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Open Mike 21/11/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 21st, 2016 - 142 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

[In order to keep Open Mike and Daily Review free for other conversations, please put all discussion, comments, link postings etc about the US election under one of the posts about the Election]

142 comments on “Open Mike 21/11/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    Are comments about the US, free trade and New Zealand allowed?

    • r0b 1.1

      Why would they not be?

      • Paul 1.1.1

        It seems that typing Trump on open mike creates tension.

        • r0b

          I think “free trade” is sufficiently removed from “US election”.

          If it is actually about Trump, you should probably use a US election post instead.

      • Sanctuary 1.2.1

        That report should tell us all how little the neolibs have absorbed the lessons of the rise and rise of the popular right. These political clowns at APEC are carrying on as if the TINA of free trade is still business as usual.

        Trum/UKIP/Brexit is a message that the age of uncritical acceptance of free trade is over. The voting populations of the nation states are sending loud messages to their political masters they want the power of unaccountable globalism and global corporations tamed. It is clear from the tone of this piece at least the neoliberal ancien regime has so far learnt nothing from the electoral earthquakes in the west.

        • The Chairman

          They are aware of the growing discontent, hence Bollard’s comment in regards to taking a more tactful approach going forward.

          But yes, they still plan to push ahead with the agenda, be it more tactfully.

  2. Paul 2

    An interview by Suzie Ferguson with the manager of New World Kaikoura gave the supermarket an aura of being like the Red Cross as it was lauded in its role of feeding Kaikoura.
    If New World are forfeiting all their profits, so the people ( whose incomes have been decimated by the disaster), then the tone of this interview was correct.

    If not, then New World should be approached like all supermarkets should.
    As part of a duopoly that squeezes local suppliers, encourages destructive agribusiness practices, pays miserable wages and makes massive profits. In New World’s case, at least, the profits stay onshore.

    • Incognito 2.1

      When each “local New World is 100% Kiwi owned and operated” I think the picture might be a wee bit more ‘nuanced’ than you make it out to be.

      • Paul 2.1.1

        I acknowledged the NZ ownership of the ‘progressive’ brand.

      • Garibaldi 2.1.2

        New World supermarkets are owner operated but under the financial umbrella of Foodstuffs NZ. This leads to anomalies within that structure but ,in general, the whole drive is to beat Progressives (the Australian owned Countdown). So there is no room for being ‘generous’.

        • tc

          This is about taking advantage to push your brand regardless of the reality that the brand is part of a competition destroying duopoly.

          Sound familiar ? It should just look at the brand ‘national party’ and its behviour during this situation in maximising this opportunity.

          • Garibaldi

            You can virtually guarantee that whatever one of them does the other will copy so as to not lose business. NW probably just got lucky to get the publicity first.

  3. miravox 3

    Laissez-faire dairy conversions – Good luck to the Environmental Defence Society with their legal action. A much needed line in the sand.


    Earlier this year, the Mackenzie Country Trust was established following an agreement by conservation groups, farmers, tourism operators and businesses in 2013 to manage competing interests on the land.

    The intention was to create a framework for land use to help reconcile the outstanding and highly prized landscape and ecosystem with demand for farming and other businesses.

    But Mr Taylor said the society had become aware of an increasing pace of land use conversions which he said were destroying valued landscape and ecosystems.

    He believed the conversions were happening without the approval from the Mackenzie District Council “and that council is not doing anything about it”.

    The basis of the EDS proceedings is that the local authority is not enforcing the relevant rules in its plan.

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    And in the meantime…..

    More families are relying on food parcels…..http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11751693

    and….Disabled children are missing out on the Child Disability Allowance….http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11751826

    CPAG speaks out ….

    “”… only a small proportion of households who were possibly eligible for the CDA were receiving it, and … most people did not know about the CDA or found the process of applying for it too difficult to negotiate,” said the action group.

    “Others may have had their applications declined and were put off from reapplying.”

    The difficulties encountered included being unable to understand the application procedure, unpleasant interactions with Work and Income staff, and difficulties in getting supporting documents for an application.”

    And yet….Our Leader says here….http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11751939

    “Prime Minister John Key has hinted at a tax package targeting families, referring to a “family package” but warning the latest round of earthquakes could mean a delay in offering them.

    Key said the cost of the earthquake and any resultant economic hits could affect the ability to offer a tax cut programme in the short term, “but probably not in the medium term”.

    In addressing the issue, Key referred repeatedly to a “tax or family package” – hinting it would not be simply tax cuts on offer.”

    Well, I’m not totally sure what he’s saying there….

    but Natrad is reporting that ….http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/318525/tax-cuts-still-on-the-table,-despite-quake-bill-key

    • Cinny 4.1

      IMHO With the outgoing governments constant claims that the books are in great shape, backing down on carrot dangling tax cuts would show them up for the hypocrites that they are.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1

        “the outgoing governments …”

        If only.

        IMHO, the Grinning Fool seems to have captured the minds and votes of enough of the solely self-interested to do it again next year.

