Open mike 21/12/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:20 am, December 21st, 2013 - 173 comments
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Step right up to the mike …

173 comments on “Open mike 21/12/2013”

  1. Paul 1

    John Armstrong fulfils his role as government propagandist.

    • jcuknz 1.1

      If it is propaganda why do you promote it?

    • lurgee 1.2

      It seems like a fairly reasoned piece to me. National are sitting very comfortably, Labour are still stuck in the low-to-mid 30s, no scandal seems to be sticking to Key. And – slightly worryingly – Armstrong even echoes something I’ve said here many times: “For the great bulk of the people, politics does not matter most of the time. They have other things occupying their lives.”

      Which is why Labour are still stuck in the 30s and National are still riding high. People who aren’t us – normal people, I mean – aren’t worrying about politics and who will win in 2014 and whether David Cunliffe can hold a six party coalition together.

      People hereabouts need to stop confusing things not going their way with bias and conspiracy.

      • KJT 1.2.1

        Armstrong is not biased? Yeah right!

        • lurgee

          Armstrong is not biased? Yeah right!

          Armstrong may well be biased; but the piece in question was a fairly honest summary of the current state of play. Simply yelling “BIAS” whenever someone says something you dislike is no way to run a … a … thing that you run.

      • freedom 1.2.2

        speaking of bias

        I for one wait with baited breath to see how the fair and balanced hand of John Armstrong deals with yet another exposed lie from great and wondrous leader. It’s only the PM telling porkies after all, hardly worth mentioning really.

        • bad12

          Indeed, if Slippery the Prime Minister tells anyone it’s a nice day outside it’s better that a personal observation be made to ensure the veracity of His words,

          The current Prime Minister treats the ‘truth’ as some form of inconvenience and appears to personally delight in the fact that He can expel a litany of lies across any number of years on a weekly basis and the fools that show Him such support in the ‘polls’ are still foolishly supporting Him after whatever current bout of resiling from the truth has Him looking less a Prime Minister and more the shady used car salesman found on any back-street car lot in this country…

      • Saarbo 1.2.3

        I think if you were to analyse Armstrong’s articles over the last 12 months you would find a clear bias towards the National Party.

      • RedLogix 1.2.4

        I’d more or less agree lurgee.

        Most of the time people don’t care about beltway political issues because they don’t affect them personally.

        Unless of course the likes of Mr Armstrong and his coterie of merry spinners decides that one or other of these beltway issues are worth using to whip up some faux-outrage with.

        Which is why nothing ever sticks to Mr Key. Very few in the media who ever seriously tries to make anything stick.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Penny Hulse lacks the backbone and resolve to be a mayor
    Too tired, too near Christmas to go after Cameron Brewer

    Saturday 21 December 2013

    Yesterday we saw the tables turned on the loudest and most sanctimonious of the small group of ACT/National Party loons and thugs that have been holding the city to ransom for two months, and whipping up a mood of hysteria for the last two or three days. Councilor Cameron “Freebie” Brewer was exposed as having committed precisely the same offence as he has been berating Mayor Len Brown for: he failed to declare a four-day sponsored junket to the Gold Coast, including free air tickets and accommodation.

    As the late Sir Robert Muldoon said, there is no better time to kick your opponent than when he is down. If ever there was a moment to turn the tables on an aggressor and a vicious hypocrite, this was it: Cameron Brewer, that smiling, vacuous, extreme right wing ideologue, had been exposed as an unconscionable hypocrite. Surely some sharp-tongued opponent would dispatch him to the boundary of mortification and shame, where he would retire for the summer to lick his wounds and sob himself to sleep as he relived the humiliation.

    The person in perfect position to deliver the coup de grâce to this graceless pest was deputy-mayor Penny Hulse. Unfortunately, however, she showed no appetite for the fight. She sounded exhausted, and fed up with the whole business, and her comments were weak and conciliatory. In an ill-advised show of magnanimity, she stated that she would not call for an inquiry into Cameron Brewer.

    There could not be a starker illustration of the difference between the right wing and the liberal left. This week we have seen ACT thugs disrupting council meetings with crude and witless abuse, and a small group of nasty people waving placards and shouting imprecations as they follow the mayor down the street. The media, naturally, have played along with and willingly amplified these moronic antics.

    Yesterday’s revelation about Brewer offered the chance to silence him and his small band of supporters, perhaps permanently. But Penny Hulse said she was too tired, it was too near Christmas and she had better things to do than enter into a scrap with Brewer.

    It’s not as if Brewer, or Quax or any of those placard-waving halfwits will be grateful or in any way amenable to reason in future; they will (rightly) see Penny Hulse’s vacillation as weakness and will have been greatly emboldened.

    We need decent leadership in this city. If Len Brown does resign, Penny Hulse would be the worst possible candidate to fill his position.

    • karol 2.1

      Actually, I disagree. Hulse restores credibility to the leadership of elected council members.

      You really miss the point by how assuredly Hulse has managed the whole mess. She rightly judge that the residents wouldn’t be receptive to someone else doing the same kind of graceless tub-thumping as those on the right.

      Blatant aggression and putting the boot is the least likely way benefit long term outcomes.

      Hulse has left the door open to possibilities of a review of all spending by councillors, especially that of Brewer, when the time is right – the public have minds on the holiday season right now, and have probably had enough of grandstanding council antics.

      Hulse also calmly, and reasonably pointed out that being gifted holidays to the Gold Coast was worse than the hotel rooms and upgrades.

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        And of course Mr Brewer is going to be hamstrung the next time he tries the sanctimonious spiel. Hoisted I think.

        • Morrissey

          Hoisted by whom, Ian? If ever that sanctimonious git was going to be hoist by his own petard, it was yesterday. Unfortunately, Penny Hulse lacked the resolve to do the job.

