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Open mike 22/04/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 22nd, 2019 - 182 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

182 comments on “Open mike 22/04/2019 ”

    • Andre 1.1

      I've kinda got an issue with their just brushing aside and minimising population growth as a contributing issue.

      Like many other things, that's an area where New Zealand's only significant contribution can come from leading by example. We could choose to say we reject the idea of continual growth (including population growth) and choose to find ways to make steady state and circular economics work.

      We could choose to reject the hand-wringing and bedwetting about the fact that the native birth rate is below replacement. And embrace the idea that that gives us more opportunity to welcome some from parts of the world that will get hammered by the changes coming.

      Explicitly embracing the idea of below-replacement birth rates and falling populations could set a highly visible example to the rest of the world. In a similar way to our nuclear-free stance.

      • Pat 1.1.1

        We could be leading by example as you say…except none in the positions to implement it have either the ability or the desire to accomplish it

        • Andre

          It's the kind of change that can only happen by shifting general social attitudes.

          One way to help shift general social attitudes with respect to populations is pieces like the one wags linked start talking about the good aspects of lower populations and fewer kids per family, rather than just brushing the issue aside.

          • Pat

            Not necessarily…it can be accomplished that way if you are unconcerned about the length of time it will take to achieve….and then theres leadership

            • Andre

              Yet leaders are significantly products of their formative environments.

              AOC was late teens/early twenties going through the GFC, watching the flaws of lightly regulated free-market rapaciousness while the social environment around her was filled with disgust at their "leaders" inadequate response. Would she have become the leader she is now if the environment around hadn't had the senseof there being a better way?

              Similarly Greta Thunberg is coming of age at a time when the general social environment is demanding climate change action. Yet there have been high profile serious people having a damn good go at leading on this topic for decades and getting very little traction.

              Leadership is a synergy of the leader's personal qualities and the environment they are in.

              • Pat

                and where was the social environment that determined that growth come what may was desirable?….the demand for that was promoted by a narrow section of society that captured the 'leadership'. The synergy argument dosnt hold water when that fact is examined

                • Andre

                  Growth is clearly and self-evidently desirable when your environment is one where the best strategy for the success of your own group is to overwhelm the"other" by sheer force of numbers, and there's also significant vacant or underused territory your group can expand into to grab more resource to support the expansion of your group.

                  Both those factors have been true for the vast majority of people for the vast majority of human history. But they stopped being true sometime in the last few generations. That's a helluva lot of cultural inertia and memory to try to turn around.

                  • Pat

                    again , it was only ever true for a segment of society….the dissenters were always disregarded….synergy be buggered

                  • bwaghorni

                    Going from survival of the fitest to we are all one is most likely beyond what evolution made us . But there is hope i guess. I see glimmers of hope in the younger generations .

      • Herodotus 1.1.2

        We have been able to benefit from how: oil based products, pesticides, water management, the improvement of medicine and more that have allowed the pop. to increase to 7.7b.

        What is the cost of these ? and for how long can this continue for


        IMO to manage what we are facing a large portion of the solution is our pop. and what is the viable carrying capacity of the earth with changes that need to be implemented ASAP, but that is only one persons observations 🤔
        But Gaia may have a natural solution with the visit of the 4 horseman

    • greywarshark 1.2

      I was looking at the stuff website and a strange woman started to talk so I tracked down which image appeared to be live and when I found it I couldn't get an image or stop the sound. Strange.

      (Everything's up to date in Kansas [insert chosen location here] city, They've gone about as far as they can go. What next!)

  1. Dennis Frank 2

    I saw a Newshub update on this but when I went to their website it wasn't there. Happened once before too – slack editing, or evidence that TV3 liaison is somewhat haphazard.

    "Brazilian beetles, first released in 2011, haven’t wasted any time getting stuck into the swathes of tradescantia (Tradescantia fluminensis) that are infesting gardens, reserves and conservation land. Three beetle species have been released − a leaf beetle (Neolema ogloblini), a stem beetle (Lema basicostata), and a tip beetle (Neolema abbreviata) − which were selected to attack different parts of the plant." https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/newsletters/biological-control-of-weeds/issue-84/tradescantia-be-gone

    Traditionally known as wandering jew, the Newshub reporter called it wandering willy. Not the first media reporter I've seen do this, so I suspect some moron, or group of morons, decided that the traditional name is disrespectful to jews so deemed it politically incorrect. The basic idea behind this type of thinking is that media consumers are morons, so any other moron or group of morons can get away with telling them what to do.

    Anyway, gardeners have tried various methods of eliminating the plant, and I can verify from many years of personal experience on different properties that success is only achieved where infestations are fairly small and localised, and even then it takes diligence and time. Just a single broken piece an inch long will grow roots and become an inch long. If it lies exposed on the ground through summer, even continuous sun-baking will not dry it out. It is resilient, will bide it's time, and root when the rains come.

    The Newshub report showed that large swathes of the plant have been consumed by the beetles, so the control design seems effective. That's taken eight years though, so it ain't fast. No adverse effects reported, so I hope the govt decides on general release soon.