        And while we’re on the subject…I’m still waiting to have my vote captured by any individual or party.

        And…I’ll be more inclined to vote if my decision abstain from voting is not perceived as being due to disinterest, ignorance or apathy.

        In an ideal democratic system, we would have a ‘no confidence’ option on the ballot.

        • Cinny

          “In an ideal democratic system, we would have a ‘no confidence’ option on the ballot.” Yes please Rosemary, yes please.

          “Outgoing government” words are like spells, that’s why it’s called spelling, I’m spell casting 🙂

          Still undecided for next year re party vote, but I’ve been very proud of my local MP Damien O’Connor and will continue to vote for him and support him in re-election by any means possible. Shouldn’t be too hard, his electorate loves him, and he works so very hard, genuinely cares about the people and is wide awake. Top bloke that man.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            God help me, I’m in the Taranaki King Country electorate….http://electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/electorate-50.html

            Formerly held by champion back bench warmer Shane ‘let me take my tractor to work’ Arden. Now held by another Bluey…

            • Cinny

              By crikey Rosemary, thanks for the link, I now understand your sentiment looking at those voting stats.

              Did no NZ1st candidate stand there?

              Got the MOU now, which will be a great help. Need some strong candidates to go up against the old blue seats.

              And some strong members of the public to initiate the dialogue.

              Candidate debates, one thing I’ll be attending for sures.

            • alwyn

              “‘let me take my tractor to work’ ”
              Gosh that takes me back. Still at least when Arden did it he demonstrated that he knew how to drive the thing.
              When Labour MP Bob Tizard tried that a few years earlier he had no idea what he was doing. He stalled it and then it ran back down the steps.
              He, years later, had the gall, like his Labour mates, to say that Arden should never have done it as he “endangered the public”. When Tizard did it he had all the Labour leadership laughing and cheering him on. It was a shame he hadn’t really got out of control and run over the lot of them.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                “Still at least when Arden did it he demonstrated that he knew how to drive the thing.”

                Err…not quite. What we all saw on telly was a seemingly smooth traverse of the steps of Parliament. A smooth stop at the top and a controlled descent. The word, from someone who was there (and in a certain position of authority) was that Arden would have continued at some speed beyond the natural tipping point of the tractor on such an incline. Had he not been stopped…he would have gone arse over tip backwards down the steps. Probably killing himself in a rather messy fashion. Wouldn’t have looked good at all on the six o’clock news. He was allowed to make his point, but had to be prevented from unintended martyrdom.

                Arden was useless as an MP, and contributed nothing (good nor bad) to the National Party. He supplied a vote.

                Worse, from my point of view, was that his electoral office in Te Awamutu fell well short of the wheelchair accessibility standards that then were in force for public buildings. Wheelchair using constituents had to use a rear entrance and wait in a filthy ante room until His Lordship was ready to grant an audience.
                Then…the fwit, instead of even pretending to listen to the wheelchair user’s valid concerns, he launched into a long and convoluted tale of how he single handedly gained justice for an injured soldier. MP arsehole rating of 10/10.

                • alwyn

                  “(and in a certain position of authority)”
                  That I assume is a euphenism for being a Labour MP.
                  However that situation of being “in a certain position of authority” is hardly relevant.

                  More importantly I would ask. Were they a farmer? Did the have experience of driving a tractor? Did they have experience of driving the type of tractor Arden was driving?

                  Without all those things being true it is, as Macbeth puts it
                  ” it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

        • Draco T Bastard

          In an ideal democratic system, we would have a ‘no confidence’ option on the ballot.

          And how would you expect that to be implemented?
          What difference should it make?

          • Xanthe

            A no confidence vote would see no candidate selected and another ballot held
            Those who have no confidence would still be recorded as voters which would give a much truer result for voters to consider in following elections and for candidates/parties to understand the wishes of the electorate
            In a recent ballot which shall not be named on OM it is quite possible that no confidence could have prevaled if it had been availiable and canpaigned for.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            What Xanthe said…

          • Cinny

            Good question Draco.

            Maybe mid term, a public vote could take place, a choice between ‘confidence’ and ‘no confidence’ in the governing party.

            With a secondary question, preferred governing party?

            As a result a ‘confident’ vote would enable said parties to continue leading.

            A ‘no confidence’ vote would cause those parties elected into government to be removed from governing. As long as ‘no confidence’ votes exceeded the votes gathered from the initial vote.

            And the ‘preferred governing party’ would set about forming a government with any parties except the one with the highest number of ‘no confidence’ votes. Or the party with the second highest number of votes would be able to form a government, as long as it was without the ‘no confidence’ voted party.

            If the person vote were added into it, the ‘confidence’ ‘no confidence’ vote would be directed at the local MP, if it were ‘no confidence’ that MP would be replaced by the next person on that parties list. So already people would be aware of the possible replacement if party lists stayed in order. Next person on the list in that area, could offer support and seeing both would be from same political party one would assume same ideals, so an easy transfer/hand over.

