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Open mike 21/06/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 21st, 2016 - 143 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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143 comments on “Open mike 21/06/2016 ”

  1. Paul 1

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

    New Zealand’s middle class.

    ‘Chris Trotter: The middle class have become selfish survivalists.

    What has happened to the New Zealand middle class? Why has the social strata that encompasses our best educated, most highly skilled, most entrepreneurial and financially literate citizens failed so miserably to respond to our nation’s needs?
    When did the middle class relinquish the moral and civic leadership upon which its claims to social pre-eminence rested? How, and by whom, has the middle class been superseded?………………

    ……Separated from its former working class allies; dictated to by an international ruling class it cannot control; the New Zealand middle class is, today, almost entirely absorbed with its own survival. House prices, retirement plans, and the fecklessness of the lower orders are the obsessions du jour. The besetting conundrum: how to ensure their children enjoy a middle class existence without relinquishing their own in the process?
    The generous and collaborative middle class, which won New Zealand international acclaim for its progressive economic, social and political reforms, has largely ceased to exist. Without allies, and without hope, its selfish successor squabbles fractiously on a dwindling sand hill, fatally encumbered by the shabby detritus of its own illusory superiority.’


    Brilliant article,
    Read all of it.

    • tc 1.1

      Arent the middle class disappearing across the globe due to the neoliberal policies which favour the wealthy and powerful screwing everyone else.

      So the middle either gets itself up or slides down as there’s effectively no middle ground to habitate over time.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        Thomas Piketty Believes There’s Still Time to Save the Middle Class

      • Paul 1.1.2

        Neoliberals Managing the Decline of the Middle Class

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3

        Arent the middle class disappearing across the globe due to the neoliberal policies which favour the wealthy and powerful screwing everyone else.

        Yep. The rich are taking it all and turning the rest of us into impoverished serfs.

        • Colonial Viper

          The 0.1% are finding that the bottom 90% have little left to steal. So now they are turning their thieving schemes on to the top 10% and the top 5%. Their homes, retirement savings, pension schemes, jobs.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And, of course, more state assets with government guaranteed profits from taxes that they themselves don’t pay.

      • katipo 1.1.4

        Oh look we are number 1…
        1. New Zealand: New Zealand’s economy could have grown by 44 percent between 1990 and 2010, but the country did only achieve 28 percent growth due to inequality. Hence, it lost 15.5 percentage points — more than any other country. This is particularly surprising, given that New Zealand was once considered a paradise of equality

    • Repateet 1.2

      What is it about a middle class and generations which where brought up being taught about the importance of telling the truth and punished, (often physically) for not, that sees them now accept and expect dishonesty and downright lies from our most senior politicians?

      What consequences are there for they way they are raising their own children and grandchildren?

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Humanity’s storm is coming. No one will be able to escape from what they have done.

    • Redelusion 1.3

      Thanks Paul

    • Olwyn 1.4

      That is a brilliant, insightful article by Trotter – thanks Paul, for putting it up. These two bits are most telling, “Up until 1981, New Zealand society remained the co-creation of its working and middle classes,” and “The economic, cultural and political elites who had accepted the terms of the post-war social-democratic settlement were replaced by those who understood, and were fiercely loyal to, the policies of the new order.”

      The two quotes put together explain the tricky situation in which political parties of the left now find themselves, while the latter by itself explains Key’s popularity. Key’s commitment to the new order keeps punishment at bay for the middle class, while demanding punishment for the working class and the poor as evidence of his commitment. Which makes it very difficult for the working class and the middle class to be allies – the championing of one means the punishment of the other. And this is where it gets tricky for parties of the left – they need the support of a mixture of working class and middle class voters if they are to gain office in a bona fide fashion.

      • Colonial Viper 1.4.1

        The working class and under class are the least likely in society to vote.

        Electoral logic has told Labour and Greens to not bother focussing on getting those votes.

        So the working class and under class vote less and less. Many here have said how shite life as a beneficiary was under Labour. That’s not by accident. Labour have chosen which class they back.

        • Olwyn

          That’s why the push has to come from the grass roots. One can only hope that New Zealanders will eventually take heart from the places where this seems to be starting to happen, like the UK and the US. According to my friends in Australia, even Shorten is making some left-leaning moves now. But all I am saying is that there really is a dilemma involved, it is not just about careerists comfortably ensconcing themselves, and a way past it needs to be be found.

        • swordfish

          The New Zealand Election Study (NZES) suggests that in 2011 – for the first time since reliable data was first collected in 1963 – National gained more working-class votes than Labour.

          Even in the 70s, a time when Muldoon is widely alleged to have made deep inroads into the blue-collar vote, Labour had, in fact, easily won the working-class constituency (Muldoon’s success was actually grounded much more in middle and lower middle class support).

          It’s not that National were the beneficiaries of a significant wkg-class swing in 2011, though. In fact, their share of the wkg-class vote actually fell slightly (down 1 point on 2008). Rather, Labour suffered a huge 6 point fall in their blue-collar share – with (as you’ve implied) a good deal of it heading towards Non-Voting. Thus, National slipping slightly with workers and their families, while Labour – in total freefall – sails past them on the way down.

