural cycles are more efficient carbon stabilisers than human managed ones.

            The issue is really more about whether we value intact ecosystems or whether we think all ecosystems are there to serve humans. The solution to a deficit of native timbers is to plant more native forestry, not cherry pick from existing forest. Windfall trees are not being wasted whatever we may think about their value in building artifacts for humans. If we want timber we should bloody well grow it ourselves. In fact, we should be doing this anyway for both sustainability reasons and AGW ones. Taking windfall from conservation estate simply keeps us on the path of misuing the environment for our own ends.

    • Clean_power 12.3

      Fisiani, I think that the use of the word Taliban next to Greens is very appropriate. It is crazy to oppose the removal of those trees.

      • Rosie 12.3.1

        C_P You needn’t credit fisiani with the offensive and inappropriate slandering of The Green Party. ie: Green Taliban. That honour goes to Peter Dunne who came up with the phrase.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.3.2

        No, it’s crazy to automatically assume that those trees don’t have any value staying where they’ve fallen.

        BTW, the use of the word Taliban in relation to the Greens is psychopathic.

    • joe90 12.5

      Just out of interest does anyone posting here agree with the Green Taliban who oppose extracting dead logs from cyclone ravaged forests

      Considering the cycle is measured in millennia have you thought about the impact the removal of downed trees will have on native bush regeneration?. Nah, of course not.

      • fisiani 12.5.1

        The West Coasters are talking about the National government allowing them to harvest a WINDFALL

    • NickS 12.6


      Forest Ecology 101, understand it you do not.

      Short version – windfall and dead trees provide habitat, soil nutrients and add to soil carbon as they rot down. Removing them thus causes issues with nutrient loss and removes habitat/food for a variety of wood eating insects and fungi, causing downstream issues with anything that relies on these organisms for food etc. As well as impacting on forest recovery by removing nutrient sources that would otherwise increase soil fertility and thus impact on tree species diversity, given certain species do better in lower nutrient conditions. In particular native hardwoods provide very long term habitats compared to softwoods, so removal of them can cause long term ecological consequences. Then you’ve got disturbance from log recovery operations on ecosystem recovery, with helicopter based systems having the lowest impacts.

      Thus any removal of windfall within a forest environment requires looking at the impacts that will occur and weighing them against conservation and economic benefits, i.e. will removal of these logs cost DoC more in the long term conservation costs wise than what they will make from sale of these logs and will it cause significant conservation problems that can’t be fixed?

      Oh, and the evidence in the literature on carbon storage in forests suggest not removing dead logs as their breakdown releases less carbon that what is gained by the nutrient flux from the dead woods decomposition. While much of the carbon stored in woods is locked up in lignin and ends up in the soil as humus or washed into streams, either way it acts to fertilise the local ecosystem increasing carbon storage. Thus windfall can be highly advantageous to forest based carbon sequestration as long as recovery is quick (on forest timescales…), which is on the West Coast owing to high rainfall and warm temperatures it usually is* for windfall.

      So yeah, it’s not actually that fucking simple, though I doubt you’ll be able to actual grasp that fact, more so given ye olde hyperbole of slagging off conservation minded individuals as murderous, intolerant fundamentalist fuckmonsters.

      As for sources, one assumes you can use google scholar as I’m not pulling them up due to depression relapse making life “fun” so investment of time for diving through years of uni-work to enlighten your ignorant arse kind of pales in comparison to getting entertainment to distract myself and de-stress over the fact I’m having to go back on the sickness benefit and have all the stamina of a corpse (5k bike ride = stuffed, before could to 20K easily) + the stress over quitting the construction course I was doing.

      Keywords – forest, disturbance, succession, New Zealand – should bring up cover papers, use “carbon sequestration, forest” to dig up the rest and reference/citation diving to get detail stuff. Piece of piss really.

      Now to try and summon the moti-fucking-vation to cook dinner…


      *mixed native conifer/angiosperm have fairly high recovery rates, with much of the stuff logged out in the early 20th century already marching towards climax, though local extinction can fuck that up (loss of seed sources, native conifer seeds don’t form a long term soil seed bank except for kauri), as can fires. Beech forest on the other hand take much longer, particular after fire, owing to poor soils and their crap seed dispersal ability, leading to 250 year timeframe for recovery, windfall is a bit different, but due to the zerg swarm of beech seedlings it can still take over a hundred years for forest climax state to be reached due to loss of seed sources for other woody species if the windfall area is very significant.