    Update: Looks like Newshub got around to posting it late last night: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/04/kiwi-teenagers-take-experimental-biological-weed-buster-to-the-world.html

    • Rapunzel 2.1

      I recall it in the '60s as being called "Wandering Willie" then too, never really saw it spelled out in full so whether with a Kwiw accent it was also "jew" or "dew" is another one of the things people are finding to fret over whereas, as always, there are much bigger issues that need the focus.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        My father was chatting with our Jewish next door neighbour over the back fence one weekend afternoon, and idly pointed to the mass of green weed that had colonised our compost heap, the fence and progressing onward over everything it could reach.

        Dad was saying how "he was going to get stuck in and eradicate this wandering …" and our neighbour smiled and said "yeah we call it Wandering Christian actually :-)"

        • Dennis Frank

          smiley Hey Red, your comment box now has these new smiley options available at a click. I've just seen my lapse in proof-reading, so must apologise to all for this:

          "Just a single broken piece an inch long will grow roots and become an inch long." I thought I was writing "become a new plant". However my subconscious decided to replace it with a re-run of what I had typed a few moments earlier.

          This is a new type of senior moment! Unless other elderly commentators can prove earlier versions of same, I will claim inventor's rights…

    • JanM 2.2

      Calm down! I only ever knew it as wandering wiĺlie as a kid in the 50s. We thought it was hilarious because it was our dad's name. Maybe it's a regional thing.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        Oh, how interesting. Thanks Jan – and also Rapunzel – for corroboration that it did indeed predate the pc era. I can park the grumpy old man syndrome for a while. devil

        • WeTheBleeple

          So many unobservant observers out there.

          Tradescantia, oxalis…. run chickens on the 'problem'. Watch the problem converted to eggs and meat.

          To be thorough – add the biocontrol which will now actively seek out any remainder.

          Also, taking early occurring rust fungi from either plant and spreading it around on 'healthy' patches of weed to weaken it considerably.

          • JanM

            Great idea for weed eradication – chickens – wonderful weeders – and you get eggs – yeah!

          • Dennis Frank

            Good thinking. I recall as a kid in the fifties when almost all suburban families had a chicken run out back. No supermarkets in Aotearoa till the seventies.

            My ex-partner installed one three years ago. Built herself a multi-level shelter at one end with laying straw in roosts & trapdoors above for easy extraction of eggs, has four hens. Observing them on visits reminded me that hen-pecking is a form of bullying. Given that all birds are residual dinosaurs, one wonders if T Rex also did hen-pecking. That would have been awesome to watch.

            • alwyn

              You must have lived South of the Bombay Hills. Apparently the first supermarkets were in Auckland as early as 1957. There was one with a large car park no less in 1958. Ah civilization had reached our shores.


              I grew up in Napier in the 1950's. I can only remember one of the neighbours who had chickens at that time. They were fairly common for people who lived on rather bigger bits of land out in Greenmeadows, Taradale and Clive though.

              • Dennis Frank

                Maybe regional variations applied then, which we didn't know about. My childhood was in New Plymouth, then college in Wanganui, didn't arrive in Auckland till early '68. I didn't know about that one in Devonport. Students never went to such remote places – poor people still packed buses & trains then (cars were not an option for students).

              • cleangreen


                I had chickens in my Napier state house in 1957, as on Napier's main Emerson Street at 'Woolworths' they sold 'day old' chicks every august, – that we would fatten them up for Xmas dinner.

                • patricia bremner

                  Yes cleangreen, my Dad had chickens, Rhode Island Reds and Black Orpingtons. In 1951 Mum used to buy 24 day old chicks, twice a year from her cousin who had a hatchery. They used to come by train from Hamilton to Te Kuiiti. The worst part of the trip was the 26 miles of rough metal road to Benneydale in Dad's T Ford!! The good old days,

              • mikesh

                I had relatives in Napier in the fifties, and spent many a school holiday there. They had chooks. This was in Thackeray Street.

          • Gabby

            That'll save our forests bleepy.

            • WeTheBleeple

              We don't all live in the bush (I wish). Management varies and varied solutions are useful.

              NZ originally had vast numbers of birds that browsed at various trophic levels of the forest. Now Moa are extinct, and the people trying to make things 'like they were' – what time-point was ideal? Can we bring the Moa back with genetics labs, PR and capital?

              Obviously, we want functional ecology. Conservation is a lofty but confused goal. Whereever invasives can be turned to human use their control becomes a lot easier (but eradication nigh on impossible).

              No more pesticides, no excuses. The impending loss of insects will cost us everything. It is as urgent an issue as climate change.

              Auckland council use(d?) early season rust fungi (from Tradescantia) to spray on Tradescantia and reduce its rampancy (to varying extent) in the region. A new bio-control is obviously welcome it's efficacy remains to be seen.

              Animals perform a number of ecosystem functions and when these are understood and managed correctly, they might (gladly) do a lot of work for you while creating animal products e.g. weeding, tilling, fertilising, insect control, turn unpalatable materials to palatable materials.

              Our Farmers understand the pulses of seasons, and how this ties in with production. As their ecological understanding grows (some are exemplars in their field) biodiversity will become synonymous with production where many more seasonal pulses can be used to obtain yields. Slowly, balance might be restored as trees (and all they bring) repopulate the landscape.

              In urban areas, we can create habitat for bugs. And of course stop using insecticides.

              If you have chickens and Tradescantia/Oxalis, well, you know what to do.

          • Visubversa

            Guinea Pigs like it as well.