          • Macro

            As I’ve been saying all along and repeated only yesterday to bill murray. Labour will not improve its position significantly until it shows the non-voters that they can have confidence again in Labour actually doing something for them.

  2. Paul 2

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.


    Ex-Middlemore kitchen staff say Compass owes them thousands

    Ten staff who worked for decades in Middlemore Hospital’s kitchen before the Compass Group took over the operation say they are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by the company.
    Compass is one of the world’s biggest catering companies, and supplies nearly half of all public hospital meals in New Zealand.
    The company has been the focus of protests in recent months about the quality of the food that it has supplied to hospitals in Otago and Southland.

    • tc 2.1

      One of many juicy outsourced arrangements struck in health under Ryall and watched over by some rather toxic managers they’ve installed around the system.

      Waiakto’s upper level has been flushed in its Chiefs image since he joined and my what a lovely upstanding fellow Dr Murray is.

  3. Paul 3

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.
    Cruel, uncaring.
    ‘We feel targeted because we’re black’


  4. Paul 4

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

    Yet there are people who still care and who are unselfish.
    Te Puea marae represents the best of New Zealand.

    • Yep there are lessons here for us all – if you allow people to empower themselves miracles can happen – if you suppress and treat people as lower and lesser you create more problems as well as more injustice and misery.

  5. Jenny 5

    I sometimes think that the influence of The Standard is more far reaching than even the authors know.


    Widely condemned by both “Left”* and “Right”.

    First appearing eight days ago. It took the establishment media a while to work out their attack angle. “She is taking our batches”. As if Wealthy or upper Middle Class would be really hard done by if they couldn’t keep a spare holiday home empty for 11 months of the year, while families live in garages and cars.

    Yes, according to the media, batch owners are the real victims here.

    But that is a side issue. Crone, admitting that she has a batch herself.



    *(That is if you consider a neo-liberal Rodgergnome “Left”, so right wing he once lost Labour’s safest of safe seats)

    • Sacha 5.1

      Adding the equivalent of one week’s capital gain to the annual rates bill will change nothing for speculative investors. It amounts to a 2% tax.

      Still, it *looks* like they’re doing something, I guess, and it gives Ms Crone’s chum Paula Bennett an out for central govt doing nothing to address demand-side pressures.

  6. Hone on facebook

    “Geez … all the flak I’m coppin’ from John Key and Andrew Little and Kelvin, and all we did was put out a short statement! It’s a little bit cheeky but what the hell. Anyway, here it is. Read and enjoy folks.”

    and then into the ‘get the band back together’ stuff

    I’m hoping Hone plays a smart game with this – it can be done and we’ll just have to wait and see. I really hope he doesn’t do a Jon Snow and get all worked up, change the plans and just run in swinging his sword. There will be a time for that but now is the time to build the forces so the real King of the North is actually back.

  7. btw – YAY thanks for fixing the comment thing for me – I so appreciate it – big hugs!!!

  8. Jenny 8

    Rushing to fill the breach

    Mayoral candidate Phil Goff said extra rates on empty properties would not make a big impact on the housing problem and could be unnecessarily complicated.

    He said some people had properties that were not permanently occupied for legitimate reasons – like baches, or the estates of people who have died – and it could take an army of bureaucrats to work out which ones need to be charged extra.

    Sez he who lives in a millionaire rural property in Clevedon.

    In my opinion Goff’s line of attack is specious and unsubstantiated,

    33 thousand empty homes in Auckland is not a small number, compared to the number of homeless families in Auckland, it is actually more.

    And Crone’s idea of using water usage to locate these properties is thinking outside the box, requiring very little extra paper work.

    • Paul 8.1

      Goff was part of Roger Douglas’s coup d’état
      Never forget that.
      He is a neoliberal through and through.

    • ianmac 8.2

      Easily fixed. Leave a tap running some of the time in a semi furnished house.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      He said some people had properties that were not permanently occupied for legitimate reasons – like baches

      I wouldn’t consider baches to be a legitimate reason.

    • Lanthanide 8.4

      And Crone’s idea of using water usage to locate these properties is thinking outside the box, requiring very little extra paper work.

      Yes, but it’s also very trivially avoided: just leave the taps running.

      It actually incentivises people to pour perfectly fine drinking water down the drain, because it’s cheaper than paying the increased rates.

      Targeting vacant houses is a mugs game anyway. Target the land-bankers.

      I’ve previously suggested ramping up the annual rates dramatically on land that is not built on (or actively under development, eg in the process of having plans drawn up for housing or subdividing further etc).

      • McFlock 8.4.1

        Leaving the taps on would just have an almost identical meter reading month to month. No seasonal variation or general noise.

        • ianmac

          Easily fixed. Pop out each month and alter the water flow. Two taps this month. Half a tap next month. Sure that an electronic unit could be developed to make water use variable.

          • McFlock

            yeah, but then you’re beginning to get into a fair amount of effort to try to fake only a single metric that might be used in addition to other things like public reports, contact mail addresses, and comparing with historic water usage on the property.

            All for the sake of committing fraud each and every time they claim cheaper rates for having an occupied dwelling.