      • weka 12.6.1


        I would add that, for the purposes of this conversation, the main difference between native forests and human controlled systems like say a market garden or even a pine plantation is the mycelium (that’s the part of fungi that’s in the ground or inside the rotting tree). Forests are as much about fungi as trees, and they have a mutually beneficial arrangement. Plants use fungi to communicate over considerable distances, and that communication ensures the plants can adapt to changes being experienced across the species in that area (consider that in AGW terms too). As well as nutrient cycling, it’s also about the whole system and how it interacts for the health of the whole system. Fungi need dead trees, and live trees need fungi.

        Bear in mind also that the largest organism on the planet is a single mycelium network in old growth forest in the US (the fungi is nearly 1,000 hectares big) and it’s probably more intelligent than you are fisi (not to mention our current Minister of ‘Conservation’)

        (anyone interested, google Paul Stamets).

        • NickS

          Finally getting around to this –

          Cheers 😀

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycorrhizae for the actual stuff you’re talking about

          In the NZ context lodgepole pines, douglas fir and radiata pine etc are unable to thrive with their mycorrhizae fungi, and so had to be introduced to NZ to allow for exotic conifer forestry to be developed. Can be seen in any pine plantation as it makes the soil spongy, particularly in silt and sandy soil types.

      • Pasupial 12.6.2

        Thanks for that NickS, though Fisiani has always been unable to see the forest for the trees.

        The Green press release includes an important point about legislative process on top of these ecological concerns:

        “It is illegal to log these forests, a storm is no reason to change the law,” Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage said today…
        “It’s a bad precedent to change the law on a case by case, storm by storm basis. The public are not even going to get a say, the law will be pushed through under urgency.


        • fisiani

          Dead trees doth not a forest make. Thus the law needs to change.

          • McFlock

            fisi-haw-haw shows us the idiocy of tory exploiters – they only see the money in what exists now, not the value in what it helps grow.

          • weka

            Dead trees DO a forest make. Have you not been paying attention or are you just tr*lling?

          • NickS

            Nick provides info dump point out the role of windfall and dead trees in forests.

            And of course fisiani ignores it completely, probably due to it causing his brain to hurt due to his issues with dealing with actual fact.

            Oh and ignoring info dumps doesn’t make them go away fisi, it just makes you look like an idiot.

        • NickS

          Thanks, didn’t realise there was a law preventing it 😉

  13. Rosie 13

    In lieu of Weekend Social I wish you all a happy winter solstice, especially those of you who are neo pagans and might be donning a floor length cloak and drinking mulled wine on our longest night.

    And Matariki blessings to you as well move into the season of celebration of the appearance of the seven sisters on our north east skies at dawn. Do we have any astronomer hobbyists who have witnessed this?

    • karol 13.1

      Thanks, Rosie. Yes, a time of year to look forward to new beginnings as we pass the hump of the depths of winter…. spring is coming….

      • Rosie 13.1.1

        A time of renewal and yes, we do have much to look forward to 🙂

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.2

        Down here the shortest day marks the start of the real winter…

        • karol

          Up here, as the days start to get longer, I feel we are heading to spring. Haven’t had much of a “real” winter here so far, but the short days are depressing.

        • Rosie

          Yes. After the shortest day the temperatures begin to drop. It’s about time because it has been far too warm for this time of the year.

          Being a senior retired Goth (from the first wave in the 80’s) I happen to enjoy the dark cool days, being in nature at this time of year and early nights around a fire

          • Colonial Viper

            It’s about time because it has been far too warm for this time of the year.

            I know people who have been out and about active around Otago for 30+ years who say the same

          • phillip ure

            do you hiss when dawn breaks/the sun comes up..?

  14. karol 14

    Cunliffe coming up live on The Nation. Let’s see what he has to say.

  15. dimebag russell 15

    so where did john keys get $80,000,000 from?
    thats a lot of money for producing nothing tangible.
    its almost like stealing.

    • chris73 15.1

      What are you on about?

      • felix 15.1.1

        Apparently when Key came to NZ he had 80-odd million bucks, according to the rumours.

        Of course he will have traded that into far, far more by now.

        • alwyn

          Do you believe all the “rumours” you hear?
          So Liu gave $300,000 to the Labour Party and they hid it is one of your beliefs is it? After all there is a rumour that it happened.

      • alwyn 15.1.2

        He brought this up yesterday too. I asked him for any evidence as to this claim and he simply started demanding that I explain it, regardless of the reality of his number.

        He never did come up with any form of explanation yesterday and I don’t imagine he will do so today.

        Wasn’t there a film, “Ground Hog Day”, or some such, of someone who just repeats the same day, and the same actions over and over again? That is our friend dimebag with his stories about Key’s wealth.

        • freedom

          let me save you the trouble of writing your next contribution alwyn

          The next NBR rich list is out soon. The [usual crap-edited] will show that Key’s personal wealth is still fixed in at $50 million after dropping from $55 in 2012.