  2. mac1 3


    I'm not going to recommend this piece by Jane Bowron to read except if you are interested to find how many mixed metaphors can be jumbled together to say very little in a column. Here's an example.

    "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern dropped the controversial policy like a hot spud and pledged that while she's at the helm that dog will never hunt again.

    Result. Peters' fan base is deliriously happy that he's finally manned up to show who calls the shots; Simon Bridges has lost any bit of skin he has left in the game; and St Jacinda looks like a cynical politician unable to stick to her guns and exact core Labour Party policy."

    The writer, Jane Bowron, takes four opening paragraphs to start even before the topic of the headline is introduced. It's fluff, an opinion piece written to fill a space. I wonderd when reading it if she's actually spoofing bad writing. She succeeded if that was her aim.

    • Gareth Wilson 3.1

      "If we can hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominos will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate."

    • nzsage 3.2

      Agree, terrible article wish I'd never read it…but I did and it raised a question in my mind

      Did the MSM ever see any negatives in the 'popularity" of Teflon John? Not that I recall.

  3. RedLogix 4

    An interesting interview with Helen Clark.

    There’s a lot of talk about reform and leadership at the United Nations’ podium and a lot of working against it in the UN corridors. And it’s not simply sabotage – member states have always guarded against the system being hijacked by others. What will it take for the UN to change, given that its very structure cements a status quo as a means of ensuring neutrality? To discuss this, Oksana is joined by Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand and former administrator of the UN Development Program. This interview took place at the Horasis Global Meeting in Cascais, Portugal.


    • Dennis Frank 4.1

      It has always seemed to me that examining the words of Helen Clark to discern signs of intelligence is a waste of time. But I've got an open mind. If you found any evidence of such, I'd consider the potential merit of it…

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Let's put it this way, HC's views, whether you regard them as intellectual or not, are informed by an accumulated experience several orders of magnitude greater than all of us regulars here put together cheeky

        Edit: If you really thirst for intellectual, can I recommend this guy?


        • Dennis Frank

          Indeed. One cannot deny the extent of her operational experience. It's the learning therefrom that is in question. I'm curious to see if she has any helpful analysis of the problem, but not enough to overcome the distaste based on prior experience of her (non-)contributions. If she actually produced a solution to the problem there's a very real danger of folks dropping dead from astonishment…

          • Sacha

            “prior experience of [his/]her (non-)contributions”

            People do look at all of us for that.

          • Peter

            They've as much chance of making any sense of her after they've dropped dead, not because of her limitations but because of their own.

        • Ad

          That is quite some site.

        • Dennis Frank

          Nifty presentation, which I managed to endure due to exercise of willpower to overcome dislike of maths. Incorporating physics into the design was clever, and lack of real-world application acknowledged, but it ended with a teaser: the pi-implied circle, invisible in the presentation, would only be revealed to viewers who choose to watch the next thrilling installment of maths-by-graphic. Not me.

          • RedLogix

            Engineering math was my stumbling block too; I could follow it as long as I could map it onto something physical. But the point where it became totally abstract I struggled. Fourier transforms yes, Laplace transforms no.

            3Blue1Brown does a brilliant job of breaking this barrier down with visuals and modern interpretations that I only wish was around 40 years earlier cool.

            Mathematicians are the princes of the modern world, and despite my limitations I always wished to be fully admitted to their ranks. Ah well we all have our failed dreams.

            • Dennis Frank

              I take your point despite never viewing mathematicians with respect. I always discounted them due to their propensity for abstractions being even worse than that of physicists (hard to believe). But I ought to acknowledge that maths is used to validate and empower physics, and certainly forms the basis of computing. I wonder if our service provider (LPrent) will volunteer a personal take on this interface between imaginal and real.

              • RedLogix

                A mathematician is having problems with a leaky sink, so he calls a plumber. The plumber comes over and quickly fixes the sink. The professor is happy until he gets the bill. He tells the plumber, "This is outrageous! You charge more for an hour than I make in a whole day!"
                The plumber tells him, "You know, we are always looking for more plumbers. You could become a plumber and triple your salary. Just make sure you say you only made it to 6th grade, they don't like educated people."

                The professor takes him up on the offer and becomes a plumber. His salary triples and he doesn't have to work nearly as hard. But after a few years, a law gets passed that all licensed plumbers must have at least an 8th grade education…Not wanting to admit he lied on his application, he signs up for night classes.

                On the first day of night School they all attend math class. The teacher wants to gauge the class so he asks the former mathematician, "What is the formula for the area of a circle?"

                He walks up to the board and realizes he has forgotten the formula. So he begins to attempt to derive the formula, filling the board with complicated mathematics. He ends up figuring out it is negative pi times radius squared, but he knows that's incorrect, so he starts over, but again he comes up with the same equation.

                After staring at the board for a minute he hears one of the plumbers in the class behind him whisper, "Switch the limits on the integral, dummy!"

                PS. I cribbed this from some forum ages back 🙂

              • Poission

                Mathematics is a part of physics. Physics is an experimental science, a part of natural science. Mathematics is the part of physics where experiments are cheap.

                Vladimir Arnold.

      • Anne 4.1.2

        Good grief Dennis Frank, you obviously never knew Helen Clark. She is extremely intelligent – way ahead of the vast majority of people. However what she did try to do with varying success was to speak publicly in a manner those of average intelligence would better understand. It was not a case of dropping to their level, but rather to get her points across. I fear you mistook her intentions to be that of a person of average intelligence.