            • Lanthanide

              but then you’re beginning to get into a fair amount of effort to try to fake only a single metric that might be used in addition to other things like public reports, contact mail addresses, and comparing with historic water usage on the property.

              But the whole point of using water usage is that it was supposed to be a quick and inexpensive measure. As soon as you start collating other information and trying to make judgements from it, it’s no longer quick and inexpensive. Also you’re much more likely to reach the wrong conclusions in some cases.

              • Cricklewood

                For a couple of hundred dollars you can buy a pretty clever irrigation timer that seasonally adjusts water usage add a rain sensor and youre away. Usage will be variable and all you need to do is screw it to an outside tap and send the water down the drain.
                Classic case of someone open their mouth without considering how easy it would be to circumvent and then looking like an idiot to people with a modicum of common sense.

              • McFlock

                And it is a quick and inexpensive measure for a large chunk of the problem.

                The more effort and expense people are prepared to go to, the smaller the number who will do it.

                And sooner or later you have the simple equation of the penalty for failure in whatever dodge they come up wit vs the trouble of just renting out the damned house.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.4.2

        Leaving the taps running in Auckland will quickly have you running up several hundred dollars in water bills every month.

        • Lanthanide

          And if that’s cheaper than the increased rates that you would otherwise pay, then it’s worth it.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It won’t be.

            It seems that they’re only talking about 2% increase in rates or about $100 per year compared to several hundred dollars per month for the water.

            If they want to do something about this then the amount is going to have to be several thousand dollars per year. Essentially, multiples of the rates bill as it would have to be more than the untaxed capital gains.

            • Lanthanide

              Not sure where you’re getting this 2% number from:

              Auckland bach owners who do not use their places frequently would be hit with a massive rate hike under a policy proposed by a mayoral candidate.

              National Party-aligned Auckland Future mayoral candidate Vic Crone is proposing measures to help solve the city’s housing shortage that target unoccupied properties. Buildings sitting empty for more than six months may be in line for rates increases of up to fifty percent.

              Emphasis mine.


      • Jenny 8.4.3

        Is there no low the Right wouldn’t contemplate to protect their privilege?

        Easy fix for any scum who chooses to waste water to hide their keeping houses empty while families live in cars.

        Lock em up and throw away the key.

    • Jenny 8.5

      In an unsubstantiated knee jerk reaction in defence of the privileges of the well off, mayoral hopeful and long time parliamentary trougher Phill Goff says that it is legitimate for properties like, baches to remain unoccupied while families live in cars.

      News Flash Phill,

      If it is connected to town supply. It is not a bach it is an extra home.

  9. Pat 9

    Not enough housing, not enough builders, poor workmanship and design, dodgy imported materials and nobody responsible…….think again.


    • mauī 9.1

      Thought you were talking about Auckland for a second!

    • vto 9.2

      Yep. NZ will have poor buildings for decades to come… thanks to the standards applied to buildings going up right now today…

      bureaucracy left right and centre aint changing nothing except adding to costs as the local authority ticks boxes ….

      Frankly, I lay the blame squarely with the builders…

      • Pat 9.2.1

        then you would be blaming the wrong party

        • vto

          no I wouldn’t

          • Pat

            then it is obvious you havn’t read the linked submission

            • vto

              and its obvious you haven’t built any buildings the last decades

              … useless one-liners ……

              I understand the myriad and interwoven issues dontcha worry about that. The reason for pointing the finger mostly at the builders is that they are the ones putting the buildings together, and are the last line of construction. They know when they put together a detail that will likely leak, or fail under weight of time, but they still proceed to do so…. of course they ladle the fingers of blame thick and fast and all over the place… as they do… better than any other finger-pointers on the planet….

              Our business and associations take us deep into the world of building design, consenting and construction.. as deep as you can go… and this is the conclusion we come to

              Builders, as a whole industry and as individuals, need to lift their game…. they are letting the country down

              and in Chch you can add greed and ripoffs to that

              builders like to call a spade a spade – so there’s a spade for them

              • Pat

                “and its obvious you haven’t built any buildings the last decades”

                and that would be a wrong assumption

                “I understand the myriad and interwoven issues dontcha worry about that. The reason for pointing the finger mostly at the builders is that they are the ones putting the buildings together, and are the last line of construction. They know when they put together a detail that will likely leak, or fail under weight of time, but they still proceed to do so…. of course they ladle the fingers of blame thick and fast and all over the place… as they do… better than any other finger-pointers on the planet….”

                that statement demonstrates exactly how moronic blaming “the end of the chain” is…

                The problems are systemic and what we witness now is the foretold result of three decades of perverse incentives, self regulation and the dumbing down of ALL sectors of the construction industry and education/training organizations that support them.

                As with everything it starts at the beginning…not the end.

                • vto

                  I understand and agree almost completely with that… but I think you miss it with you last sentence…

                  It also starts, or ends, at the end…
                  If the detail is assessed as likely to leak or fail, then don’t build it… but they so very often do …. “it was on the drawings” goes the first finger of blame,.

                  as I said – the last line of defence and first line of actual construction. They need to stand up. They are not standing up.