          Of course alwyn is correct and we all believe that John Key’s personal wealth has not grown at all over the last six years. The poor bloke lost millions and just can’t get a break

          • alwyn

            You are making things up about what my beliefs are aren’t you freedom?

            I have never said that John Key’s wealth has not grown.
            I have never said that John Key’s wealth has grown.
            I have never said that John Key lost millions and can’t get a break.
            I have certainly never said that he is worth 5$50m or $80M or anything else.

            I would like to see whether there is ANY accurate figure for his wealth based on anything other than some journalist interviewing his keyboard.
            Certainly I wouldn’t take any notice of what the NBR give for a number. I know very well one person who does appear on their list. He assures me that their figure has absolutely nothing to do with reality. They just make up the numbers for most people, in his opinion, so that they come up with a list that will help them sell papers.

            If people are going to put down specific numbers will someone please tell me where it comes from or whether it is just copying the previous guess that was made.

            • freedom

              fair call alwyn, If I have [unfairly?] suggested you hold an opinion that is prevalent amongst Key supporters and it offends you to be seen in such company, I withdraw and apologise.

              • alwyn

                Thank you.

                The thing that annoys me are the claims made about things for which there appears to be no hard, or even any, evidence at all. Key’s wealth is an example.

                I am quite prepared to believe that John Key is a very wealthy man. Indeed I am quite curious about the extent of his wealth myself. However when numbers appear to be drawn out of the air and then stories are made up based on those claims it pisses me off. It is the sort of thing where someone declares that Key was worth, say, $50m in 2011 and , say, $80m today and uses that to propose that he must be taking advantage of being PM to get insider information or payoffs from the US or whatever.

                And no, I can’t point you directly to such a story, but there are innuendos occasionally.

                Claims made about Mr Liu’s donations to the Labour Party being “in 6 figures” are another example. I would accept a claim by Liu himself, even if documentation is very thin, but not from someone who can show no reason for the statement.
                Trevor Mallard’s claims in the house, under privilege, sometimes seem to be in the same category.

                • chris73

                  Trevor Mallard’s claims in the house, under privilege, sometimes seem to be in the same category.

                  • Sometimes?
  16. Jrobin 16

    Cunliffe looking confident today and good to see Fran O Sullivan being so fair minded. Key spouting doublethink on lining up with the hawks, big contrast here between key and Cunliffe. Key looks a total amateur.

    • karol 16.1

      Fran O’Sullivan talking better for Labour than Pagani…. but both of them poor on “jihaddism”

      Fran less enthusiastic about Key in the US than Pagani – please can we have a real commentator from the left!?

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Fran’s keeping China in mind as she knows that a big part of the Pacific’s future rests on that side of the ocean.

        Pagani, well, who the fuck knows what she keeps in mind but it sure as hell isn’t the bottom 2.2M New Zealanders who live in this country.

        • karol

          Pagani is just fixated on a third way Labour apologism for core Labour values: jobs, wages, economic growth…. many righties would go for that, too.

          • felix

            So nice to see Josie gushing over John Key and his awesome diplomacy skills too.

    • TheContrarian 16.2

      Yeah Fran O’Sullivan was pretty good this morning.

      • ianmac 16.2.1

        I sent an email this morning to congratulate her on her perception.

        • karol

          Yes. Although the cynical side of me wonders if the NZ Herald editorial staff, and others in the MSM, realised they over-egged the whole issue, now that the case against Cunliffe re favours for cash has collapsed.

          The best National got from it was a kind of “Labour did it, too” line, re their cabinet clubs, etc.

          But now, as everyone is saying let’s focus on the issues, it makes it harder for the Nats’ smear machine to pull any more stuff out of Key’s drawer.

          • Karen
              <+1 Karol
              I was planning this weekend to make an official complaint about the Herald' s treatment of David Cunliffe during the week but the Fran O'Sullivan article provides enough "balance" to make it unlikely to succeed. I suspect that the Herald has had some backlash already.
              The media aren't going to give up the Cunliffe character assassination however. A friend has been polled for TVNZ (he thinks) asking whether David Cunliffe should resign as the leader of Labour Party and who would be the best replacement.
            • freedom

              Maybe you still should Karen. Journalistic balance shouldn’t be audited weekly.
              It should be accounted for in every word.