          • karol

            Morrissey. Did you actually listen to what Hulse said. It’s here:

            [audio src="" /]

            “Lacks resolve”? Really? For what? Some ill-thought out rush of blood to the head to get the boot, like some sort of bovver boy, into Brewer without, a clear understanding of the unforeseen consequences? Get real!!!

            Hulse has the resolve and understanding of how to approach this in the medium and long term.

            What Hulse shows is a clear understanding of process. She has performed in a very assured way, has the support of the majority of councillors, knows how to work with them, and shows herself to be someone well in control of the situation. The councillors have to work within a dog’s breakfast of an undemocratic system. Hulse wants to improve the systems. That’s the last thing Quax, Brewer et all want.

            Hulse indicates that if they rush into putting the boot in to Brewer right now, it will play into the hands of Quax, who is out to destabilise the council. In my view Quax et al want to bring down the council & install their chosen mayor. They don’t want a better system than what we’ve got now – they want to use chaos and allegations in a very emotive way to bring about a right wing coup.

            And the time right now is just not right – most of the council is going on holiday. Doing anything drastic just won’t work.

            Here are direct quotes from Hulse’s interview on Checkpoint yesterday:

            It actually backs up the point that we’ve been making for a long time. Our council processes and throughout local government in new Zealand throughout New Zealand. It’s quite unclear what people should declare and what they shouldn’t declare. There are grey areas: hotel upgrades are one of them. But third party travel is very clear. If someone else pays for your travel, you need to put it in your register of interest or in your gift register or in your third party travel register. Now, we’ve all been guilty of making mistakes but we certainly need to firm up. And particularly people who point the finger should.

            She goes on to say that first, they need clarity of what should be declared and everyone should then be upfront and declare what needs to be declared.

            Do parliamentarians declare it, does anyone else around the country, is there a way of doing it? The advice I have is “no”. Third party travel, however, MUST be declared. We are probably all guilty of not doing that well. Gifts over $300 – absolutely! And anything that might bring you into conflict, my advice to the councillors has been over the last few months, when in doubt, put it down – get it out there.

            There’ll be a review of our process to make sure that everyone understands it. Whether we need to go [?] and trawl through what everyone’s registers of interest and what they’ve put down – I think the last thing we need is another witch hunt. But we need to make sure everyone is clear about how it works.


            I think Dick Quax is very keen to keep this going. I think he doesn’t understand what drawing a line under this sad affair means.

            Hulse has done exceedingly well this week – keeping her head while all others lose their’s.

            • Morrissey

              I take your points, karol, but I don’t think the public will appreciate Penny Hulse’s failure to pin down Brewer when he is squirming. Surely she doesn’t have to fear Dick Quax’s misbehaviour into account before she speaks.

              The right wing will have been astonished at her lack of robustness—and will not be at all sporting or conciliatory about this.

              • karol

                Morrissey – clearly we will continue to disagree on this. As far as I can see, you just fail to see how well Hulse is dealing with all this. Actually, I think she has put Quax & Brewer in their place, and really shows them to be in a pretty weak position ….. watch this space.

                • Morrissey

                  I hope so. I think she is far superior to those rabble-rousers; I’m just concerned that they have been causing all sorts of mischief and have not been firmly countered. But I will take your word for it, and I’m looking forward to see how she performs over the next few weeks.

            • Ad

              Fully agree there Karol. Hulse is the only Councillor to come out of this with her reputation enhanced. She is now the default leader of Auckland – and knows it.

              She has a whole lot more wisdom than to start another puerile and pointless political witch-hunt. And has no need to invite personal counter-attacks from the right – as an attack on Brewer would achieve. She also has no political motivation to defend Brown.

              What she does have the motivation to achieve is a completed Unitary Plan, to lock in a further Long Term Plan, and to get the next housing areas off the ground. ie the progress Auckland needs.

              Plenty of wannabes call for revenge against the right in one form or another. Wisdom and grace are far harder to find. If people really and truly want Auckland hamstrung by yet another by-election in the vain hope that someone slightly less stupid will get in as a result, well, here’s my advice:

              don’t start a revolution until you know with confidence what will replace it, and that you can implement it.

              Hulse knows that she is last leader standing when it comes to Auckland. We don’t need any more fights or distractions. We need politicians who are prepared to lead through a time of real crisis. Penny Hulse is that person.

              • Molly

                Agree. Have watched her in action a couple of times with the more rabid councillors, and even they seem to defer to her in some regard.

                • Sacha

                  Penny Hulse (and Len Brown) could teach our national politicians a thing or two about how to lead in an MMP-style environment. For sustainable gains you can’t afford to exclude half the governing body by treating them like the enemy. Citizens voted for them too. Tribal zero-sum politics are destructive in that context, though there’s plenty of scope for leading with a different focus.

            • lurgee

              keeping her head while all others lose their’s

              *Angry face*

              You don’t need apostrophes to show ownership with possessive pronouns (His, hers, mine, ours, theirs).

            • Anne

              Splendid comments karol. I wonder how many MSM journalists and particularly the Herald editors listened to that interview with Penny Hulse? If they did, I wonder how many of them are ashamed of their own hysterical and spiteful rantings?

              Len Brown’s little bit of straying is nothing compared to a lot of parliamentary politicians past and present.

              As far as the upgrades are concerned: travel and hotel upgrades have been par for the course for politicians for many years!

      • chris73 2.1.2

        I disagree, Len stayed at SkyCity with his mistress, got upgrades and made sure SkyCity didn’t give out any embarrassing information.

        SkyCity were in the middle of negotiations to get their deal through which Len supported. Surely you can see, at the very least, thats not a very good look at all.