                  I know all the other systemic stuff but that doesn’t abrogate their responsibility when banging the bare steel nail into the waterfront deck

                  • Pat

                    “as I said – the last line of defence and first line of actual construction. They need to stand up. They are not standing up.”

                    Why would they?….producer statements, limited liability companies,a dearth of training, products and services provided from without at below local cost and no oversight, regulatory system without the ability to oversee or dispute/correct and finally no penalty even when it all turns to crap.

                    so the guy on the end of the nail gun is going to resolve that?…..right.

                    • s y d

                      yeah, I’m with Pat.
                      It’s way past the point that the guy getting $25/hr should be hung out to dry and blamed for all the BS.
                      Thats like blaming the Pike river miners for the mine setup.
                      There are good builders, there are good buildings, but housing has become another commodity and management process has corrupted the craft.

                  • DH

                    You’re missing the point vto, and really making pat’s point too

                    The document was largely discussing how bureaucracy has lost its industry skills, experience and knowledge. Expecting a builder to identify flaws in structural design is part of the problem. A builder is neither an engineer nor an architect, it’s not their skillset or job to critique bodgy plans or bad stock.

                    • vto

                      Again, I understand and agree mostly with pat’s point, especially as it relates to failed industry due to neoliberal policy settings…

                      but do not agree with letting the builders off the hook so easily. . .

                      the time when leaky buildings were being built is a good example. It was combo of design (internal gutters were popular), poor regulatory setup (thanks neoliberalists), and frankly shoddy crap workmanship. The poorly designed internal gutters, vetted by the regulations, should still have worked better than they have…. in fact many have worked fine and don’t need repair. You will find that the ones that have failed were the ones built with crap workmanship…

                      … as for the view don’t blame the guy on $25/hour… I am actually not – I am blaming the person who owns the building business and employs the nail-gunner at $25/hour while charging him out at $55/hour.

                      The building sector, comprising the builders, needs to stand up and take responsibility to a far greater extent than they are currently.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Building co. owners aren’t about to drive themselves out of business and lose all their custom by second guessing what their clients ask them to do, let alone reporting their clients to regulatory authorities.

                    • Cricklewood

                      … as for the view don’t blame the guy on $25/hour… I am actually not – I am blaming the person who owns the building business and employs the nail-gunner at $25/hour while charging him out at $55/hour.

                      Pretty much what you have to charge if you have a small team of 4-5 builders and don’t want to go broke fast. Factor in the non chargable stuff like estimating, office admin, downtime, vehicles, leave and a whole heap of other costs and you are only left with a very small amount of that $55. Pretty much the 5%-10% you make on materials is your profit.

                      For the little guys it’s a whole stack of risk for very little reward and it’s seriously scary how many have inadequate insurance…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Basically I don’t think the Left understand how tight most small businesses are doing it at the moment. Yes, 10% of small businesses are making a killing but for 90% its week to week hoping enough custom will come in the door and enough invoices will be paid for you to make payroll and pay your own mortgage.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The reason for pointing the finger mostly at the builders is that they are the ones putting the buildings together, and are the last line of construction.

                And they’re employees or, most common in Auckland, contractors which don’t have in income if the refuse to do it the way that the managers tell them to.

                They know when they put together a detail that will likely leak, or fail under weight of time

                Well, after talking to my nephew who’s been in the construction industry for more than 20 years, that may not actually be true. Apparently, many builders simply don’t know how to build good houses any more.

                • vto

                  “Apparently, many builders simply don’t know how to build good houses any more”

                  is what we see

                  the amount of shoddy workmanship around Chch post-eq is frightening…

                  caveat emptor unfortunately

                  • Pat

                    the standard in ChCh is appalling I agree ( i assume its no better in Auckland from reports I’ve heard)…..but the causes won’t be remedied by jumping on the guy that doesn’t know how to use a tape or hammer or care that his workmanship is crap.

                    if you sack all the incompetents the problems still remain and even less gets done.

                  • Pat

                    “… as for the view don’t blame the guy on $25/hour… I am actually not – I am blaming the person who owns the building business and employs the nail-gunner at $25/hour while charging him out at $55/hour.”

                    The problem is the vast majority of building business owners (particularly group home) are little more than salesmen/managers who have no construction experience and due to the systems outlined in the link there is nothing to keep them to any sort of standard…it is a downward spiral and we now have a situation where even so called experienced LBPs lack basic skills and knowledge and those charged with inspecting their plans/work are no longer industry experienced as they used to be…..the complete loss of knowledge in the entire industry is frightening to behold.

      • Cricklewood 9.2.2

        You should be blaming this piss poor excuse we now have for a training system that spits out ‘qualified’ builders in less than 18 months.
        We desperately need to go back to an hours based system ideally 6-8000 before final qualification.

        Not to mention the myriad of other issues. Sheeting it home to the guy at the bottom scraping by on fuck all is way to simplistic.

  10. Ad 10

    From a dissenting opinion on Police search powers, here’s what a U.S. Supreme Court justice sounds like who has real experience with those in the hands of the Police.

    “For generations, black and brown parents have given their children ‘the talk’ — instructing them never to run down the street; always keep your hands where they can be seen; do not even think of talking back to a stranger— all out of fear of how an officer with a gun will react to them.”