            • David H

              Reading the comments sections of said stories. they are scathing

  17. bad12 17

    Sugar,(the white death), was again in the news somewhere this week, the focus, from memory was on the usual suspect, the nasty sugar laden soft drink industry, with the same nasty ”lets tax them” solution to the problem being, (wrongly in my opinion), put forward as the solution,

    Sugar laden they may be, soft drinks that is, But, such are just the tip of the Sugar iceberg and sugar is being added in massive quantities to manufactured foods everywhere in an orgy of ‘white death’ that is far too long to list,

    Try eating your favorite slice of wholegrain toast with no butter or marge on it, yummy tastes Sweee-et, loaded with sugar by those that make it,

    Beans, even in a can, full of all the good things in life, mmmm, doesn’t a can of Chillie Beans just give you that Homer Simpson moment, loaded with sugar by those that make it,

    In a rush, need to throw tonight’s meal together in a hurry, how bout a Chicken Bake with veg and to save a little time a canned or bottled ‘simmer sauce’ to finish it off, yummy, loaded with enough sugar to blow the daily recommended sugar intake for a family of 4 by those that make it,

    Processed meats, shaved,packaged and 97% fat free, grab a fresh uncut loaf from the bakery as you shoot past with the trolley,you guessed it, loaded with sugar by those that make it,

    It isn’t just ‘soft-drinks’ that are turning us into a nation of Diabetics, and it aint just diabetics that our sugar laden foods are turning us into,

    Excess sugar in the body is converted and stored as FAT in all the major organs and arteries and i would suggest right now that excess sugar is the number one cause of Heart Disease in this country,

    It aint a tax on ‘soft-drinks’ that we Need, it is a full Government inquiry into what amounts of sugar manufacturers are loading into our foods and WHY?, along with that inquiry we Need regulations that get the sugar load out of our food…

    • Anthony B'stard 17.1

      The real problem is that people base their entire diet on this crap because they are too bloody lazy to cook using real ingredients.

      Its so cheap to peal a few potatoes and some pumpkin, throw it in the oven with a bit of pepper and salt and some oil and roast them – takes all of 5 minutes to prepare and costs about $3-$4, from which you would feed 4 adults easily.

      Then add some broccoli zapped in the microwave for 4 minutes, and your meat of choice depending on what is on special that week at the Mad Butcher or a fish shop or similar.

      People are just too lazy to care about having a normal diet.

      Taxing and education isn’t going to make a difference to how lazy people are.

      • NickS 17.1.1


        Oh ffs, this just in but sugar is addictive and thrown into everything it shouldn’t be and it takes time and effort to cook, something not everyone has due to work or in the case of those of us dealing with depression, the motivation to do so.

        So fuck you and stupid, ignorant attitude.

    • NickS 17.2

      +1 with all the force of my fat butt.

      Also – this is pretty much why I avoid all but fresh sauces as the stuff in cans/jars usually add in a bit too much sugar and other stuff.

      One thing though – depends on how much a person is exercising etc. I can eat like crap and not gain weight quickly if I have insomnia and was loosing weight pretty quickly recently due to doing 60k’s on the bike each week, despite my love of icecream, chocolate, cheese and pasta until my depression relapsed and fatigue issues killed doing that. But current cultural issues mean people don’t have much of a chance to exercise, so the cheap, high energy foods are an issue that needs to be addressed via food standards along with getting people to exercise more.

    • BM 17.3

      Yeah I’ve made a real effort to cut down on sugar.

      It ‘s the drinks that really shock me with the amount of sugar in them, there was a ginger beer that I brought on special a while back and noticed the sugar content and though “Wow, that’s high”, so I broke out the digital scales and measured out how many grams were in one can.

      It worked out around 50-60 grams which is the equivalent of 11-12 teaspoons, who the hell in their right mind would put 11-12 teaspoons of sugar in a 330ml drink.?

      Crazy, I just poured that and the rest of the cans down the sink.

      Now what I do is buy Pams soda water at 89 cents a bottle and some of those low sugar fruit syrups like barkers, tastier and so much better for you.

  18. ianmac 18

    As an afterthought read Rougham’s column and he an avid Key supporter wrote”
    David Cunliffe is no slouch. I admired his refusal to apologise for the Donghua Liu letter this week. He had no need to do so – forgetting a routine letter written 11 years ago and failing to find a record of it is perfectly understandable. His repeated denials that he had even known or helped Liu was forgiveable.

    Many a politician, including Key, would have apologised and got out of it. Not Cunliffe. It is rare in politics and public relations these days to see somebody stand his ground.
    Perhaps Fran and he had a chat?

    • karol 18.1

      And perhaps, when chatting, they realised the NZH may have been on thin ice legally/ethically, going all out breathlessly in support of rumours spun by the NAT-WO smear machine.

      • fender 18.1.1

        Oh well the NZH etc. will have plenty of opportunity to turn the tables when they start running stories based on the rumour that John Key has been purchasing videos from the Roastbusters gang…

  19. Colonial Viper 19

    Ha Joon Chang

    13 points you need to know about “Economics”

    This guy is an outstanding economist/academic.