        • cleangreen

          Anne I agree with your take on Helen Clark as she was the real true caring PM we ever had since Michael Joseph Savage..

        • Shadrach

          I met Helen Clark on many occasions, and I'm with you. I didn't share her politics, but there was no doubting her sharp intellect. There was a certain derangement about her from some on the right, which we saw again with the lefts attitude towards John Key, but IMHO Clark was amongst the most competent of PM's this county has seen.

          • Dennis Frank

            But having it and using it are two different things, eh? I tend to judge on the basis of performance – don't you? Why not take a look at the interview RL posted and report back here if she proposes a solution to the UN problem that seems viable?

            I know you ain't no leftist, so that puts you in a credible position to evaluate her performance objectively. If she merely circles around the problem, discussing dimension of it without advancing the situation one iota, I trust you'll be honest enough to report that back to us too.

            • Shadrach

              Hi Dennis. My comments were specifically about her time as PM. I also have no time for the UN. IMHO it is a largely corrupt and essentially useless organisation that has lost it's way entirely. So no sorry, I won't be listening to the interview.

          • Stuart Munro.

            Very different things.

            Key was not an honest man. Most people are annoyed by liars.

            • Shadrach

              There it is … KDS in evidence again.

              • Stuart Munro.

                Despite your heroic efforts to peddle this false equivalence, Clark was not given to outrageous manifestations of dishonesty like Key's "I don't recall".

                Clark burnt herself on efforts like the anti-smacking bill, Key destroyed his reputation by insider trading and self serving actions like constraining the brightline to two years so his own investments would make the cut.

                Like Trump he was and is a self-serving piece of shite with no business pretending to act for a democratic polity. Morally crippled rightwingers look on him with envy rather than contempt, but this defeats their arguments with the Left before they even begin.

                • Shadrach

                  You have one of the worst cases of KDS I have seen. In fact I’d say it’s incurable. I’d argue the toss, but you’re beyond rational debate.

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    Look I understand you have this deep abiding need to lie your worthless ass off to defend the thoroughly unsavoury reputation of the worst PM NZ has ever seen, but my objections to this lying self-serving ineffectual ambulant cesspool of corruption are entirely rational.

                    So don't be accusing me of KDS – that's not a thing – unless it applies to scoundrels like yourself, for whom, judging by your comments, lying and stealing are public virtues.

                    He’s not dead yet – the convention on eulogies does not apply.

                    • Shadrach

                      Yep, you've got it bad.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      The only thing I've got bad is a troll who won't stop apologizing for the worthless son of a bitch.

                      Come up with some facts to dispute my characterization Shadrach – if you've got anything better to offer than your usual ersatz wildebeests.

              • Gabby

                Liars make me MAD shatrack.

          • Anne

            Despite claims to the contrary, she was a woman of substance and integrity, but one possible fault (which I tend to share with her), she did not suffer fools gladly. And woe betide anyone who played silly buggers with her. Very early on in her parliamentary career, I decided to play the devil's advocate at a meeting. No prizes for guessing who came off second best by a long shot. 🙁

            I've often hoped to meet her again one day and ask her if she remembered that incident.

            • RedLogix

              “And woe betide anyone who played silly buggers with her”

              At the risk of blowing my cover totally I can retell this tale about HC.

              In 2001 I was working with a good friend in the Beehive on a technical contract relating to the building power system. The only time we were allowed to do full black start testing was after midnight on a Sunday evening. Most of the work was located in the basement, but we also had reason to access the '10th floor' where much of the HVAC equipment is located. The only way to get there is by lift to the 9th floor and then stairs up.

              My mate is a madman I should add.

              So there we are sometime late at night, the lift doors open on the foyer of the 9th floor and there is HC striding with he back to us, paperwork under one arm, from one office to another and as we step out my friend bursts into his best Muldoon imitation (which is very damn good) and says "Heh, heh, heh …. so that's the little girlie that got the job".

              HC freezes to a halt, pauses ominously just long enough for my bowels to turn to water, swivels malevolently on her heels and imperiously announces "Fucking uppity tradesmen. Use the back entrance!" And with a wicked grin vanishes into her office.

              • Dennis Frank

                What a cool story! devil Your friend sounds like a rare breed. McPhail's version of Muldoon was okay, but he couldn't ever seem to reproduce the genuine menace element of the Muldoon style. You know, the bit that always had his cabinet cowering like underdogs.

                And who would have thought she actually had a sense of humour! All them smiley interviews didn't hint at it. Just showed her as well-trained.

                To give her credit for street cred, her pulling the academic put-down of the working class in your story was convincing. Spinning on a dime to deliver that line demonstrates true expertise. Gutsy giving the fingers to politically correct supporters while exhibiting classic intelligentsia elitism. Only two observers, nobody would ever believe them, so she could reveal her true self in that moment. That's real authenticity!

                • Anne

                  Helen and a great sense of humour Dennis. But for some reason she rarely showed it in public. I can only assume someone advised her to stick with the serious persona – perhaps because as a woman any show of humour would lead to ridicule of her further down the track. Just guessing mind you.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    I would have liked her more if she had, Anne. And ridicule damages only if you let it – an adept operator can usually turn it to advantage. Lange was exemplary in that respect and I valued him for being a refreshing new style of kiwi politician. Too bad he proved inept in the exercise of power.