        So how does that compare to Brewer

        • bad12

          Pathetic chris73, Brewer has been the front runner of those seeking the Mayors head be mounted on a pike out-side of the Auckland City Council chambers,

          As Rodney Hide found, there is nobody who will suffer more disdain in politics than an out-right hypocrite,

          As far as the supposed cost of Brown’s hotel accommodation goes i find like a number of other commenters that such figures are bogus to say the least,

          The cost that Len Brown, in a free market, was willing to pay for a night’s stay in any of those hotels can and is the only figure that can be attributed to such ‘upgrades’,

          Unless the rooms were already booked and someone was moved out of these rooms to enable the Mayor to receive upgraded accommodation then the actual value of the rooms when considering they had no booking for the night and the Mayor wasn’t prepared to book and pay for them in a free market is exactly Zero,

          So is Brown worse than Brewer, my opinion says that both are as bad as each other and if the truth was only known if the other 10 council members were to now truthfully fill out their declarations of gifts there would be little surprise exhibited should the majority of them be found to have undeclared ‘freebies’ which in my opinion is the real reason the Deputy Mayor has moved to sweep the whole mess under the carpet…

          • karol

            there would be little surprise exhibited should the majority of them be found to have undeclared ‘freebies’ which in my opinion is the real reason the Deputy Mayor has moved to sweep the whole mess under the carpet…

            Yes, there is that implication. But also, that would play in to the hands of Quax and Brewer because it would ultimately destabilise the council, bring it down sooner rather than later, and result in an election before the left have had time to prepare a viable new candidate.

            • bad12

              Nope sorry Karol i cannot agree with you here, if it’s good enough for first Brown to be pilloried and then Brewer to be outed i would suggest the people of Auckland deserve to see the full picture especially considering that 10 ‘other’ of the council also ‘failed’ to file a disclosure of gifts,

              i cannot see how such revelations can destabilize the Auckland Council as such a disclosure does not seem to have attached to it any sanctions that would remove any of them including the Mayor,

              There is a small chance, admittedly minute, that having all the dirty laundry in the public domain will be enough to embarrass and humble these servants of the people so as to force them to get on with the business of running the City instead of grandstanding through the media lens as they obvious lust for power…

              • Ad

                Well you could do the full Penny Bright if you like.

                You could go through the Mayor again, all the Councillors, all the staff, all the CCO Boards, all their staff, all the contractors, all 9,000 individuals…

                … it would be a permanent restructure, a state of permanent audit…

                and you could look back in three years time and be proud of Nothing. Of having achieved nothing except destruction. Of making Auckland Council essentially non-viable, perfectly antiseptic, a monumental machine at standstill, with those remaining there utterly demoralised and time-serving while they find something else.

                Not a single new initiative taken, the City Rail LInk long forgotten, the Unitary Plan flushed down the toiled for lack of ratification, the Waterfront stalled,
                O but what a pile of rubble to sit on! Quite similar to the French Revolution.

                • bad12

                  Right Ad, Council roading contractors are being investigated as we speak, wonder how far into council management and actual councilors that little investigation will lead,

                  i have a bright idea, THERE IS NO CORRUPTION IN NEW ZEALAND, so why would we bother to look for it???….

              • karol

                I think it’s necessary to move in an orderly way. I don’t actually think that Hulse has permanently swept things under the carpet. She’s saying: let’s get the rules clarified about what needs to be declared, and then move forward rationally. That’s better than all the finger pointing and innuendos on half knowledge. By all means hold councilllors to account for undeclared spending – especially re-conflicts of interest and apparent corruption – money for policies, etc.

                Time enough for that in the new year. If councillors or the mayor fall, so be it. But I’m more interested in getting a better structure and tighter systems for the future.

              • karol

                I think it’s necessary to move in an orderly way. I don’t actually think that Hulse has permanently swept things under the carpet. She’s saying: let’s get the rules clarified about what needs to be declared, and then move forward rationally. That’s better than all the finger pointing and innuendos on half knowledge. By all means hold councilllors to account for undeclared spending – especially re-conflicts of interest and apparent corruption – money for policies, etc.

                Time enough for that in the new year. If councillors or the mayor fall, so be it. But I’m more interested in getting a better structure and tighter systems for the future.

          • chris73

            I’m not talking cost I’m talking about the implication that SkyCity scratched Lens back in return for Len supporting SkyCity

            • bad12

              Ask yourself what was the expected quid pro quo for Brewer vis a vis His freebie from Mediaworks, or would you have us all believe that the news organization flew Him off for a holiday in Oz coz they like the pathetic little hypocrite,

              Len Brown ‘supporting’ SkyCity, are you sure that you are not a 7 year old or something, Len Brown had little option but to support the ‘convention center’ given it’s proposed use fit within the rules and laws of resource consent just as Len Brown had little option but to agree to the Chow brothers brothel being built as that is also an allowed activity for that area of the City…

              • chris73

                “Len Brown ‘supporting’ SkyCity, are you sure that you are not a 7 year old or something, Len Brown had little option but to support the ‘convention center’ given it’s proposed use fit within the rules and laws of resource consent just as Len Brown had little option but to agree to the Chow brothers brothel being built as that is also an allowed activity for that area of the City…”

                – Just like Len had little option but to use SkyCity for his trysts rather then getting driven home by his chauffeur (paraphrase it a bit and what you wrote could be a Tuis billboard)

                • bad12

                  i and most other mature adults don’t give a toss about Brown’s sexual exploits,(or lack of them),

                  How many times did Brown host Ms Chuang at Skycity,(are you sure your not mistaking room bookings with His wife here),

                  Having nothing in the way of ammunition,when such is put under the spotlight and shown to be ‘wet’ to the extent that it is spurious, we have you now chris73 attempting to transpose your morals, or more to the point your moralizing,(given the chance i am sure you would happily share a room with Ms Chuang),on to Len Brown,

                  As i intimated above your criticism of Brown in light of Brewers equally culpable behavior is a descent into the realms of a 7 year old…

                  • chris73

                    Its not about the sex, its about implication of using Skycity to facilitate the sex and then supporting Skycity in what Skycity wants.