    1. Economics was originally called ‘political economy’

    Economics is politics and it can never be a science. Yet the dominant neoclassical school of economics succeeded in changing the name of the discipline from the traditional ‘political economy’ to ‘economics’ at the turn of the 20th Century. The Neoclassical school wanted economics to become a pure science, shorn of political (and thus ethical) dimensions that involve subjective value judgments. This change was a political move in and of itself.

    2. The Nobel Prize in Economics is not a real Nobel Prize

    Unlike the original Nobel Prizes (Physics, Chemistry, Physiology, Medicine, Literature and Peace), established by the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel at the end of the nineteenth century, the economics prize was established by the Swedish central bank (Sveriges Riksbank) in 1968 and is thus officially called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Members of the Nobel family are known to have criticized the Swedish central bank for giving prizes to free-market economists of whom their ancestor would have disapproved.

    3. There is no single economic theory that can explain Singapore’s economy

    This is what I call the ‘Singapore problem’. If you read the standard account of Singapore’s economic success in places like the Economist or the Wall Street Journal, you will only hear about Singapore’s free trade and welcoming attitude towards foreign investment. You will never hear about how almost all the land in Singapore is owned by the government, while 85% of housing is supplied by the government’s housing corporation. 22% of GDP is produced by state-owned enterprises (including Singapore Airlines), when the world average in that respect is only about 9%.

    • alwyn 19.1

      “Economics is politics and it can never be a science”

      I presume that you would also agree with the sentence if we dropped the reference to Economics and simply said that “Politics can never be a science”?
      I suppose that would mean that Labour Party leaders Helen Clark, Phil Goff, David Shearer, David Cunliffe and next years leader Grant Robertson are all guilty of false pretences when they all claim that they have degrees in “Political Science”?

      As far as the reference to Nobel’s family goes anyone in that category would have a very distant relationship to him. He never married and had no children. He therefore had NO descendants and there is no one who can claim him as “their ancestor” .

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        Hi Alwyn,

        Not sure what your comment has to do with the modern day discipline of “Economics” as it is taught and practiced being completely truncated to exclude political, social and moral dimensions apart from as after-thoughts?

        • alwyn

          I was not really meaning to comment on Economics as a science at all. I was just interpreting the phrase “Economics is politics and it can never be a science” as being shorthand for the logic
          Politics is not a science
          Economics is Politics
          Therefore Economics is not a Science
          to highlight the first assumed point. I then was merely suggesting that we should drop the word “Science” when talking about the academic discipline “Politics”

          As far as modern Economic theory goes there seems to be something of a trend away from the somewhat sterile presumptions of General Equilibrium, Market Clearing and Rational Economic Man into rather more realistic views. The trouble is that they are not easy to represent mathematically and that makes the mathematically trained economists of today rather uncomfortable.
          It’s rather like the story of the old drunk who was looking for the money he dropped under a streetlight rather than 50 metres away where he dropped it because it was easier to see under the light. Economists pick the bits they have maths for because that is what they are trained for.
          On the other hand I am cynical enough to believe that most politicians are out to maximise their own welfare and are not terribly interested in the welfare of others. They like the power and will do anything to retain it. When looking at our political masters we would do well to accept that they are just in it for themselves.

          • Colonial Viper

            It’s not the on TV political masters who are the problem, it’s the system and the environment that they are immersed in, and that is far less visible.

            The puppets at the top just go wherever the strings pull them.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Yep, we need to accept that the present system is inherently plutocratic.

          • Draco T Bastard

            When looking at our political masters we would do well to accept that they are just in it for themselves.

            Two things:

            1. We need to stop calling politicians our masters as they’re our servants
            2. Not all politicians are in it only for themselves
            • TheContrarian

              “Not all politicians are in it only for themselves”

              Initially but unfortunately people are inherently susceptible to hubris. It takes a strong man/woman to resist the siren call of power.

      • Lanthanide 19.1.2

        Homoeopathic medicine has the word ‘medicine’ in it, when it clearly isn’t.

        Political science is a “social science”, just like economics is actually a social science and not a hard science. The probably will never be formulas or algorithms that will 100% predict all behaviour, but that doesn’t mean that applying scientific methods (and creating methods especially for that discipline) cannot shed light on the subject, thus validating calling it a type of science.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.3

        I think this bit answers your query:

        Only when we know that there are different economic theories will we be able to tell those in power that they are wrong to tell us that ‘there is no alternative’ (TINA), as Margaret Thatcher once infamously put it in defence of her controversial policies.

        • alwyn

          I have only just noticed this.
          I wish I had seen it many years ago. I spent 6 years in academia studying the subject. I could have done it much more rapidly.
          In terms of the subject though I always return to the words of the Master. Keynes, in “The General Theory” wrote one of the finest pieces of literature ever.
          He got it pretty well right in the introduction when he said.