                    Now the new leader of Ukraine is reminding us how potent humour can be in politics. The sooner we get that element back into our political mix, the better. Mind you, the necessity is considerably more dire in the USA…

            • Shadrach

              Hi Anne. Apart form the times I met her, there was one event that enhanced my view of Helen Clark enormously. It was an interview she gave in 2002 with John Campbell (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dET78Z5b5s). It was a dirty piece of journalism by Campbell, and Clark handled herself with considerable professionalism. I have never rated Campbell since, and never will.

      • Gabby 4.1.3

        That's down to your examining skills franko, more praxis needed.

    • francesca 4.2



  4. Ad 5

    With a little chill down my neck, I agree with John Roughan (!) that the Prime Minister is wasting her massive political capital by not using it, and delivering a timid government:


    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      Yeah, likewise. "If last Wednesday she had announced a capital gains tax limited to investment property, excluding farms, business, shares, all productive investment, it would have been greeted with relief."

      That's hitting the nail on the head. He goes on to make the point that this group of professional investors are largely responsible for making homes unaffordable to young kiwi home-buyers. So hitting the guilty would be popular.

      Yes, but. Excessive immigration produced by National and Labour govts is even more responsible for creating the real-estate bubble. Maintenance of that trend by the coalition has merely stabilised the bubble. Collapsing the bubble to provide equity for young kiwi families is deemed too hard by the coalition: they are being held to ransome by older generations playing the market. Investors win again.

      • Sacha 5.1.1

        Inflows of capital are the problem, not of people. And no govt will fix housing being treated as an investment asset class without tackling the economic settings that enable it.

        • Dennis Frank

          Fair point. I spent so many years in Ak watching immigrant Chinese inflate the bubble I'm probably biased. Just because I profited from their input enough to get wealthy doesn't mean I stopped feeling disgusted by the trend. Empathy with those made into losers by govt policy seems to come naturally, then there's the deliberate repudiation of intergenerational equity on top of that, so unprincipled as to fill me with intense contempt for whichever govt is currently doing it. Currently, a govt I've been supporting… indecision

          • Sacha

            The visible Chinese buyers were just fronting the capital flows from China, same as the Americans, Australians and Brits were doing.

          • Gabby

            Contempt for the people who made you rich franko? You're a peach aren't you.

            • Dennis Frank

              You really believe the govt did it?? What part of market forces don't you get?

              • Sacha

                Govts regulate markets.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Or not. Depends how neoliberal they want to be seen as. Most of the expert analysis on the gfc, since the gfc, asserts that the regulations implemented were intended to create public impressions – not to change the way the market operates. Sham regulation has been a thing since Clinton.

    • bwaghorn 5.2

      I guess its possible shes saving it to spend on far more pressing things like cc .

      • Pat 5.2.1

        if her interview yesterday is any indication it wont be used on that either

      • Ad 5.2.2

        I remember saying similar about John Key.

        As well as dealing with the stuff of government like drought, Christchurch rebuild, Kaikoura rebuild, Pike River, and Wellington earthquake, he also had a crack at changing the flag.

        So far under this government:

        – Poverty is the same

        – Wealth disparity is the same

        – Homelessness is the same

        – Environmental damage is the same

        – Tax levels are the same

        It's about time Ardern did something more ethan emote well.

        • Sacha

          Key “dealing with” Pike River? pffft

        • greywarshark

          There have been small changes though Ad.

          But in the main your points cannot be denied. And Robertson has a vision I think of following in Douglas', Cullen's footsteps – Sir Grant Robertson awarded to him for holding off the simple citizens of Nz massing to attack the citadel of wealth and power.

        • gsays

          I have a hunch your paygrade is beyond this: the incremental raising of minimum wage to living wage is lifting the income of some wage slaves.

          • Ad

            Any evidence for this?

            Union for example?

            You're coming down with a case of the IRekons

            • gsays

              Just my experience.

              Last two performances reviews (roughly annually), I have gone up $1 an hour at each.

              The first one, the poor manager said "because the minimum wage is going up, your wage is going up".

              Silly bugger didn't try and say it was linked to performance.

              To be fair I am in hospitality, so not far away from the minimum wage.

              Nice baiting though Ad.

              I struggle to point to anything else I would shout from the rooftops about this regime.

        • cleangreen

          I have been disabled for 27 years and always been left without “quality support and having a valued life in the community,” as Tish rightly suggests.

          It seems that we disabled are considered not worth saving or caring about any more over the last thirty years.

          I was severely chemically expose in 1992 and have suffered from brain injuries, nervous system damage, and immune system dysfunction ever since. It is now far harder to stay alive.

          These injuries all occurred after exposure at my workplace and since after a seven year Workers Compensation claim no-one has ever been blamed, so I have fallen right through the social safety net.

          The most insulting part was when I reached the retirement age (65) my disability payment funding support was cut out and I was thrown straight onto the lower payment system on the general pension, so now I cannot get good disability treatments because no funding is available for them on the pension for the disabled.

          • ankerawshark

            Cleangreen, I am so sorry about all you have experienced.

            I don't know what to say other than apologise to you.

            Life must be incredibly tough for you.