    And later:

    “By legitimizing the conduct that produces this double consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.

    We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but.”

    I’ve never heard a Supreme Court judge provide such plainspoken opinion about the Police like this. I wonder if Maori experience of the New Zealand Police is also like this. After going through the Teina Pora case, Justice Sotomayor’s words ring out strong here.

    • andrew murray 10.1

      I find it really depressing that this comment, the subject of which is so integral to free citizenship, can’t raise a single comment in reply.
      What does that say ?

      • Rosie 10.1.1

        Doesn’t mean that readers of TS haven’t read Ad’s comment. Sometimes really gritty, well researched or fascinating comments go by without any comment. I don’t think it’s any indication of the quality of the comment.

        Also, readers may have particular areas of interest and may not feel compelled to react to each and every subject raised, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t care.

        The content of Ad’s comment is covered in the documentary series “The System”, an expose of the U.S justice system. A real eye opener. Here’s the link to the series if you’re interested:


  11. left for dead 11

    JUST TESTING……..Good morning everyone.

  12. Nick 12

    I listened to Andrew Little this morning on RNZ and I got a bit confused as to his position on the soldiers remaining. He seemed to have 50 cents each way. I would prefer he just said bring them home and provide a clear distinction to ShonKey. Maybe I misheard him.

    • TC 12.1

      AL doesnt need to risk taking a position shonky and his msm shills can take advantage of.

      Playing the ‘I will let you know when I get there’ card is the way through many of these issues.

      This then plays on nacts deception and lying practices which shield the reality in favour of spin and bs which most seem to be understanding alot more now.

    • Jenny Kirk 12.2

      Yes – you did mishear him, Nick.
      He said quite clearly that the Iraqui troops were useless, that the NZ troops were doing a good job trying to train them (it sounds an impossible task) and that other country’s troops were the ones making a difference against ISIS – not Iraqui troops. He didn’t like NZ Troops being there on that mission. He’d said so right from the start. He thinks when ISIS is defeated Iraq will go into civil disorder and that is the time the NZ troops will be needed, in a peacekeeping role for the UN which is what NZ troops are very good at.
      Edit – he also said something about if it was him he wouldn’t be extending their current mission which ShonKey has done.

    • Sacha 12.3

      Here’s the interview: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201805247/little-says-key-has-not-made-case-for-longer-iraq-deployment

      I heard more of his usual lawyerish, naunced waffling. Little needs training to make a clear statement then shut his mouth. Eg: “As Prime Minister, I would bring our troops back home.”

      Voters are looking for a clear policy choice and confidence that it will be delivered. Waffle kills both of those.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.3.1

        Voters are looking for a clear policy choice and confidence that it will be delivered. Waffle kills both of those.


        • Anne

          I have to agree. Long winded responses have been a millstone around Labour’s neck for decades. Many of us have all but lost our voices trying to tell them.

          On the other hand we have managed to convince them that announcing policy planks several A4 size pages long is not a good idea. Took 20 years but we made it.

      • John shears 12.3.2

        The Herald seems to have heard what I heard Andrew Little say re troops in Middle East.
        Betcha someone will pick that article to bits and turn it on its head,
        DTB,TC ,Nick????

  13. not a tax cheat 13


    New research suggests welfare fraudsters are facing a tougher time than tax evaders, despite tax evasion costing taxpayers three times more.

    A study by Victoria University shows tax discrepancies cost the Government $1.24 billion in 2014, while welfare fraud cost the Government $30.6 million.

    However, tax evaders are far less likely to be investigated, prosecuted or imprisoned, and far more likely to have debts written off.

    • s y d 13.1

      The language is the clue:

      Welfare Fraudster “a person who engages in fraud : cheat”


      Tax evader “to escape from by trickery or cleverness”

      I get the feeling that this is all part the unthinking acceptance of ‘bludgerism’ and blaming the bottom.

      Imagine an after match function, where the people who bring nothing are given a free pass, but woe betide anyone taking more than one mallowpuff.

    • Rosie 13.2

      Victoria did a similar study awhile back – don’t know if is the same or an updated one, as part of ongoing analysis.

      This is interesting. Tax evasion:

      “The Government lost about $1,240,000,000 in tax discrepancies in 2014
      – About 0.01% of taxpayers are investigated each year
      – About 60-80 people are prosecuted for tax evasion each year
      – It costs about $2.86 to recover $100 of evaded tax”

      Vs welfare fraud:

      “The Government lost about $30,553,600 in welfare fraud in 2014
      – About 5% of beneficiaries are investigated each year
      – About 800-1000 people are prosecuted for welfare fraud each year
      – It costs about $17 to recover every $100 of fraudulently obtained welfare payments”

      There’s a big discrepancy between prosecution rates and recovery costs, that is, it’s less costly to recover evaded tax but they prosecute only 60 – 80 tax evaders yet they prosecute more welfare fraudsters, 800 – 1000 even though the recovery cost is far greater. Looks fairly biased doesn’t it.

      Wellingtonians would have seen billboards on the motorway and in Thorndon illustrating this bias. The billboards have the face of a man on one side and the words “tax evasion, $229,000. Fine.” The other side also has a man’s face and the words “welfare fraud, $70,000, jail.”