            After all we have referendums, and voter turn out would give an indication of how happy/unhappy voters were with their choices.

            Maybe if such a system was in place some politicians would work a bit harder, and maybe there wouldn’t be so many lies, as they would be held accountable in less time, so awareness would be much higher than the 3 year election cycle.

            Hope that makes sense, least it’s how I would imagine it could work, sometimes I have difficulty explaining things, so I’ll do my best 🙂 Of course there would be much more to it than that, but that would be the basis of how i feel it could work.

        • Whateva next?

          Tony Benn said two things stop people from voting, fear and despondency, I think he was right, and it works Lo for National.

  5. Puckish Rogue 5


    “Let’s hope Judge Large sees the bigger picture today and relegates the case to where it belongs, the rubbish bin”

    Pointer towards whats going to happen perhaps?

    • Bearded Git 5.1

      “Borrows was a cop in a former life and he went by the police driving school manual as he and his passenger, the formidible Paula Bennett, drove towards the protesters last March. It teaches cops to proceed slowly but not to stop,…”

      That’s right, the only thing Borrows and Bennett could reasonably do was drive over the top of the demonstrators. Yeah, right.

    • joe90 5.2

      let’s hope they reflect on what they’re putting their MP through

      Booth by booth, he ain’t Whanganui’s MP.


    • Burrows can act according to the “police driving code” because he used to be a cop?
      Really, Barry?
      Really, Pucky?
      Can he stick flashing lights on the roof and sound a siren as well?

      • Puckish Rogue 5.3.1

        Its not my opinion, I was referring to Barry Sopers opinion being a pointer to how the judge will decide

        Before you ask no being a former cop doesn’t mean he can still act like a cop

        • Robert Guyton

          That’s what I figured too. Soper seems to think otherwise, rendering the rest of his article somewhat worthless, imo.
          I’m very interested to read the judge’s decision when it comes out, whatever his judgement will be.

        • Robert Guyton

          The quote you pulled from Soper’s column, Pucky, reflects your desire in this case? Throw the charge out? Why’s that?

          • Psycho Milt

            Throw the charge out? Why’s that?

            Well, there’s the fact that it’s a pointless waste of large amounts of public money. Then there’s the fact that court cases that aren’t pointless have to queue up behind this one and wait. Is there a reason it shouldn’t be thrown out?

            • Robert Guyton

              It’s all but concluded, isn’t it? It’s high profile and it involves (probably) a charge that is often serious (assault with a motor vehicle or some such), though in this case there could be an opportunity for using the lovely term de minimis which is more elegant that “scot-free”

              • That’s the point – it’s a charge that is often serious, but is the exact opposite of serious in this instance. The un-serious shouldn’t be using up the justice system’s time and money.

            • KJT

              Convicting someone who assaulted a person is a waste of public money. Is deliberately hitting someone with a car no longer a crime?
              He’ll, we punish people who “accidently” hit someone with a car.

              • Oh, please. If this were a case of someone trying to block another’s car and getting their foot run over in the context of a personal argument, the cops would have told them to sort it out between themselves and stop wasting everybody’s time, with maybe a warning to the driver that they’re not allowed to run over people’s feet, and one to the car-blocker suggesting it’s a bad idea to put your feet under a moving vehicle. The only reason they haven’t done that in this case is because Borrows is an MP and an ex-cop, so they don’t want stories in the media suggesting he was let off with something due to influence.

                • KJT

                  Absolute horse shit.
                  In fact in the exact situation you described, the car driver got jail time.
                  It is only if you run over a protester, or are a National MP, some people think it should be open season. Even if you kill them.

                • ” The only reason they haven’t done that in this case is because Borrows is an MP and an ex-cop, so they don’t want stories in the media suggesting he was let off with something due to influence.”

                  Justice has to be seen to be done. Let’s see it. It’s a high-profile case of its sort. The explanation for the judgement will be very interesting. Such things need to be tested in the open air, so that we, the people, don’t become cynical about “how things work”. It may be a trifle, Mr Milt and if the judge says so and explains his decision, we’ll have more clarity and that’s a good thing to have. I’m happy for my taxes to go toward such reckonings. I’ve nothing against Mr Burrows and even sympathise with him in his experience of having such a “back-seat/passenger-seat driver” as he had at the time of the incident. 🙂

                  • If this were about charging people regardless so that justice is seen to be done, the footpath-obstructers would be making their own court appearances to pick up a fine. They, of course, aren’t MPs or ex-cops so, unlike Borrows’, their minor transgression got the ignoring it deserved,

                    • McFlock

                      Minor as in maximum $1k fine under the summary offences act.

                      Careless driving causing injury can get you three months.

                    • KJT []

                      Intentionally driving into someone is assault with a deadly weapon.
                      Last time I looked protesting is legal. Obstructing a public thoroughfare is a misdemeanour which usually gets a warning.