                    Why is that so difficult to understand?

                    • bad12

                      As i have tried to explain to you chris73 under planning Legislation Brown and the Auckland City Council had little choice within the Law but to agree to Skycity building the Convention Center,

                      The ‘implications’ then become a fabrication of your own over-active imagination,

                      Again, seeing as you didn’t answer the question the first time, how many times did you say Brown hosted Ms Chuang at SkyCity,(are you sure you are not confusing the ‘stays’ of Mr and Mrs Brown)…

                    • chris73

                      “How many times did Brown host Ms Chuang at Skycity,(are you sure your not mistaking room bookings with His wife here)”

                      Thats something we’ll of course never know since Skycity is bound by confidentiality and needed Lens permission to divulge the information and of course EY never asked how many times the rooms were booked during the daytime either

                    • bad12

                      In other words Chris73 you know exactly sod all, instead choosing to make things up as you go along hoping that if you say it as many times as possible it will become believable,

                      My next question of you while largely of a rhetorical nature is were you born with a psychological disability or do you choose to sit here in the pages of the Standard behaving akin to the most dense of fucking retards just for shits and giggles,is of some import as to my wasting of my time in an educational attempt,

                      Dense idiots such as you have a home to go to over at Blubber Boys ‘wail oil’, my suggestion is you go there…

                    • chris73

                      Ok I’ll go there but only because you said so 🙂

                    • infused

                      bad12 has gone full retard.

                    • KJT

                      Didn’t notice all this self righteousness when Brash was having an affair.

            • phillip ure

              @chris 73..

              i mean..aside from the eyewatering hypocrisy..?

              ..nothing wrong in yr eyes with a local body politician ‘owing’ and being ‘owned’ by a media organisation..?

              ..nothing to see

              ..brewer still squeaky-clean..?

              phillip ure..

              • chris73

                Len Brown has had numerous chances to explain and got found out so why not let Brewer have the same chances that Len got

                • bad12

                  Oh i agree with you there chris73, i think in the New Year we should have one Big Kangaroo Court, the same as Brewer, Quacks et al ensured Brown received so that all those councilors who failed to lodge a declaration of ‘gifts’ can publicly do so while ‘explaining’ such ‘gifts’ and why they failed to file the correct returns,

                  After that i would suggest that the over-paid wankers get back to running the city of Auckland like they are paid to do…

                  • chris73

                    Personally I’d like to see them all investigated properly and removed if found to be outside the rules or code of conduct

                    • bad12

                      Exactly chris 73, however, there is to my knowledge no mechanism in the Legislation with which to remove any of them,

                      Democracy is a weird beast, take for instance John Minto, said in many quarters to live a simple,blameless life akin to that of a scholarly monk in some ancient religious sect, the people of Auckland wholesaley rejected Minto as their Mayor and yet Brown was and Brewer is talked of as a future ‘chance’

                      The people of Auckland chose Brown and Brewer by ‘fair’ democratic means and now must suffer them for the next 3 years…

                    • chris73

                      I like Rodney Hide and I think he was a very good MP and he’d do well if he chose to come back but he got the supercity very wrong with its lack of oversight

                    • bad12

                      Chris73, ”you like Rodney Hide”, which says it all really as to your ongoing whine about Len Brown,

                      You attempt to pillory Brown for His sins and then akin to the hypocricy shown by the recently outed Brewer you claim that Hide an even bigger hypocrite as far as ‘perks’ and ‘gifts’ goes would in some way be better then the incumbent pair,

                      You allude to the ‘implications’ inherent in Browns morals when in fact you seem to lack even the basics of a moral compass yourself and your appearance here at the Standard seems to have descended into that of a farcical ‘wing-nut’,

                      My Christmas wish is for the probably impossible, please,please, can we have next year just 1 ‘wing-nut’ commenting in the Standard in possessions of at least half a functional intellect….

                    • chris73

                      Typical left response to an opposing view: pillory anything that doesn’t correspond to your opinion

                      You might find it strange but going by all the opinion polls my viewpoint is shared by more people then yours

                    • bad12

                      As you have shown us all throughout this morning’s little discussion Chris73 you and facts have not even a passing knowledge of each other,

                      Please supply a link to all these opinion polls you allude to where ‘your views’ are found to be superior…

                    • chris73

                      Which ones? The ones that say they want Len to go, the ones that show how much more support National have or the ones that show how much more popular Key is compared to Cunliffe (or indeed anyone else)

            • Molly

              The Skycity deal was one conceived and approved of at National level.

              The Auckland Council vote was/is academic.

        • Tigger

          So how does that compare to Brewer”

          We have no idea because he, like half the Councillors, hasn’t filed returns. But we know he went to Australia on Mediaworks so you have to ask yourself – what did they get for that?

        • Sacha

          “Len stayed at SkyCity with his mistress”

          Really? The E&Y report says no such thing. Got another reference for that assertion?

      • Morrissey 2.1.3

        Blatant aggression and putting the boot is the least likely way benefit long term outcomes.

        Nobody expects Penny Hulse to come down to the level of Quax and Brewer and their supporters. What we do expect is that she will be robust and forthright in her statements; instead, she expressed tiredness and an entirely misjudged seasonal forgiveness to someone who has been, and will now continue to be, utterly implacable in his enmity.