      They are professionally manufactured signs on advertising hoardings. Don’t know who put them there.

  14. b waghorn 14

    In today’s Rural News there is a regular segment called “The Hound”

    This is what he says at the end of an attack piece on Rachel Stewart

    ” an ex train driving, lesbian ,farm hating falconer”

    This sort of shit has to stop in a national publication.

    The hounds email is hound@rural news.co.nz

    Oh and he calls Eugenie Sage a farmer hater and suggests that she is likely to get the primary sector portfolio if a labour green government is elected.

    I can’t find the hound online I guess they’re to cunning to make this rubbish too publicly available.

    If I had a mutt this nasty It would be getting put down .

    • vto 14.1

      Here mr waghorn http://www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz/rural-news/rural-opinion/hound

      Although the piece you mention is not up yet, the other articles exhibit the same ignorant bigotry.

      It is a strange thing that those who claim to – call things as they see them – call a spade a spade – talk bluntly – those types of people can never handle the same thing done back to them…

      … if you call a spade a spade to a person who claims to call a spade a spade, they typically react with spluttering bluster and bullshit..

      there aint too many spades in the world you see

    • Rosie 14.2

      That is nasty, and also discriminatory. What has anyone’s sexuality got to do with anything? The writer sounds like they are spitting out the words, lesbian, like someone from the 1950’s.

      Now speaking of mutt’s being put down. What would you, b wags, as a rural worker make of my friend’s comment to me the other day, when discussing animal death, saying her ex husband killed the puppies his work dogs had, with a blow to the head with a mallet?

      My friend lived on the farm for 30 years. Calls her husband a good kind compassionate farmer. I would think otherwise. I’d call him a wanker actually. In fact he’s just the kind of person I would report had I witnessed such brutality. Is this a common practice? When I asked why weren’t the female dogs speyed she said it affected their work performance.

      I also have spoken with a woman, and ex vet nurse, who runs an animal sanctuary. She rescues mis treated farm dogs but can’t re home them because they were never socialised around humans and are too dangerous to be domestic pets.

      A few weeks ago I helped round up some sheep that got loose on the development. The farmer dog’s had their ribs showing and were cowering in the back of the work truck, looking dejected and frightened.

      Why is it that people spend $1000’s each year on ridiculously pampered house dogs and put them in stupid little jackets, offending the dog’s sense of dignity, when it appears that it’s completely acceptable at the other end of the scale to abuse a dog because it’s a work animal?

      • Gangnam Style 14.2.1

        That’s what made me laugh (bitterly) about the whole ‘Kiwi Values’ thing, farm dogs/working dogs are a great example of animal cruelty in NZ, it’s a brutal world for those wonderful loyal dogs.

        You also got that misoginist/homophobe remark, isn’t that the kinda thing we have extended the troops stay overseas to protect NZ from (so said Gerry!).

        We live in a country full of horrible ironies.

      • Richardrawshark 14.2.2

        I experienced things on a farm Rosie no kid should ever witness at that age, sheep home killed throats cut, pups killed on the fencepost with a blow to the head exactly as you describe, dogs fed 2 tux triangle biscuits every couple days, work harder when they are hungry is their excuse.

        In the 70’s and 80’s when I grew up things were like that and worse, these guys were handed this down from their fathers, and their fathers before them.

        Times were different, there is no excuse now however, it’s just down to a lack of education and lack of farmers telling other farmers there dogs look bad, and not ignoring mal treatment.

        I have two dogs, love them to bits they live inside with me, well fed and looked after, cycles can be broken it just takes education, dog handling, health and training education.

        • Rosie

          Sorry you had to witness such violence and cruelty at a young age. That’s unbelievably awful. Really bad for a child, for anyone, but especially a child.

          When I was a kid in the 70’s and teen in the 80’s we lived in a small coastal/semi rural town. We rented grazing for our horses on farms and luckily I didn’t see any animal violence, despite spending so much time there, but I knew something was wrong. I was always creeped out by some of the gnarlier farm men. God knows what they got up to. I did see their dogs though, the state of them was bad. And that’s what I saw the other day on the back of the truck and the same kind of agro creepy bloke. It was shortly after my friend told me about the puppies on her farm and it made me wonder what’s changed.

          I agree these methods of animal handling are passed down.

          Great that you’re taking good care of your dog buddies. Bet they look after you in turn. Humans and animals are capable of having strong and loyal friendships eh.

      • b waghorn 14.2.3

        That’s a hell of leap but seen as you asked.
        yes I’ve tapped some pups on the head it was years ago and i hated it , Iv’e also tapped somewhere around 4000 possums on the head .
        There are bad people in all walks of life farmers are no different, I personally am very careful to avoid miss mates , and spaying dogs does not affect performance in fact it means your bitch is not out of action for up to 6 weeks a year and spayed bitches eat less.
        Most retired farm dogs work in teams and meet many other dogs so would be fine as pets but they wont be house trained .

        A well timed hammer to the head of a young animal would be as humane as any other method of killing . deaths never nice

        • Rosie

          Thanks for that B wags. I’m glad you clarified the spaying situation. I thought it sounded like an iffy excuse.