    • KJT 5.4

      So. It is OK to assault someone with a motor vehicle.
      Provided you are a National party politician.
      Just a natural progression from bribing foreign nationals, accepting election funding in return for business contracts, accepting directorships or other positions from companies you have favoured while in politics, and selling assets against the express wishes of the owners

  6. Bearded Git 6

    This is interesting-its almost as if the inland road to Kaikoura is being kept closed for political reasons.


    • Cinny 6.1

      Ok that sucks the big one Beared Git. I wonder what the hold up really is? Not enough money maybe?

      Outgoing government appears to have given priority over tourists, I guess tourism is our main export earner now and not farming, so sorry farmers, you are not important enough in the eyes of the woodwork teacher, the lowest polling ex PM, and the wall st crook.

    • dv 6.2

      Apparently sorted now. Saw an article with a timetable for entry.

  7. Whispering Kate 7

    I see the outgoing PM caught the first plane he could out of the country as seemly as he could turning his back on the ravaged South Island. Right in his element he is at APEC handshaking like his life depended on it and catching the ear of as many heads of state as can even remember who he is. Quite depressing that we have a leader who cares so little for this country of his that he cannot forgo for once in his life those opportunities he craves of being in the limelight and world stage – a little fella among the big boys.

    The country is better off without him anyway, he is so insincere that die-hard supporters of his Govt will be seeing through his empty words at this stage in his tenure as our PM I am quite sure. I can see the ballot box next year being like the US – Nats too ashamed to admit they are not voting for the idiot and voting for an alternative option – and a surprise outcome.

    • Garibaldi 7.1

      Whispering Kate, that is nigh on blasphemy. He, who cannot be mentioned, is an elder statesman now (as the ‘news told us today). A statesman …… how low can their standards get?

  8. adam 8

    This is interesting, a comic view of our behavior on line. Oh and The Rock!

  9. Puckish Rogue 9

    Ok so random thought time

    Should/could NZ go back to opening large psychiatric hospitals like Cherry Farm/Lake Alice (properly run I mean, not using ECT willy nilly)

    Would this be a better option then what we have now?

    • KJT 9.1

      No. Wharehousing people in mental hospital correlates with worse long term outcomes, for most people with mental health problems.
      The problems with closing the hospitals occurred, because the extra support within the community promised at the time, never eventuated.

      • Puckish Rogue 9.1.1

        (Basically the wife asked me something I went dunno so I thought I’d go ask a question and see what happens)

        So community support with greater funding would be a better option then going back to the old hospitals (with greater funding)

        Could a reasonable case be made for the use of a psychiatric hospital in conjunction with community care?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Could a reasonable case be made for the use of a psychiatric hospital in conjunction with community care?

          I’d say that would be the best option. Some people really do need to be removed from society both for the safety of society and what’s best for them. This could be short through long term and, in some cases, permanent.

          • weka

            we already have that.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Do we?

              Because what we have now isn’t working. Of course, indications are that we simply don’t have enough and no matter what fiddling we do to it it still won’t cover the shortfall.

              • weka

                What we have now isn’t working because the whole system is geared towards the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff and because that ambulance is underfunded. The solution to that isn’t to start pushing people back into those large scale institutions, or even to build more of the smaller ones we have now. It’s to protect people’s mental health, and for most people that can be done in the community. The smaller number of people that need inpatient care also need their services massively improved by funding. In other words, if we protected people’s mental health, the number of hospitals we have now would be most likely be adequate (allowing increase for population increase).

                Protecting people’s mental health isn’t fiddling with the system, it’s about acknowledging it as a fundamental health need and funding it properly.

                Having said all that, the psych system is also a mess because of the medical models being used, but that’s another whole conversation.

        • weka

          “Could a reasonable case be made for the use of a psychiatric hospital in conjunction with community care?”

          Not sure what you mean there PR. We still have psych hospitals in NZ. As KJT said, the devolvement out of institutions was intended to give people with mental health issues a better life and be part of society. That got monkey wrenched by successive govts via funding and policy. The solution is to fund services adequately, and to increase funding to preventative care.

          Mental health is one very clear area where wider social issues like poverty, violence, unemployment etc have an impact and relieving those things increases health.

          • Puckish Rogue

            I didn’t put it as well as I could but KJT was saying community based care is a better option then large psychiatric hospital so I was wondering if the “best” option would be community based and large psychiatric hospitals (like Cherry Farm and Lake Alice) being run more in conjunction with each other

            • weka

              If you have support in the community why would you need large psych hospitals beyond what we have now? The whole point was to shift the people out of institutions and into the community precisely because they didn’t need to be there. The number of people that need institutional care is not that large.

              As has been stated, the whole shift got fucked up due to underfunding and the proper supports and community services were either not put in place or were inadequately funded. Fix that rather than shunting all those people back to hospitals.

              I’d like to know why you think putting people in hospital might be useful, it’s not that clear from what you are saying.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                These would be private hospitals, run by SERCO…

              • Puckish Rogue

                “I’d like to know why you think putting people in hospital might be useful, it’s not that clear from what you are saying.”