            • cleangreen

              Thanks ankerawshark.

              Yes, it is tough but my time in the NZ army taught me to keep on fighting to stay alive.

    • Observer Tokoroa 5.3

      I am very sorry about the Chill down the back of your neck. So strange how you trolls blame Jacinda for everything.

      So childish. Probably because you suck off the Herald rubbish.

      • Ad 5.3.1

        Point to their results.

        • marty mars

          You're sounding like the chairman now – you're a member of the party aren't you? If so you don't know the results your party have achieved? They've just done a year in office haven't they?



          • Ad

            Two context-absent, graph-absent, analysis-absent propaganda lists. Awesome.

            None of their policies have been shown to alleviate the previous government's issues of poverty, homelessness, environmental damage, economic productivity, or wealth disparity.

            Don't worry if they existed, the Salvation Army would have picked them up.

            Time this government was held to account from all sides.

            Ardern and Robertson are coasting.

            • marty mars

              lol What did they say when you emailed them your concerns?

            • Psycho Milt

              When you look through those propaganda lists, keep in mind that none of those things would have happened without a change of government.

              The question is, why do all their policy efforts look like they're hamstrung by a bunch of provincial conservatives and corrupt influence-peddlers? Well, we do know the answer to that question, don't we? If you want a left-wing agenda implemented, vote for left-wing parties, not right-wing ones or corrupt populists. A left-wing agenda necessitates a left-wing majority and right now there isn't one.

          • The Chairman

            You're sounding like the chairman now

            That's right, Marty. He has a valid point.

            In fact, some things have exacerbated.

            And the future isn't looking much better.

            Here (the following below) is how Max Rashbrooke sums it up:

            In short, today's announcement is likely to load pressure onto the debate about public debt, and push the government into a pretty sub- optimal position. We can also now understand the intensity of the opposition to a capital gains tax, or indeed any tax increase. Opposition parties now no longer need fight every single one of the government's plans – because to the extent that those plans rely on revenue that a capital gains tax would have raised, they have all just been shut down in one go.


            • Craig H

              In theory at least, any tax changes from the TWG were tax neutral, so I don't understand how a CGT could have funded more stuff than current settings.

              • The Chairman

                Only tax neutral for the first five years. Then the tax revenue projections start to vastly outweigh the proposed tax cuts.

                • Craig H

                  That's a long way into the future for a government – even if they got 9 years, they would barely see the start of that by the time it was implemented.

                  Carbon taxes and other options seem like a better bet.

                  • The Chairman

                    Government accounting methods are largely based on forecasting. Thus, the added revenue stream from a CGT would improve the economic outlook, meaning the Government would be able to increase the capital and operating allowances in the next Budget.

                  • The Chairman

                    Carbon taxes don't address tax free capital gains, thus the unfairness in our tax system.

                    Moreover, I would require far more detail to agree carbon taxes and other options are a better bet.

  5. CHCoff 6

    Regards the terrible bombing massacre in Sri Lanka, the 'will to power' indeed often seeks to disposses innocence in one way or another, as i saw recently intimated in a relatively rarified clarity of reason headline relating to English perspective lately; but as we recently demonstrated we also know here in NZ, and of which there is no better day than Easter Sunday as symbolism of, the 'will to power' is also an instrument to the creation of innocence, depending on choice in how it is used.

    • greywarshark 7.1

      I think information is helpful for discussion Pat.

      Creative destruction: Will technology create or kill jobs? 22 Apr, 2019 5:00am

      New Zealanders are being asked to share their views on whether technological changes will cost jobs or create them as the Government looks to formulate a policy on the future of work. The Productivity Commission has published an issues paper which explores the possible impacts of new technology on the labour market. It has been tasked with producing a full report by March 2020.

      "While technological change brings significant overall benefits, it also creates frictions and costs for particular groups in society," the issues paper notes.

      "Sustained economic growth requires innovation, and innovation cannot be decoupled from creative destruction. "This 'replacement of the old' involves the devaluation of prior investments in machinery and skills, leaving the owners of older equipment and workers who used it worse off. For some, these costs can be severe."

      However on the positive side the paper acknowledges significant job creation due to new technology.

      For example, since 1999, the number of jobs classified as 'Computer systems design and related services' has increased from 8700 to 32,600, it notes.

      Bare facts background here. Who are doing these jobs – have NZs had every chance to train and move into them. And why have jobs not expanded in the trades in a parallel way? Isn't this a very unbalanced society, full of dreams, visions for the future, and limited connection with their own vulnerable humanity and even less of that of others?

      • Pat 7.1.1

        yes GWS…I would have copied and pasted some of the relevant information but with the changes i havnt yet worked out how to….however my point is why is this work being redone?..didnt Labour have a Future of Work working party only a couple of years ago?…do they think our attention spans are so short?…when are they going to come to some conclussions and make decisions?….this is getting a little absurd

  6. cleangreen 8

    "Climate change is our generation's nuclear moment."

    What are they doing about it?

    • Sacha 8.1

      Wringing their hands. And young people are sick of it.

      • cleangreen 8.1.1

        +++++++++++++++++Yes Sasha
        Labour’s Climate Change policies = all talk no do.

        • Ad

          You mean the Green/Labor/NZFirst Government policies.

          Plenty of talk from all of them so far.