          Possums, god forgive me for being a hypocrite, I have slightly less sorrow about.

          Just wish there was a humane way of breeding them out of existence.

    • framu 15.1

      i dont think thats any sort of useful comparison – unless your doing some framing

  15. save nz 16

    Another thing our government is good at. And the next minute the same experts are wondering why Kiwis buy property as an investment and why Kiwis have so little savings.

    The real victim is the banks because how can they be expected to have savers insurance with their paltry profits unlike all the other OECD banks. sarc.

    National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD


    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      When you loan someone money you’re taking the risk that you’re not going to get it back.

      That’s why interest is paid on the loan – to cover the risk. Your bank deposit is a loan to the bank. If the bank loses, so should you.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Dude, WTF. Your idea that “interest” covers “risk” is idealistic bullshit from another era.

        Also the idea that if a bank folds savers should consequently lose their monies is daft. It’s the kind of thing which set in motion what used to be called ‘bank panics’ and in more recent decades ‘bank runs’.

        Its also completely unnecessary FFS, why is it that savers should take on the risks assumed by shitty bank management when deposit returns are sweet F.A.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Risk is the entire basis of capitalism according to the RWNJs and economists. If you don’t like the risks then don’t put your money in the bank.

          If we’re going to have a capitalist economy then the rules actually need to be capitalist

  16. AsleepWhileWalking 17

    Sanders supporters fighting back anyway they can:


    As the days and weeks go by, it has become increasingly apparent that many Bernie Sanders supporters will simply never, ever endorse or vote for Hillary Clinton. If anything, the coronation of Hillary was so replete with scheming and dirty tricks, more than a few Bernie supporters who may have been open to a Clinton candidacy a few months ago, now consider themselves diehard Bernie or Busters.

    Philadelphia: Cheri Honkala, the leader of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, announced that her group was organizing the world’s largest “fart-in” to be held on July 28 at the Wells Fargo Center during Hillary Clinton’s anticipated acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination.

    “We will be holding a massive bean supper for Bernie Sanders delegates on American Street in my Kensington neighborhood on the afternoon of July 28,” she said. “We are setting up a Clintonville there, modeled on the Hoovervilles of the 1930s where the poor and unemployed built shanty towns. The Sanders delegates, their bellies full of beans, will be able to return to the Wells Fargo Center and greet the rhetorical flatulence of Hillary Clinton with the real thing.”

    Honkala said she would issue an invitation to Sanders to join the bean supper, which she is calling Beans for Hillary. She has asked donors to send cans of beans to 1301-W Porter Street, Philadelphia, Pa., 19148.

    Chris Hedges, an author and activist who is an ordained Presbyterian minister, will open the Beans for Hillary meal with a nondenominational prayer.

    “I am happy to bless a meal that will be put to such effective political use,” Hedges said.

  17. Interesting that we have had 38 Prime Ministers to date. Hope soon the other Treaty partner gets a look in, you know for fairness and those sort of lofty ideals.


    • Richardrawshark 18.1

      and what’s that supposed to mean, Maori have just as much chance of reaching the top as anyone else, join a political party.

      There is nothing in the treaty that says you get to be PM for a term, cus your Maori’s, that really would be racist.

      • marty mars 18.1.1

        So you think we’ve had equal opportunity for both Treaty partners since 1840 – lol

        • Richardrawshark


          Your not very good at this, you make things up and then say people mean that, then make a joke of it.

          Maori have had a shocking deal, but there is nothing in the treaty that says one has to be PM, so what rule specifically regarding the running of the Nation in our treaty do you think has been broken there. in specific.

          Plus you post just a blatantly provocative statement like a trap and sat back and waited for someone to reply to it you could have an argument with so fire away.

          • marty mars

            Why haven’t there been any Māori PM’s then?

            • Richardrawshark

              You know the heredity of all our past PM’s Marty? Because I don’t and it would be a bold claim to make in NZ.

              • Try answering the question – what do you think are the reasons?

                • Richardrawshark

                  White population was larger than the Maori & Polynesian population when I grew up, I would say the political parties refused to allow a maori to lead them as the whites were so damn racist.

                  But that was back then, Now, Winstons in with a chance, Hone leads a party, Tolleysd in there, Bennett claims Maori ancestry, would you not agree, things are not perfect but progress has been made?

                  • weka

                    I think the problem is where you said “Maori have just as much chance of reaching the top as anyone else,”. To me that is incompatible with the reality of racism. Māori haven’t had just as much chance as anyone else, that’s the point.

                    • Richardrawshark

                      I got the mediteranean brown., i’m also Albanian, Albania is near Turkey but you know I see Maori getting respect for being Maori, tell someone your Albanian and you spend the afternoon talking to a customs clerk, oversea’s they follow you around the shops, in Greece they hate us, I got a knife to my throat and a group of young greeks crowded around and without any doubt the answer to the question, are you Albanian? would mean my life or death, lucky for me I look Albanian but have a kiwi accent and a NZ passport i was lucky.

                      So what I am saying is racism is all over, I’ve experienced it, you don’t have to be Maori to be brown nor too feel the sting of racist attitudes.