                Well essentially I don’t really know that much about it so I’m asking questions to get an idea, I guess I was mixing up psychiatric hospitals with hospitals for the criminally insane (sorry I don’t know the correct term it)

                Sometimes I really do just want to know stuff

                • weka

                  That’s ok, I took it as genuine. Saying that you are asking about locked psych wards helps because now we’re talking about something specific. And to get even more specific, if you are talking about people with mental states that commit violent crime, we are talking about a pretty small percentage of the population. The push to deinstitutionalise came in part because there were people locked up who really didn’t need to be. There’s a whole history of women being locked up for going against societal norms for instance.

                • KJT

                  There is a lot of research, showing that remaining in their communities, jobs and social networks (where their health allows) is by far the best option for most people with mental health issues.
                  I take it that you are genuine as Weka says.
                  The push to get rid of large isolated mental hospitals came from patients and carers who could see they were not working. Unfortunately the money saved when the large institutions were closed was not used for community care.
                  There is some interesting stuff, mostly from the UK, lately, which suggests that mental health should be treated together with physical health. Not separately. For example, heart attack survivors, and new mothers, are prone to depression.
                  Mental health patients are more likely to have heart problems, diabetes and other physical illnesses.

                  • weka

                    There is a lot of research, showing that remaining in their communities, jobs and social networks (where their health allows) is by far the best option for most people with mental health issues.

                    Quite. Which is a problem under neoliberalism because it entrenches poverty, dismantlement of the community, and runs a permanent unemployment rate.

                • mauī

                  Part of the Institutionalised problem I think is the hangover from when we historically “locked up” people who have behaved outside of the societal norm. Sure I know we have come a long way since then. The other part is the public not willing to understand or rationally think about the reasons behind someone acting out. They’re labelled crazy or insane (and that label is often given to them often for life), and from there it’s not too big a step to section people away from the rest of society. A mixture of fear and misunderstanding are driving factors behind this I think.

            • pat

              it is my observation we currently do not have community based care…we have community based neglect, which is just as ineffective as the large institutions of the past.

        • KJT

          Pretty much what happens now, except it is seriously under resourced, with wait lists in months, even for urgent cases.

          • KJT

            Compare the excellent care I have had, for a broken leg, under ACC, With our 15 year fight to get appropriate help for my son.
            One of the things we battled with was the idea, of some of the experts, that we had to accept help on their terms, or get none at all. After watching our son grow up we had a pretty good idea what help we needed. Limited funding was a constant problem along with the turnover of psychiatric staff.

            • weka

              “One of the things we battled with was the idea, of some of the experts, that we had to accept help on their terms, or get none at all.”

              How much of that was inherent in the culture (psych staff know best), and how much was limited resources (staff being harsh because they were too stretched). In my experience being alongside people in the system, it’s both, but I’d be interested to know where the ratio lies in your experience.

              • Clump_AKA Sam

                For decades every ones been in favour of the single payers model, they don’t call it single payer they call it Canadian style, the reasons it’s called Canadian style is because Americans know Canada exists, it’s not called Australian style which is a better system because who knows what they have in Aussie. There’s been overwhelming support for the single payer model and it’s certainly cheaper than any other system. If you take the socialised part of the system PHARMAC it’s admin costs are a fraction of a private system. There’s constant talk of problems PHARMAC faces down the line but the problems is it has to work with the private system, which makes things highly inefficient/costly/bureaucratiz subject to a lot of intervention and so on.

                The public want policies that make sense but it’s not on the political agenda. Very few people know that that’s what every one wants and knows the reasons for it, because it’s not discussed. To suppress the health debate is an achievement, it’s not that you can’t find data in mainstream but you’ve got to have a research degree to discuss it.

                Here’s a situation where there’s a major domestic concern, there’s a lot of public support for mental health. Of its discussed in the public realm support would go much higher. When things are discussed or debated people may have an opinion but the feeling is nobody else is saying anything so no one believes this. If mental health was apart of a lively debate in a functioning democratic society then people will see the reasons for it to be reinforced and you’d have public pressure.

                Up until 1999 mental health wasn’t on the agenda. Go back to Clarks victory election, take a look at the debates because there was no debates it was all just election issues and campaign ads. But Clark pointed out correctly that mental health institutions should be disbanded. Ok but the only support that had was the large majority of the population, but it lacked establishment/business support which makes long term planing politically impossible. Which means insurance companies don’t like it, financial institutions and pharmaceuticals didn’t like it and so on. It’s also ridiculous.

                In 2007 for the first time the National party are began putting forward programmes towards what the population has wanted for decades in order to get there but at least there in that direction. But between then and now public opinion hasn’t changed, it’s pretty much the same for decades. What changed is the manufacturing industry started coming out in favour of national policy that directs consumer spending to there products. Because manufacturing is being smashed by costs of the private system.