          “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.”

          He also offers the thought that

          “Too large a proportion of recent “mathematical” economics are mere concoctions, as imprecise as the initial assumptions they rest on, which allow the author to lose sight of the complexities and interdependencies of the real world in a maze of pretentious and unhelpful symbols.”

    • Ad 19.2

      Nice snack sized portions there.

      I would love to see a cross-parliament long term agreement about economic development for New Zealand.
      Granted we’re unlikely to have strong-man type Prime Ministers that Singapore has had, who can structure both society and the economy according to a specific plan. At least, not in any reasonable imagined future.

      But National and Labour have effectively taken superannuation off the public radar. So major policy areas can be shared. We may never be Singapore, or Finland, but I think we can collectively conceive of an economic plan that spans parties, and is delivered generationally. We used to be able to imagine like this.

      • Colonial Viper 19.2.1

        Would require re-acceptance of nation building as a core role of central Government.

        Granted we’re unlikely to have strong-man type Prime Ministers that Singapore has had, who can structure both society and the economy according to a specific plan.

        As you know, Lee Kuan Yew broke the back of a lot of opposition MPs, dissidents and media in his day. Not exactly a democracy. But he did get the job done.

  20. ianmac 20

    And another from Isaac Davidson:
    New Zealanders are interested in very little, if Prime Minister John Key is to be believed.

    The America’s Cup is the latest in a long list of things Mr Key has declared New Zealand to be unconcerned about…..There is a pattern in all of the things New Zealanders are “not interested in” – they are all potentially damaging to National.

    What Key says:

    On the America’s Cup
    “My sense actually is the public is waning on the idea a bit.” (Newstalk ZB)

    On spying
    “I think they’re much more interested in snapper quota.” (Campbell Live)

    On Labour
    “I’m going to be interested in voting for somebody who’s actually growing the economy and growing jobs, not what Grant Robertson and the Labour Party’s focused on.”

    And more @
    A slightly disenchanted tone?

  21. Draco T Bastard 21

    Want to Prevent PTSD? End Unbridled US Militarism

    The massive and growing number of severe psychological maladies plaguing our veterans is yet another unconscionable cost of empire.

    And what’s our government doing? Signing us up for more military action as part of the US Empire.

  22. A couple of points that have disturbed me around this letter thingy.

    The only reason imo for a MP to write/sign a letter is to advocate – that is why MP’s are approached – apparently they are better/higher than the rest of us.

    But this situation has highlighted the truth about the process. A minion is the middle-person and does all the work in getting the form letter ready with the correct information, context and outcome to be achieved, the MP may know the guts of the contents of what they are signing but because there are so, so, many of these letters usually the MP just signs like an automaton.

    point 2 cancels out point 1?

    • Lanthanide 22.1

      Electorate MPs are just another part of the political system.

      Bureaucracies by their nature are inefficient and inflexible. They make decisions that suit the majority of circumstances, but there are always cases that come up where when the standard bureaucratic process is followed the outcome appears to be unfair. The part of the system that steps in to deal with this is the electorate MP.

      If you didn’t have electorate MPs doing it, you’d have to have some other person or office doing it. But just because the function is necessary and is performed, it doesn’t require that the person performing it is always 100% advised of the minutia of each case. In fact doing so would make the system less efficient.

      • karol 22.1.1

        Peter Dunne did a press release on Cunliffe’s letter – ultimately bagging Cunliffe’s line. Dunne said he always drafted letters on the behalf of constituents himself, so that he would remember them. I have no idea what Dunne’s responses to constituents are like, or how efficient his system is.

  23. NZ Femme 23

    A commenter on Kiwiblog linked to a 2010 Bryce Edwards post on a National Party fundraising event
    back in 2007. Quite relevant to Labour Party issues from this past week.


    “It has been revealed that Wong has raised large amounts of money for the National Party in 2007, including $200,000 from one fundraising event where apparently one Chinese businessman paid $50,000 for one of John Key’s ties. All of this money presumably was passed onto the head office of the National Party. Yet the funds are not easily identified in the donations declared by the party to the Electoral Commission for 2008. Why not? Matt Nippert’s article in today’s NBR quotes me discussing the issue. This blog post elaborates on the issues.”


  24. Chooky 24

    From Martyn Bradbury

    ‘Key can’t remember 5 Eye mass spying re-orientation party and we can’t see Governments letters to Donghua Liu’

    John Key has been outed by his American masters who told Journalists that NZ had been “reintegrated” into the 5 eyes spying partnership since Key came to power. Key is desperately spinning that no such decision to re-enter the mass spying network has occurred because of course this would be news to us.