                      Marty grills me like he thinks i’m some out of touch white man? No?

                    • weka

                      Yes racism is in many places and many situations. That doesn’t change the fact that Māori don’t have as much chance as anyone else though.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Richardrawshark, with a knife held to your throat I suspect you understand what real racism (and real fear) is like. Not comfy abstractions to do with other people not getting six figure salaries often enough.

                    • Richardrawshark

                      “haven’t”, do you think that applies today?

                      Would Maori representation currently be close to proportional? In terms of Parliament representatives? MP’s?

                      -CV, Albanians don’t get 6 figure salaries. They don’t even let you park their cars(Makines). Cough..

                      We often refer in racism to times past as if racism is as strong as it was then, and is still occurring as such, we need to keep current and keep focused on removing barriers. Also based on my regional area, my perception may be skewed, as this is a forestry town and Maori here in the main are doing good.

                    • weka

                      @CV, that’s interesting, I’ll remember that next time you are arguing that Labour don’t have enough Asian MPs.

                      @Richard, complex question, and it depends on what one believes about the treaty. Do I think that there is still institutional racism that disadvantages Māori from positions of power? Yes. Do I think that there are NZers who would actively work and vote against Māori MP becoming leader of a political party where they could become PM if that MP were overtly political and proactive about the treaty? Yes. Do Māori have to deal with personal prejudice regularly? Yes. Things aren’t the same as they were but that doesn’t mean those institutional and personal racists don’t exist.

                  • The whole point of putting the link was to show historically and photographicly the situation – the photos tell the story and that story has continued to the present. The inequality is outrageous and I wanted my post to show that. Oh well, what a pity, nevermind…

                    • Richardrawshark

                      Can’t we do it with less hostility, anger breeds anger, hate breeds hate. sarcasm breeds sarcasm.

                      I fully support your goals Marty, I disagree with your blunt methods, at times.

                      Also IMHO the most effective human rights activists who have made the biggest inroads at removing racial barriers and attitudes did it with the most peaceful actions.

                      lastly in my fist post I did ask

                      “and what’s that supposed to mean, ”

                      it was my first line, first words, you could have just answered me because your reasons were valid and I was missing the point you we’re making.

                    • No one asked you to comment on what I wrote – I’d have preferred if you didnt.

            • Richardrawshark

              Answer my question now.

            • Colonial Viper

              “Why haven’t there been any Māori PM’s then?”

              Coz they fucked Winston over.

              There’s been a Maori Acting PM iirc.

      • mauī 18.1.2

        What’s the Māori prison population like compared to pakeha Richard? What’s the Māori rate of poverty in comparison? What are the Māori health statistics in comparison? If you know the answers to some of those questions, then you’ll know it doesn’t mean they have a higher chance of becoming PM than people of european descent.

        • Richardrawshark

          maybe opportunity.. is a better word, but they have less chance there to, I agree with you Maui, your dead right, the reply to Marty was more about his provocative post than him being wrong completely.

          Plus I didn’t get the part he made it sound like it was a treaty obligation that we elect a Maori PM?

          In so much if we want to tackle inequality we should be focusing on targets that would have greater outcomes for more people than pleasing a single person for a token of equality that in reality would mean little but a simple race achievement.

          • mauī

            It’s an example that shows who still holds the power. A couple of hundred years ago 500 or so chiefs from around the country signed this dude’s document. Since then Māori have barely been represented on local councils and have only had a fraction more representation in Parliament. I think those chiefs/leaders would have hoped for a lot more say on how they could govern their people, the areas they lived in and on the sharing of power with pakeha. But it hasn’t happened,

            • Richardrawshark

              Winston could be the first, Obama in America, times are changing Maui, racism and homophobia are nothing compared to when I grew up, and our offspring won’t even recognize it when they get to our age. I hope.

            • Richardrawshark

              “It’s an example that shows who still holds the power”

              why I failed to see the symbolism of that tonight is beyond me, of course that is true.

              All good.

  18. Chooky 19

    ‘Chancellor Merkel has given up German sovereignty – right-wing party leader’


    “This week, the United Kingdom will vote on whether the nation should leave the European Union – the discussion coming on heels of intensifying displeasure with the way Brussels handles the waves of immigrants and financial troubles besieging Europe. Right-wing parties are on the rise all across the European Union, and even in Germany the support for the AFD – the right-wing Alternative for Germany party – is rapidly growing despite resistance from political establishment. What started as an anti-euro movement is now branded as “anti-immigrant” and “anti-Islam” – but what’s behind these accusations and what’s behind its growing popularity? We ask the leader of the AFD; Dr. Frauke Petry is on Sophie&Co today…

    • Richardrawshark 19.1

      FFS I don’t like the way this is heading, I have Muslim relatives in Brussels and English relatives in the UK, and Muslim Relatives in Italy and of course Albania. Good proper Muslims. Unlike my atheist self.

      Mum just came back, the catch up news has not been good, My sister in the UK has an English husband and child she is returning to raise her son here as things are getting real bad over there.

      Apparently I wouldn’t recognize the North East, Newcastle or Sunderland now, totally different demographic without sounding racist.

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