                When a sector of concentrated New Zealand capital becomes interested in something it becomes politically possible. These are things people ought to be discussing and think about. If something tells you it’s politically possible but only if a major sector endorses you what does that say. These topics ought to be the top main issues for people who want to create a functioning society. That’s a major concern. If you take a look at University programmes they are critiqued for being expensive on all sides, expensive to fund or expensive for students. And the way John Keys plans is going to be expensive because he maintains private systems. Now insurance companies are complaining through the TPP if there’s an option in the public system they won’t be able to compete on a level playing field. That’s away of saying the private system is so inefficient and costly we can’t compete so it’s unfair.

                So John Key tinkers to help the costly private sector compete on a level playing field. Why the fuck does the population allow any of this to happen. Ok so here’s a topic popular organising should take place and should have for decades.

                • weka

                  Probably, maybe, (not exactly clear what you are saying there), but sorry I’m not sure what that has to do with my comment.

                  btw, I thought the deinstitutionalising movement started in the 80s and am thinking it was part of Rogernomics (could be wrong though and haven’t looked it up).

                  edit, this reckons as far back as the 1960s, and that most big psych hospitals were closed by 1990.


                  • Clump_AKA Sam

                    Those where different times when politicians hadn’t drowned out debating panels. You could still view one on one interviews with subject matter experts. But it’s all lost in the ether any way. Have a nice day

              • KJT

                It was hard to tell at times.
                Definitely had to get around extreme rationing because of lack of resources.
                The standard and attitude of the Professionals varied a lot.
                Not helped by constant staff changes as people burnt out. Usually the good ones.
                Some didn’t seem to accept we had a brain.
                One, a former disabled children teacher, was excellent.
                As a rather articulate, and acceptable to the establishment type, i was able to negotiate more from the system, than some.

                A good case in point is “Reading recovery”. An effective proven program. Unfortunately it is only funded to the stage where a child just starts to read. Then they are abandoned, just as they begin to “get it”.

                Unlike physical injury, where treatment is based on need, mental health treatment was based on time. Each child/family gets so many hours.

                It is a whole nother discussion, but ACC, as it was first conceived, not basterdised for potential sale, should have been extended to health.

                The insurance industry fought that idea to death, of course. Just as they continue to lobby to sink ACC further.

    • Not on those sites mentioned. A blended model where the community at various levels is incorporated into the design could work. I worked as a nurse aid in such an institution when I left school and have some insight into what the ‘old’ form was like (good ranging through to appalling).

      • Puckish Rogue 9.2.1

        Yeah I can understand that, I was thinking (hoping) that they’d be run better these days

    • mauī 9.3

      There’s a good documentary called Mental Notes about new zealanders stories of those insititutions. It was on tvnz recently but I can’t find a link to watch it unfortunately. Lake Alice appeared to be one of the worst where people said it was run like it was on a completely different planet. After watching the doco I can’t say I came away with the thought they were a good idea. There are still people waiting for a government apology for the mistreatment they received while in these places. I think that list could be in the hundreds, if not thousands.

  10. b waghorn 11


    “The Opportunity Party is about ensuring our children and their children are not disadvantaged by my generation leaving behind us housing that is unaffordable, rents that eat up most of their income, a public schooling system that fails to equip kids adequately for a world with different types of work, and a natural environment that is significantly degraded compared to the one we inherited.”

    Its hard not to like what Morgan is saying , and he’s light years ahead of crazy craig and dodgy dot com in the likability stakes, is their time to get to 5% that is the question?

    • weka 11.1

      Leaving aside the inanity of that article comparing Morgan to Trump (wtf?), TOP sounds good but it’s still fairly neoliberal. From what I can tell he wants to change the tax system to improve the economy to lift everyone up. I’d have less of a problem with that approach if he also built in solid welfare to underpin that and make sure people were ok where the system fails. But his UBI proposal was about economics not welfare eg from what I remember women on the DPB or people with disabilities were going to be worse off.

      • Andre 11.1.1

        Maybe he’s going after a group that cares about the environment, is ok with the general structure of the economy but want to see some changes towards more equity, is disillusioned with National, but still have a kneejerk image of the Greens as social-justice warrioring nutty hippies? I’m pretty sure a group like that exists. Whether it’s big enough to give a newbie 5% of the vote is another question.

        • b waghorn

          i’m watching with interest as i have no party i feel i fit in with, so have voted labour /greens in recent years based on them being the closest fit , but like a shoe that doesn’t fit properly there is always a blister or two from that experience.

      • KJT 11.1.2

        I understand that Gareth wants to get people used to the idea of a UBI first, rather than scare the horses immediately.
        Evidence based policy, however, is a bloody good idea. I wish that parties other than the Greens, would take note.
        I notice that Gareth, on following the evidence, has become much less enamoured of right wing financial solutions.

      • KJT 11.1.3

        I get the impression that Gareth is genuinely concerned about inequity and fairness. A good start.

        • weka

          True, but I remain unconvinced that he won’t use his power to entrench anti-welfare rhetoric. People who care can do damaging things too.