        • karol

          Rubbish. Of course she is tired – but see my comment above. Forgiveness? Absolutely not. She pointed the finger at Brewer being the worst offender. What she is saying is – be careful what you wish for if you keep on with am ill thought out witch hunt – it will as likely play into Brewer and Quax hands.

          Chill Morrissey – the time is not right at the moment – let’s see what next year brings when everyone comes back from the beach.

          • Morrissey

            the time is not right at the moment – let’s see what next year brings when everyone comes back from the beach.

            When is the right time then? I’m not advocating a brutal crackdown on Brewer; he is entitled to due process. But what I do want is for Penny Hulse to unequivocally point out Brewer’s canting hypocrisy; generalized statements of principle are not good enough.

            • karol

              What is this if not an unequivocal statement of Brewer’s hypocrisy?

              There are grey areas: hotel upgrades are one of them. But third party travel is very clear. If someone else pays for your travel, you need to put it in your register of interest or in your gift register or in your third party travel register.

              It’s out there on the record. It’s a clear warning shot across Brewer’s bow. It does not involve a lot of over-the-top posturing. But it will simmer away and is there to be pulled out when Brewer starts trying to do his over-exaggerated accusatory rants.

              • Grumpy

                The test is that used by Key on Heatley. Stood down as minister and referred to AG. Reinstated when AG ruled their was no intent to mislead.
                Looks like that would clear Brewer, but, just to be sure, why not call in the AG. I think we all know why, don’t we?

                • Colonial Viper

                  I love how you suggest calling in the AG as an independent auditor but have already decided for yourself what the outcome should be! LOL!

                  Is the reason that the AG hasn’t been called in because the Key Govt is good friends with Len Brown and hence has avoided doing so??? Seriously grumpy you’ve not been engaging your brain last few days.

                  • Pascal'sbookie

                    And once the AG starts looking into whether or not SkyCity corruptly influenced politicians, who knows where it would end up?

                    The National Party pays the card rate for those functions they hold at SkyCity don;t they?

                    [I think you keep going into moderation PB because a computer you are using has no space between “Pascal’s” and “bookie – MS]

  3. rich the other 3

    So much for poverty, poor people seem to have gotten by without this food banks help.

    A Wellington food bank spent donations on junk food, booze and electronics while giving only a fraction to the hungry, court documents claim.

    The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) alleges only 4 per cent of the $770,000 donated to the Wellington Food bank Service ever went to helping the needy.

    The food bank – not associated with the one run by the Wellington City Mission – claimed to help “low-income families, children and youth of the Wellington region”.

    • karol 3.1

      Yeah. Saw that. The lowest of scum to exploit the willingness of others to support those struggling on little money or resources.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.2

      It may be very hard to prove “fraud” because there is no limit to the percentage commission that can be charged for fundraising activities.

      Given the confident rebuff by the accused it sounds like he has it all figured out. Hope they manage to get him prosecuted anyway. Certainly one to watch.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      That wouldn’t surprise me. It’s why private charities never work to alleviate poverty. Of course, such charities do help to salve the conscience, if they’ve got one, of the people who cause the poverty – the rich.

    • Colonial Viper 3.4

      Well, it’s defrauding the public. Don’t think it will be that complicated.

    • Murray Olsen 3.6

      RTO – you are twisted. Only you and Paula Benefat could possibly see a case of misappropriation of donations as showing that there is no poverty. If I amputated your legs and you “got by” sitting on a skateboard, would that show you never had any need for the legs?

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    I would not mind if Len went after his appalling treatment of the wharfies and GI residents, or even if he decides he has had enough. BUT he should stay right where he is if his departure does not guarantee a full new election with equal media time for all candidates so the actual policies can be re litigated.

    The alternative is a right wing coup via some dodgy commissioner that they have been angling for since the Pallino camp (proxy for National/ACT) tried to overturn the result. Chuang now seems a possible if dorrisy double agent all along. Aucklanders may just experience the reality of ECAN and Gerry’s special powers that Christchurch has put up with via their own similar little imposed dictatorship. Just as “Hideolini” first envisaged.

    Is the threat of this enough reason to keep Len on? well yes, given the low participation rate of Aucklanders. And the Herald is hardly like to run “Democracy Under Attack” front pages if there is no new election.

    Minto for Mayor and Penny (Bright) heh, as deputy, that should stir up a few more voters!

    • karol 4.1

      Agreed, Tiger Mountain. Better Brown for now than a right wing coup. Come the next election I’d like to see a real contest with all kinds of views aired, including/especially those of Minto & Bright – they need to keep the pressure on to keep the left and elected representatives honest.

      However, on past record, especially how assuredly and well she handled proceedings this week, I’m ear-marking my vote for Hulse …… when the time is right.

      And we can do without Labour Caucus neoliberal rejects like Goff being given a nice little mayoral earner as a way to entice him away from the House – what are Trotter and Bradbury thinking?!!!

    • Chooky 4.2

      +1…”.Chuang now seems a possible if dorrisy double agent all along”

      …..imo there is a very real danger that the perception of corruption…casino convention centre, multi-story brothels at Auckland’s heart.. ( or at very least gross misjudgment and mismanagement) associated with Len and his watch …… and who is now so unpopular with ordinary voters…… that his association with Labour could impact on Labours’ chances in the 2014 general Election , especially with the crucial Auckland vote

      The Left should be at least preparing for a WINNING alternative to Len that all can agree on…should another election be needed

    • Grumpy 4.3

      Tim Shadbolt was just as radical as Minto and any city would welcome him as mayor………

  5. Fisiani 5

    Cheer up folks. Armstrong is just a tool of the Right after all. How dare he present the truth.
    Have a happy Christmas and to cheer you up when The Cunliffe continues to poll lower than Shearer ever did I give you good cheer from your wonderful PM.