    • francesca 8.2

      I think its up to us Cleangreen

      Boycott overseas travel, stop consuming in the extreme way we do , be happy doing it

      • alwyn 8.2.1

        Any way that you can persuade James Shaw to follow your prescription? He seems to think the only reason he is in Government is to give him an opportunity to skive off overseas while ignoring the complete shambles that is the Census.

    • Incognito 8.3

      Frantically mouth rinsing, to get rid of the halitosis, although it doesn’t smell like uranium this time …

  7. cleangreen 9

    Labour needs to do what they promised to do.

    • fix our health system.
    • Help the disabled.
    • Herodotus 9.1

      "Mr Twyford's defence is that promises made by Jacinda Ardern as Labour leader are completely different from promises made by Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister."


      Hopefully our Govt. will be able to keep a few important commitments to those in real need – other than keeping those precious Uni Students happy 🤫

      • Muttonbird 9.1.1

        other than keeping those precious Uni Students happy

        This is a false meme from the right wing. The fees free policy encourages all tertiary education both academic and vocational. It encourages young people into post secondary training who were most likely to forego that training due to cost other class barriers.

        • Herodotus

          "This is a false meme from the right wing" really !!! tell that to those students at ECE/Primary/Secondary that are in need of assistance, that there is inadequate funding. Try asking about students/parents regarding RTL or dyslexia, support for those with learning needs, Leaky school buildings that there is no funding to remediate, inadequate remuneration, etc That thanks to shortfalls will struggle to be able to benefit from tertiary education funding and extra funding for accomodation.

          I would suggest, Muttonbird, try talking to teachers and find out how in need the sector is.

  8. Molly 10

    Up late last night watching how-to renovation videos on Youtube, and came across this new series by Grand Designs – The Street.

    How did Grand Designs: The Street come about?

    'I went to The Netherlands on a trip with a bunch of leaders of local councils and politicians in 2010 to look at a large self-build town there, Almere, built on reclaimed land near Amsterdam. The Dutch have always stolen a march on us in terms of housing initiatives. Now, Almere is full of self-built homes, but nine years ago it was already advancing, and I got so excited I had to go and see Channel 4, simply to say ‘it’s amazing what’s happening there, let’s film it’. It was a sort of self-build heaven.

    Meanwhile, a small local authority at Bicester, Cherwell District Council, had also been bitten by the Almere bug. In fact, they wanted to replicate Almere and facilitate Britain's first self-build and custom-build site on a grand scale. They were negotiating with the MOD to buy an old military site as they wanted to see what it would be like if they invited the general public to build their own homes. It’s this experiment that we’ve been following for the last 5 years. In the process, we’ve witnessed the first 10 pioneering households build a street of very different homes. But it’s just the start. Ultimately there will be thousands of homes, some social housing, some custom-build as well as self-build. I believe it’s a model that could be copied by local authorities up and down the land.'

    A better solution – I think – then selling off crown or local government land to developers to provide housing. Another not mentioned benefit is that you end up with a long-term community, made up of a variety of people from all walks of life, instead of what we have now in many areas – segregation by economics.

    First episode currently on Youtube:

    Grand Designs – The Street – Episode 1

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Just letting you know Molly that i have copied and put in How to get here as this sounds interesting and may show us the way.

  9. francesca 11

    Pretty interesting


    A long read but a good one.

    Her thesis is that Syria was a differently formatted WW, and the constellations have shifted post US defeat(or failure to gain a victory…regime change)

  10. Dennis Frank 12

    Counting in the Ukrainian presidential election is indicating a rout: comedian Volodymyr Zelensky is currently at 73%, incumbent Poroshenko is at less than 25%.


    One can imagine the eyes of comedians all over the world lighting up as the possibilities of this trend occur to them… laugh

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      Life imitates art: "Zelensky starred in the long-running satirical drama Servant of the People in which his character accidentally becomes Ukraine's president."

      "He plays a teacher who is elected after his expletive-laden rant about corruption goes viral on social media. He ran under a political party with the same name as his show."


      • francesca 12.1.1

        He talks of ending the war in the east with a massive infowar program, and also intends to re start the Minsk process.

        Apparently the various embassies are scrambling, they don't know what to make of him .How much he's under Kolomoisky's thumb no one knows.

        Pretty hard to avoid the influence of oligarchs in Ukraine.

        • Dennis Frank

          The traditional path to political success in democracies is to be all things to all people. He could signal that he will be that traditionalist by continually recycling the name of his show/party, for instance by ending all his speeches with "your servant, Volodymyr".

          Equally, he ought to sign off on his emails to his patron, the oligarch, "your servant, Volodymyr". When he issues a polite request to the Ukrainian media, same sign-off. That way everyone ends up on the same page and all can acknowledge that he is indeed a classic democratic politician.

          Humour is the best strategy when conducting foreign relations, as the ongoing UN dysfunction continues to prove. So his relations with Russia will improve immensely as soon as he suggests to Putin that they team up in the Vlad & Volod Show, a weekly current affairs review which will feature laughter as the best medicine.

          Putin needs to loosen up more, and presenting as more human than Russians knew he could be would be a clever move for him. Entertaining the populace of both countries simultaneously would be tremendously therapeutic. Even more vodka could get sold.

    • alwyn 12.2

      Are all the people who are convinced that Trump only made it to the Presidency going to start in on the story that Zelensky only got the votes reported here because the Russians rigged the result?