    None of us asked for NZ to get more tightly immersed inside the NSA mass surveillance state, that is a debate that has not occurred, clearly Key and his Government have done this secretly minus our consent because they know most NZers would be opposed to getting closer to the all seeing eye of Washington.

    While Key is getting caught out secretly expanding the spying networks, he’s also allowing those networks to be used actively against the domestic population. Seeing as this Government seem to have no ethical qualms about using state resources to fund their smear campaigns against the Opposition, how tempted is the PM to use these spy networks as well? This is why allowing him to appoint his old school mate via a process that was not the norm is so questionable.

    Look at the double standards being applied by the Government to releasing their Donghua Liu letters. How come Woodhouse, who has changed his story three times now as to when he informed Key about the letter, was able to get his OIA request made public with hardly any warning to Labour, yet they are able to hide their Donghua Liu letters?

    Add to these type of resources a biased media who are calling for Cunliffe’s resignation and it’s no wonder the opinion polls are where they are. Beyond the manipulated narratives, people watching the campaign will see a very different Cunliffe, a point even Fran O’Sullivan acknowledges in her very interesting column today…

    See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/06/21/key-cant-remember-5-eye-mass-spying-re-orientation-party-and-we-cant-see-governments-letters-to-donghua-liu/

    • emergency mike 24.1

      “Asked to confirm whether his Government had ever made a decision to actively rejoin Five Eyes, Key responded: “I don’t think that’s right, but I remember there were some vague things . . . ”

      He then said he would check.”

      Key needs to be pressed on this. If it turns out he has been making deals with the Americans regarding our spy agencies, without bothering to ask or even inform the NZ public, then he will have to explain why. Or else it’s not really clear who he thinks he works for.

  25. Ergo Robertina 25

    New Zealand and other countries’ ability to regulate the financial sector will be weak under the proposed Trade in Services Agreement.
    Prof Jane Kelsey has analysed its implications based on the financial services chapter published this week by Wikileaks. The deal will lock in a light handed financial regulation system at the behest of the USA and the EU, which along with tax haven Panama are most active in the negotiations.
    Kelsey says these negotiations are even more secretive than the TPP.
    Likely outcomes include weakening states’ ability to regulate:
    -the size of financial institutions
    -flows of hot money
    – credit rating agencies,
    – ‘innovative’ financial products
    – rules governing local domicile of directors
    It may also remove requirements on foreign investors to operate through a subsidiary. This I would have thought is particularly pertinent to NZ where foreign money dominates.
    Kelsey’s analysis: https://wikileaks.org/tisa-financial/analysis.html
    Kelsey’s press release: http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/secret-tisa-trade-talks-will-lock-nz-finance-rules-kelsey/5/193949
    The Greens also issued a press release: http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/key-doing-deal-us-benefits-wall-street-green-party/5/194004
    I would like to know Labour’s position. There may be a press release but I can’t find one on the party’s website.

    • karol 25.1

      Thanks, Ergo. I’d seen the Green’ press release, but not Kelsey’s.

    • Jenny 25.2

      I would like to know Labour’s position. There may be a press release but I can’t find one on the party’s website.

      Why not phone up Phil Goff, he seems to be the one setting Labour policy on these things.

  26. Draco T Bastard 26

    Banks Don’t Lend Money

    Professor Hyman Minsky once wrote “Banking is not money lending; to lend, a money lender must have money. The fundamental banking activity is accepting, that is, guaranteeing that some party is creditworthy. A bank, by accepting a debt instrument, agrees to make specified payments if the debtor will not or cannot”.

    “Banking is not money lending”? Surely some mistake! Why would an economist as famous as Professor Minsky make such an outrageous sounding statement?… Well the answer is that its perfectly true. Crazy though it sounds, banks don’t lend money at all. To understand why this is the case we must understand some technicalities about money.

    Think about that for a bit and then ask: Why the hell are private banks allowed to create money?

  27. karol 27

    Brian Gould’s Briefing Paper on “The Purpose of Government”

    He traces the rise of “neoliberalism”, weighs up the comparative roles of Market” and the social contract, and then goes on to Piketty.

    Another way of making the same point is to express it in terms of the limitations of the market. The market is hugely beneficial in its ability to allocate scarce resources efficiently and to stimulate innovation, but it is seriously deficient in identifying and delivering social outcomes – especially those that require a longer time span and a wider horizon than market forces take into account.

    The dichotomy between government and the market lies, in other words, at the heart of the debate about the purpose of government. The whole point of democracy, after all, was to offer voters the power, through the government they elected, to use their political power to offset what would otherwise be the overwhelming economic power of those who dominated the market place – and that domination has become even more overwhelming with the development of the single global economy.