  6. Tracey 6

    ” Hulse is the only Councillor to come out of this with her reputation enhanced. She is now the default leader of Auckland – and knows it.”


    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Oh good – I was looking for something like that yesterday. And, yes, it’s good to see the inherent bias towards National in Treasury confirmed.

  7. captain hook 9

    what a load of crap about Hulse being default leader of Auckland.
    When and if she is elected then she can claim that distinction.
    as of now she is just another slavering purve who should have the decency to keep her mouth shut.

  8. Colonial Viper 10

    Wallace Chapman is taking over from Chris Laidlaw on Sunday mornings, apparently.

  9. Craig Y 11

    And in some good news for the holiday season, Canada’s sex workers are now completely legal! Although it took them a decade longer than New Zealand, the Canadian Supreme Court has struck down all prior Canadian anti-sexworker laws, including street soliciting, brothel work and ownership and living off the proceeds. In a unanimous move, the court said that mere potential public nuisance issues should not be allowed to obstruct serious issues related to the health, safety and lives of Canadian sex workers:

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Now if Canada would only get rid of Harper, cease attacking scientists and academics, and stop being one of the world’s most egregious GHG and ground water polluters…

      • swordfish 11.1.1

        “Now if Canada would only get rid of Harper…”

        What’s really annoying is that, between them, the NDP, Liberals and Greens won more than 53% of the vote (with a stunning swing to the Left – NDP soaring by more than 12 points). Harper’s Conservatives won a clear majority of seats despite winning less than 40% of the vote.

        • Colonial Viper

          total scam of a corporate democracy…

        • ScottGN

          That’s First Past the Post for you. Conveniently for the Conservatives the Liberals and NDP split the left vote in a lot of seats allowing the Tory candidate to come through the middle.

        • Paul

          Rod Donald’s great legacy M.M. P.
          How the corporates allowed that in, I don’t know.

  10. Herodotus 12

    Now we know one more reason for building costs being so high !!
    Councils are being blamed for the high cost of building New Zealand houses, ahead of the role played by manufacturers.
    Perhaps it not all about councils, now !
    And this from what is becoming a repeat offender in the market manipulation.
    Carter Holt Harvey’s machine stress graded MGP10 sales in the period July 2000 to November 2003 were approximately $63.4 million annually. Between August 2001 and November 2003, CHH reported net sales revenue of approximately $162.1 m from sales of MGP10 timber.
    So we are not talking about small amounts.
    Someone better start wetting the bus ticket !!

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Materials costs had risen only 12 per cent since 2008.

      I have family in the construction industry and they’ve seen, in some years, better than 25% increases in less than 6 months.

  11. joe90 13

    Dan Savage reviews Sarah Palins latest effort.

    This paragraph about gun shopping in December of 2012—one first grader at Sandy Hook was shot 11 times—ends with Palin bragging about her tits. I’m not kidding.

    Okay, I have to put the book down. I’m five pages into Good Tidings and Great Joy and… Jesus Fucking Christ… I have got to put down this toxic little shitstain of a book. I’m going to go wash my eyes out with hydrogen peroxide. Be right back.

  12. thechangeling 14

    This is what I believe to be the way forward to giving back democracy to the people of New Zealand:

    With the madness that neo-liberalism (manifested in deregulation and Free Trade Agreements) has done to New Zealand since 1984 by both Labour and National Governments, it’s time to move to a new system controlled by the people for the people.
    This new system is called ‘Absolute Democracy’ whereby every bill that goes to Parliament to become law is voted on by the people via regular referendums held electronically on the internet.
    Three education agencies are tasked with informing the public of the intended consequences of the bill in question, and will be formed so that people can form their voting intentions from a comprehensively derived knowledge base. Two of these agencies are aligned with each of the desires and intentions of the leftist and rightist political blocs, and the third is totally independent of any political organisation.
    Only this way can ‘true democracy’ be instigated into New Zealand’s cultural fabric because now what we have is a main stream media controlled by vested interests putting out biased information about policies that are creating a tide of both poverty and obscene wealth by dis-empowering ordinary kiwi’s.

  13. joe90 15

    Not just the Koch brothers.

    Key findings include:

    Conservative foundations have bank-rolled denial. The largest and most consistent funders of organizations orchestrating climate change denial are a number of well-known conservative foundations, such as the Searle Freedom Trust, the John William Pope Foundation, the Howard Charitable Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation. These foundations promote ultra-free-market ideas in many realms.

    Koch and ExxonMobil have recently pulled back from publicly visible funding. From 2003 to 2007, the Koch Affiliated Foundations and the ExxonMobil Foundation were heavily involved in funding climate-change denial organizations. But since 2008, they are no longer making publicly traceable contributions.

    Funding has shifted to pass through untraceable sources. Coinciding with the decline in traceable funding, the amount of funding given to denial organizations by the Donors Trust has risen dramatically. Donors Trust is a donor-directed foundation whose funders cannot be traced. This one foundation now provides about 25% of all traceable foundation funding used by organizations engaged in promoting systematic denial of climate change.

    Most funding for denial efforts is untraceable. Despite extensive data compilation and analyses, only a fraction of the hundreds of millions in contributions to climate change denying organizations can be specifically accounted for from public records. Approximately 75% of the income of these organizations comes from unidentifiable sources.

    • chris73 16.1

      Bad year for the looney left, they can only hope a disaster happens for some publicity

      • fender 16.1.1

        May not be as inspiring to you as going to watch the ammo at gun city but there’s plenty of impending disasters for you here

    • fender 16.2

      Global warming since 1997 more than twice as fast as previously estimated, new study shows.