          I think he will be good for democracy, in that he will ask intelligent questions, is relatively good at evidence, and as you say is not enamoured with RW economic ideology. I’m not sure if he will be good for next years election if we want a change in govt.

          Plus, it’s hard to trust someone who thinks that cats should be locked up.

          • mauī

            Let’s hypothetically say 2017 is a miracle election for the rank outsider and it comes down to a choice for forming a left coalition between Winston and Gareth. I know who I would choose – Gareth.

            Also, we haven’t seen any Opportunity Party policies yet so I’m not willing to rush to judgement yet.

            • weka

              Morgan has ruled out being in a coalition with any government. I don’t know if that precludes Confidence and Supply, but the implication is that it does and that he intends to stay outside of government.

              “I know who I would choose – Gareth.”

              Are you suggesting that TOP will pick up NZF votes and not L/G ones?

              Consider if he picks up 4.5% of the vote and half of those are L/G votes. I haven’t crunched the numbers, am just worried about NZ’s apparent inability to vote strategically.

              • mauī

                I was being purely hypothetical, I haven’t thought a lot about who they would take votes off. Presumably a fair chunk of national voters, maybe more of those than anyone else.

                That does ring a bell about them staying outside of government. I wonder what would happen though if the election was so close the left needed them to form a Government. I think they would join, or atleast confidence and supply.

          • gsays

            “..it’s hard to trust someone who thinks cat should be locked up”

            Sorry weka, we are everywhere.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      Wonder if the TOP has read this:

      How to Suffocate Your Economy: Drown it in Massive Private Debt.
      The whole world has too much of it. History suggests this won’t end well.

      Because that’s where we stand as well. Far too much private debt that’s crushing our economy.

    • KJT 11.3

      Sounds left wing to me. Even “socialist” if we are allowed that dirty word.
      It remains to be seen if the deeds match the rhetoric.
      The National party manifesto looks good on paper also.

      I’ve been following Gareth’s blog and foundation for some time now. He appears to be following the evidence rather than ideology, which is refreshing in a politician

      • weka 11.3.1

        how do you explain his UBI proposal that was going to leave some beneficiaries worse off?

        • b waghorn

          He’s unlikely to get a ubi in the first ten years even if he got stellar support, but he’ll get people talking about it.
          It’s up to labour/greens to get enough support so he can work with them so the more socialist views are taken into account.

          • Clump_AKA Sam

            It hasn’t actually left any worse off ayes when was the last time some one on the DPB or what ever they call it, actually voted let alone labour/green

            • weka

              Lolnui. Mate, I do, and so do many others I know. Wtf are you on about?

              • Clump_AKA Sam

                Just that a UBI hasn’t made any worse off. I could be wrong and am happy to be corrected

                • weka

                  We’ve never had a UBI before.

                  • Clump_AKA Sam

                    It’s also never harmed any one

                  • KJT

                    Actually we have. For the elderly. National super.
                    We used to have a UBI for children. Universal family benefit.
                    Agree that they are not truly a Universal Basic Income..
                    Their effectiveness, in removing poverty, is indisputable.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      This planet also sustained our ancestors with a basic income for millions of years more than it hasn’t. Millions of people want that again

                    • weka

                      I think you just proved my point KJT. Super without topups leaves some elderly in poverty.

                    • KJT

                      Less than 3%.

                      The removal of the universal family benefit has left between 90 000 and 300 000, depending on your definition, children, in poverty.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      It can also be argued that health and state housing is a basic income and those never harmed any one.

                    • weka

                      Not sure if that’s a relevant figure KJT, because Super recipients can currently access topups. Morgan’s UBI was going to lower some people’s income (including the elderly) and he made no real provision for making up for that or the loss of topups.

                      I”m getting the impression that you are ok with a UBI that leave some people worse off, so long as the stats improve on the existing situation. We can do better than that.

                    • weka

                      “It can also be argued that health and state housing is a basic income and those never harmed any one.”

                      Health and State Housing demonstrably have harmed people.

                      Getting kind of trolly there Sam.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      At the risk of receiving a ban for putting words in a mods mouth. I believe the words you are looking for is denial of basics like, legal aid and health care. I’m not sure the actuall policy it’s self denies people access/mobility but under funding does. But underfunding has nothing to do with policy, that’s how power structures work

          • weka

            He’s unlikely to get a ubi in the first ten years even if he got stellar support, but he’ll get people talking about it.
            It’s up to labour/greens to get enough support so he can work with them so the more socialist views are taken into account.

            Maybe, but I’m not too impressed by people willing to throw disabled people under a bus.

            • b waghorn

              what did he say that got you so riled

              • weka

                Any UBI proposal that sets the income at below liveable and doesn’t account for people that can’t work, is proposing to take income away from people with disabilities. I thought Morgan’s proposal did that, am away to double check.

                • weka

                  Looking at a convo from March, Morgan’s proposal suggests replacing Super and Supported Living Allowance with a lower rate. His methods for how to make sure people aren’t worse off don’t inspire confidence in his ability to understand how people do badly under systems, or how to design systems to mitigate that. As I said, his UBI appears to be an economic tool, not a social security one.