    He does seem to be going for a social democratic balance between market (in the terms it is most used these days), and government. I’d go further are argue for starting with the people and communities, with diverse opportunities for the people to influence government, and the kind of society we want. The current “market” seems designed to dominate everything else. Really, we should be looking at the economy, and its markets, serving society, and not leading it.

  28. Morrissey 29

    We’ve heard nothing of this on TV or radio. Why not?

    In the first ten days of June, seventeen teenage boys were abducted in the occupied West Bank. The youngest was thirteen, the oldest seventeen.

    Some were dragged at gunpoint from their homes and family in the middle of the night; others were seized from the streets in broad daylight.

    All of the abductions were documented by the Palestinian Monitoring Group. Not one was reported by the international media. No Western politicians called for the release of the boys.


    • ianmac 29.1

      And yet a great deal was made of the missing 3 Israeli boys. Always wondered if the missing 3 were even really “abducted.”

  29. Weepu's beard 30

    I notice the government and its sycophants are loudly claiming the decision to pull fallen native timber out of National Park land as a victory for common sense.

    I’m no forest ecosystem expert but it appears these forests have survived for some several millenia without the government of the day hauling away storm damaged trees for cash.

    Perhaps the storm cycle and fallen trees are important to these forests. Did Nick Smith consult anyone on that, an expert for instance, or was this decision just another “no-brainer”?

  30. ffloyd 31

    Once more. I find it odd that Fran O’Sullivan only had nine comments to her column.

  31. ffloyd 32

    Headline in Herald. Max (key) has special mention from Obama. Bless his cotton socks. Couldn’t bring myself to read it.

  32. greywarbler 33

    Jane Goodall is in NZ and is coming to Wellington tomorrow Sunday.

    Dr Jane Goodall
    All profits will go to the Jane Goodall Institute to support the chimpanzee research and rehabilitation centres in Africa.

    Where: Michael Fowler Centre
    Investment: $25 per person
    Date: Sunday 22 Jun 2014 Time: 02:00 pm to 03:00 pm

    Hear the world’s most famous field scientist talk about her life’s work in Africa and why she has her reasons for hope. Jane is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace.

    Dr. Goodall will bring her audience into the world of the Gombe chimpanzees – from her early observations and experiences to the latest news and stories from the field. Dr. Goodall will also share information about the work of the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues her pioneering research and celebrates its 37th anniversary this year.

    Her new book, Seeds of Hope, is out now.To donate to the Jane Goodall Institute, visit janegoodall.org

  33. Bluey 34

    Just curious if anyone can help me. I read on NZ herald some time ago a Michele Hewitson interview with John Key (maybe about 2007) which had some interesting details of his formative years. I was especially interested in the donations comments.
    Does anyone recall this or have a link, it seems to have disappeared from the web, or have I just screwed up my memory totally?

    • greywarbler 34.1

      I was interested in reading some Michele Hewitson as I don’t get much news and opinion outside of radio and what good links come up here. I put into google, michele hewitson interview political donations and got some headings that looked interesting but I was not successful in finding one heading with John Key noted as the interviewee.

      • Bluey 34.1.1

        Thanks for that!
        It was an interview with John Key about the donations he (supposedly) made. But thanks to you I found Michele’s email and maybe she will send me the link to the article and I can share it with you all.
        It’s weird it has disappeared from the web. I wonder how much other stuff has too.

      • Bluey 34.1.2

        Ok, thanks bird of the year (previous), I think it has been erased. I wonder who would do this?
        We will see.

  34. hellonearthis 35

    On The Nation, John Key was busy inventing a new version of history.

    “Americans went to war in Iraq, it cost between 2 and 3 trillion US dollars and in the end we’re back in the situation again where virtually civil war is breaking out” John Key

    But umm history did go like that. Before The USA invaded Iraq there was no civil war going on.
    The USA went to way because of the lies about weapons of mass destruction.


  35. Jenny 36

    Does climate change mean more pleasant days at the beach?

    In a nice fluffy piece, about our unusually warm winter, Sunday Star Times journalist Laura Walters asks, Is this the winter of our content?

    Walters doesn’t go below the surface, she does quote a weather expert, but she didn’t ask him any of the hard questions.

    She didn’t go into the country and talk to the farmers. If she did she would find a general bemusement tinged with worry. High rainfall coupled with unusual warmth has seen an explosion in grass growth, normally dormant at this time of year. Naturally farmers are pleased, but the worry is what does this mean for the summer?

    Does this unusual warmth auger a third straight summer of drought?

    What you won’t find anywhere in such pleasant puff pieces in our main stream media by bubble heads posing as journalists, are any questioning about our changing climate, the only slight note of concern is that we might not be getting in much skiing this year.

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  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
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  • Outstanding public service recognised
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  • New Zealand gifts White Horse to Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Japan
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  • High Commissioner to Canada announced
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