      • Grumpy 16.2.1

        So the estimate was actually a significant reduction? Who knew?
        Jesus, just looked at your link – The Guardian??? FFS!

        • fender

          Average of global temps using *HadCRU/NOAA-NDCC/NASA-GISS*

          2001-2010 14.47 deg C
          1991-2000 14.26 deg C
          1981-1990 14.12 deg C
          1971-1980 13.95 deg C
          1961-1970 13.93 deg C
          1951-1960 13.92 deg C

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            There is no point in presenting facts to wingnuts. Low IQ and all that…

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            PS: those numbers should come with a health warning. May cause alarm: the increase in the increase per decade is…significant. Fuck.

        • Murray Olsen

          The Guardian is pretty good at presenting science, actually. Unlike many media, they don’t misrepresent stuff, but give a reasonable précis of what’s in the original work. I can see why oil worshippers wouldn’t like it.

        • Paul

          The source for the Telegraph report is “David Hone, Shell UK’s Melbourne-born “senior climate change adviser”.
          The source for the Guardian report is a study, authored by Kevin Cowtan from the University of York and Robert Way from the University of Ottawa.

          Did you read these articles and notice the sources of both before your post?

          This report is called Science, grumpy. You can choose to ignore it and go with the opinions of someone paid by Shell. That’s your choice. I don’t know if the opinion you hold is that of wilful ignorance. I don’t know if you have just heard one side of the argument through your selection of media sources.

          However, by doing that, your opinion will be discarded by those who follow the principles of reasoned, evidence based discussion.

    • joe90 16.3

      Surely you can provide something a little more reputable – some real science perhaps.

      Three years of observations by ESA’s CryoSat satellite show that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing over 150 cubic kilometres of ice each year – considerably more than when last surveyed.

      It’s official: East Antarctica is pushing West Antarctica around.

      Now that West Antarctica is losing weight–that is, billions of tons of ice per year–its softer mantle rock is being nudged westward by the harder mantle beneath East Antarctica.

      The discovery comes from researchers led by The Ohio State University, who have recorded GPS measurements that show West Antarctic bedrock is being pushed sideways at rates up to about twelve millimeters–about half an inch–per year. This movement is important for understanding current ice loss on the continent, and predicting future ice loss.

      The September 2013 Arctic sea ice minimum extent was 5.10 million km2. This was 1.69 million km2 greater than the record minimum set in 2012, but was still the sixth smallest ice extent of the satellite record (1979-2013).
      The amount of first year sea ice continues to increase, accounting for 78% of the ice cover in March 2013.
      A satellite-derived, Arctic Ocean-wide decrease in sea ice freeboard, from 0.23 m in March 2011 to 0.19 m in March 2013, implies a 0.32 m decrease in ice thickness, from 2.26 m to 1.94 m.

        • halfcrown

          Jesus, just looked at your link – Daily Telegraph??? FFS!

          • Paul

            You are wasting your time with these people.
            No evidence can persuade them. The Koch Brothers through their acolytes in edit like thenTelegraph have indoctrinated them and no form of reasoning can be used.
            A bit depressing but the human mind is easily manipulated. It’s like trying to debate with a Mormon.

            • Anne

              These oil tycoons and their fellow travellers are today’s equivalent of the tobacco industry tycoons who spent nearly a century denying that tobacco was harmful to health. They came up with all manner of spurious evidence to verify their false claims. Personally, I think the leading lights in that campaign should have spent some time in gaol for their crime against humanity. It would be good if the climate denial wankers were also brought to justice for their falsehoods and crime against humanity.

              • Grumpy

                Sounds like burning at the stake to me.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Where our ecosystems and our people is being sacrificed on the pyre of corporate profit.

                  And it’s happening right now. Corporate capitalism is an organised system of destruction. No two ways about it.

                  • Grumpy

                    Reckon there are at least 4 or 5 ways……

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Explain them one by one if you would.

                      My position is simple: delivering maximum short term yield to shareholders requires maximising the consumption of products, energy and services globally. The rapid and total exploitation of the environment and of workers without regard for physical or societal limits is fundamental to being able to achieve this goal.

            • Grumpy

              Mormon….who are you calling a Mormon?

      • joe90 16.3.2

        So that’s it, opinion?.

        edit: Quadrant, you’re kidding, right?.

        • Grumpy

          Face it, it’s over…..

        • joe90

          So that’s it, cranks who cite fellow cranks and cranks who associate with and share a stable with racist revisionists and your own opinion?.

          • Grumpy

            Cripes, what’s this racist revisionist rubbish, you guys have really lost the plot. The major countries have abandoned AGW and the public have turned off. Bach prices in The Sounds are still at record levels, give it up. Find some other wealth redistribution scheme.

            • fender

              You must be one of those Grumpy old men without any grandchildren, certainly none that you care about.

              Have a fun time in The Sounds.

              • Grumpy

                You would be wrong. I also believe it is immoral to increase poverty and starvation in the push for biofuels. Of course, the more radical environmentalists push for population reduction. The problem was in the hysteria and the lunatic fringe taking over, making wild claims that, when disproved, collapsed the whole circus.

          • joe90


            • Colonial Viper

              Grumpy is sorta right. It “is over.”

              Minor course corrections starting in the 1970’s, after the publication of “limits to growth”, would have averted the need for any drastic and civilisation disturbing actions to try and deal with climate change and fossil fuels reliance.

              Of course that didn’t happen.

              And of course, it is no surprise that an oil company executive cannot hear and cannot accept what does need to happen. The idea of needing to dramatically reduce our use of fossil fuels is a revolutionary idea, to a corporate whose profits and existence is predicated on more and more fossil fuel use.