                  Open mike 25/03/2016

                  Morgan has some good ideas, and his heart does seem to be in the right place, but he doesn’t appear to be left wing and we should be mindful of that and place his ideas in that context.

                  • Clump_AKA Sam

                    Better distribution of growth isn’t a problem for UBI because its designed to redistribute growth based on voter sentiment and so on.

                    The real problem with UBI is that it punishes savers. So people who save ratchet up there leverage and borrow 10% more than they would have, further driving asset prices and cost of living.

                    That’s why it has to be implemented as a debt jubilee so national debt decreases taking pressure of consumers and cost of living pressure.

                    • KJT

                      Most New Zealanders have too low an income to save. Most of us are net debtors.
                      Penalising savers is not the problem.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      I’m in to minds whether to accept your version of monatary policy, so I’ll agree. So if saving is not the problem then what are you most concerned about

                  • KJT

                    As i said, i think Morgan’s current suggested level of UBI is too low.

                    Too low to have the economic and social effects that Morgan suggests it should have, let alone removing poverty.

                    He is looking at it, however, from the POV of someone who specialises in finance.

                    It will be interesting to see how his veiws change further now he has sold his finance interests and his income no longer depends on Gareth Morgan finance.

        • KJT

          The UBI proposal did not rule out extra help for those who needed extra, such as those with severe disabilities, so i don’t think it is intended to leave them “worse off’.

          My problem with Gareth’s suggested UBI is it wasn’t enough to remove poverty.

          Which, to me, is the whole point.

          • weka

            Yes. His rate appears to be set at a below liveable level to incentivise people to get part time work to top up. But that doesn’t work for the people that can’t work, and from what I remember he had no solution to that. Maybe I’m wrong, I’ll go look it up.

            I just heard an RNZ replay of Raf Mani from CCC talking about a UBI (amongst other things). Good interview, but he said this thing about just put ill people’s extra needs under Health (and nothing about others who can’t work). I’ve tweeted him to ask why. It’s time this issue was thrashed out, because we’re well enough into the conversation now nationally for it not to be ok to just say ‘oh those people will be taken care of’, when we know that they are actively discriminated against by the state (including in Health), and by sectors of the public.

            • Clump_AKA Sam

              The problems that New Zeland face stem from finance/insurance/regulation as Jane Kelsey describes in her book the Fire economy. To that effect it is necessary to include the fire economy in any policy discussion such as a UBI proposal that effects New Zealand. Any government support package that creates a new class of home owner must be checked against provisions that pay any debt beneficiaries have first before receiving the full amount, or risk pushing asset prices higher for no real trend. Once that’s sorted the debt burden will decrease over time and bring the cost of living down to manageable levels.

  11. RTM 12

    Maikolo Horowitz is a veteran of the 1960s American left who has spent much of the last twenty years teaching and researching in the Kingdom of Tonga. Tomorrow at Auckland’s AUT University, where he is beginning a summer residency, Horowitz will discuss Trump, American democracy, and the implications of Trumpism for the Pacific:

  12. Kellar 13


    I’m sure this seems obvious to most of you, But This guy has summed it up nice and simply. If you disagree then lets discuss.
    I think basically, the left has been shut into a tiny corner of the political spectrum in most countries. while “fauxialism” has taken its place. for many it appears the same, but those who are losing out are frustrated and misplace their anger.
    What does having a female ceo really mean to the women working minimum wage in her company?

    • McFlock 13.1

      Well, off the top of my head, I would suspect that a society that has a decent proportion of CEOs probably also has a smaller gender pay gap, so all workers can negotiate together rather than the employers playing one group against the other.

      But I’m also put in mind of the story of an old comrade who was in socialist organisations in the seventies: earnest debates about class warfare took placewhile men waited for the women to make them cups of tea, spousal abuse and rape was legal and homosexuals were still jailed. Should “fauxialism” and identity politics have stopped some time between then and now, or was the entire female suffrage thing a bad idea from the start?

  13. pat 14

    is the site under some sort of moderation delay??

    [random bug sending some comments to Spam, which then have to be released manually – weka]

  14. Italy Calling 15

    “The most powerful way to oppose him, but it was never really done seriously, was to try and understand what his voters want and try to address the need of his voters. No jokes, stop shouting, stop crying, stop saying: ‘It is a horror and disaster’; try and seriously understand what his voters want, and the left was never really successful in doing that,

    Advice on opposing Berlusconi or Trump or Paul Henry or Winston Peters or John Key or Paula Bennett and their immitators.

  15. weka 16

    [In order to keep Open Mike and Daily Review free for other conversations, please put all discussion, comments, link postings etc about the US election under one of the posts about the Election – weka]

    [OM will go back to normal tomorrow (22/11/16) i.e. it can include US election commentary. Thanks to everyone for making that temporary dedicated system work – weka]

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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
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  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
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  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
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