              Our economic system will keep pushing pedal to the metal even as we all sail off the cliff.

              The fact that there would be significant disruptions from moving off fossil fuels is of no surprise. The concentrated energy of fossil fuels is the heroin we have grown a global civilisation up on. Withdrawal symptoms are going to be nasty.

    • jaymam 16.4

      An ice-free Arctic is good news:

      ‘An ice-strengthened sea freighter has become the first bulk carrier to traverse the Northwest Passage through Canada’s Arctic waters, heralding a new era of commercial activity in the Arctic.

      Travelling with a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, the 75,000 deadweight-tonne Nordic Orion left Vancouver on Sept. 17 carrying 15,000 metric tons of coal. It is currently off Nuuk, Greenland, where it let a Canadian Arctic adviser off board.

      “The Northwest Passage is more than 1,000 nautical miles shorter than the traditional shipping route through the Panama Canal and will save time, fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” said Nordic Bulk Carriers, the Danish owner of the ship.’

      • fender 16.4.1

        Yeah we should flatten Epsom too to facilitate faster travelling times eh.

      • rich the other 16.4.2

        It’s all been done before ,Amundsen did it in 1906 it ,must have been a warm year.

        • McFlock

          In a fishing boat with a <3ft draught. Not in a 75kton freighter. You're an idiot.

          • Paul

            He is deliberately being an idiot.

          • rich the other

            They have one thing in common , they both float on water.
            Currently the arctic is frozen solid , the biggest area frozen for years, and some boats are trapped.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Slow growth on the Atlantic side of the Arctic

              Ice extent in the Arctic was below average during November. There was substantially less ice than average in the northern Barents Sea, likely due to an influx of warm ocean waters and the persistence of a strong positive Arctic Oscillation (AO).

              You really do pull that shit straight out your arse don’t you?

            • RedLogix

              Always the best and this one is especially worth a read:


              This is how professionals take apart the ignorant.


              Remarkably, in the comment thread, the target of Tamino’s snark has the courage and humility to accept he was wrong.


              Hey Tamino, good post. No excuses from me, but a retraction. After reading your post I take back my claim of “wishful thinking”. I was out of my depth on statistical analysis and admit I based my beliefs mostly on a hunch. You therefore successfully defended the integrity of Laden’s article.

              I appreciate the time you took to critique my post, I’ve never heard of “Ramsdorf” etc before and learned a lot from your post.

              Now that is a remarkable moment.

            • McFlock

              Adding more to the case that you’re a fucking moron, rto?
              The fact that 45ton herring boats AND 75,000ton freight ships float was not in dispute.

              The distinction between the former hull-scraping through 3ft waters if needs be and the latter steaming through with its 46ft draught seems to be lost on you. At 43ft, it is impossible to touch the full extend of your stupidity with a barge pole.

  14. It’s not ‘left’ vs ‘right’ and hasn’t been since the ‘Rogernomic$’ neo-liberal reforms were forced upon us by the 1984 -87 Labour Government (in my considered opinion).

    In my view – it’s the corporate minority vs the public majority and those who serve their interests.

    Who really controls the Auckland region? membership

    How many of you have bothered to check this out for yourselves?

    Who else has warned you about the corporate control being exercised over the Auckland region via this extremely powerful private sector lobby group?

    How many Auckland Council / CCO contracts are going to member companies of the Committee for Auckland?

    How many members of the boards of Auckland Council CCOs (or CEOs) are members of the Committee for Auckland?

    How is it not a MAJOR ‘conflict of interest’ that Auckland Council CEO Doug McKay is a member of this unelected, invitation-only $10,000 per year membership private lobby group, when he is supposed to be an ‘apolitical oublic servant’?

    How convenient that Doug McKay, Ernst and Young and Sky City are ALL members of the Committee for Auckland?

    Interesting that in 2010 Penny Hulse was personally endorsed by the (then) Chair of the Committee for Auckland, Sir Ron Carter?

    Wake up folks!

    Beware the ‘care veneer’ – the personable manner – the smiley faces and take a cold, hard look at whose interests are being served and by whom, is my respectful suggestion.

    Penny Bright

    Merry Christmas! 🙂

    • Grumpy 17.1

      You are probably right Penny but it should have dawned on you by now that the so-called “left” are also part of the ” establishment”. Cunliffe part of Boston Consulting?? Scary eh?

    • karol 17.2

      I did check out the membership oganisation. It doesn’t just include corporates. Other members include:

      Auckland Arts Festival
      Auckland City Mission
      Auckland Communities Foundation
      Auckland District Health Board
      Auckland War Memorial Museum
      Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
      Counties Manukau District Health Board
      Manukau Institute of Technology
      Massey University
      Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
      New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development
      NZ Institute of Architects
      Regional Facilities Auckland
      Unitec Institute of Technology
      University of Auckland
      Watercare Services
      Waterfront Auckland
      The Salvation Army

      Don’t know who the “individual members” not part of organisations are.

      Membership also includes weird bunch – what are they there for?
      Consulate General of The United States of America
      Consulate General of Australia (Austrade)
      Consulate General of The Peoples Republic of China

      I do think the whole structure of the council needs to be reviewed. The unaccountable CCOs need to totally be replaced by something democratic.

      The council has been constructed as a business-friendly, corporate type structure. Picking of various individuals won’t change that. Also, anyone in a senior role needs to work with that structure, and the committee of Auckland or they will not survive.

      Getting rid of a few people, without changing the whole set up, will just mean similar sorts of people will replace those who have left.

  15. Tracey 18

    Super city and charter schools… tail wagging the dog much?

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