      Clearly it must all be due to Putin's machinations. smiley

      • Dennis Frank 12.2.1

        Collusion? Depends on the angle you view it from, eh? View it from the left, you may be able to discern puppet strings…

        "Zelensky, whose only previous political role was playing the president in a TV show, trounced incumbent Petro Poroshenko by taking 73 percent of the vote, according to partial official results. Poroshenko garnered just 24 percent, losing to the 41-year-old comedian and actor across the country, with 42 percent of ballots counted."


        "Exit polls showed Zelensky took 87 percent of the vote in eastern Ukraine and defeated Poroshenko even in the west, where the incumbent traditionally enjoyed strong support. Poroshenko, 53, said the results were clear and enough reason to "call my opponent and congratulate him". "I will leave office but I want to firmly stress — I will not quit politics," Poroshenko said in a speech at his campaign headquarters… "We realise that the Kremlin might be enjoying the election result," he said."

        "The outgoing leader came to power after a 2014 pro-Western uprising ousted a Kremlin-backed regime, triggering Moscow's annexation of Crimea. His supporters credited him with rebuilding the army and securing an Orthodox Church independent of Russia. But many feel the country's ruling elite have forgotten the promises of the revolution."

        "The comic shunned traditional campaign rallies and instead performed comedy gigs and used social media to appeal to voters." Way to go, dude! Don't bore voters to death at those old robotic rallies, entertain them instead. Politics as fun! Enchant those voters!

    • millsy 12.3

      The Ukranians got sick and tired of the clowns running their country so they put in a real clown instead.

      • greywarshark 12.3.1

        My idea of European clowns is often they are politically savvy. Also they understand people's norms and how to tickle their humour, so understands people. This man could do a very good job compared to someone who has just sold himself for a whim or campaign money and is taking on a task above his level of competence. USA!

    • gsays. 12.4

      Te radar for Governor General.

      Ursula Carlson for the Attorney General.

      • greywarshark 12.4.1

        Hadn't heard Urzila Carlson. She exaggerates how sweet we are in NZ! Acshually a bit like PM Jacinda.

  11. Muttonbird 13

    Britain. How do they produce such filth?


    The rise of the extreme right in Britain makes me think it's a once great nation on a steep decline.

    • joe90 13.1

      Hopkins is living proof that racism and hate can take years off people’s lives.

      • marty mars 13.1.1

        Ugly person

      • greywarshark 13.1.2

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katie_Hopkins#Personal_life – Katie Hopkins bounces off walls from one job to another. There is money to be made in the UK from being foul apparently – and our forebears came here with such high-flown notions in their head. Every advancement for the people had to be fought long and hard for – now they come here to gobble up what we managed to create.

        We know that London in the UK has fatbergs in its sewers, is Katie Hopkins something that got washed up onto the street after one of the blockages that can be about 3.5m high? They require daily work as they emerge under the city. Or perhaps noxious gases have affected her memory – our noses are very sensitive and closely situated to the brain. There must be some explanation for the poor quality journalism and the media's acceptance of this attacking, harrowing method of soapboxing, but without the soap.

        Perhaps it is that she has some big health issues – borderline healthy – and she takes it out on her unfortunate prey.

    • The Al1en 13.2

      Britain. How do they produce such filth?

      Probably the same way this country makes a whaleoil, a Henry or a Hoskins.

    • joe90 13.3

      Of course D'Felon has to get in on the fuckwittery.

  12. Muttonbird 14

    Further signs the Nats are being dragged to the left (Labour also being dragged to the right for other reasons).

    After NZ's most racist man, Don Brash, banned Nat MPs from standing in Maori seats, Jo Hayes considers 'going home'.


    Winston Peters again in the gun and I’d have to agree that this government is being held back by him and his party.

    When you have the entire country ready for some sort of CGT and Nat MPs wanting to return to Maori seats yet Peters is the fly in the ointment you have to wonder what kind of damage he is now doing to the country.

    The sooner he fucks off the better.

  13. Muttonbird 15


    Who here would party vote National if they campaigned for CGT on rental properties?

    Given that Labour are now unable to do so…I would.

    • Craig H 15.1

      Not a chance, the rest of the damage is too high.

      Besides which, the difference between paying income tax at ones marginal rate based on a bright line test of 10 years, and a CGT at 15% is basically nil. (I’m aware the current test is 5 years, but am leaving some room to extend)

    • Stuart Munro. 15.2

      Not me – the TWG showed the biggest capital freeloaders were Ag,Forestry, & Fishing. The Gnats cannot in any case be trusted to do what they promise – Key campaigned on fixing housing – he fixed it so kiwis couldn't buy it anymore.

      If the Gnats rolled out a fully costed set of economic policies that actually addressed declining outcomes, productivity and sustainability, which is well beyond them – they still could not be trusted to implement them.

  14. greywarshark 16

    A man of 89 in Auckland falls because of a large gap in the pavement and dies. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12224015

    A chapter of accidents. He had some hospital care and was sent home in a taxi although his parnter would have picked him up. He didn't arrive home. Then she phoned the hospital but they had nothing to tell her, and not knowing where he was she phoned the police. Some time after the hospital advised that he had been admitted after a fall, and she could come and get him after treatment. Then she found he had a gash across his forehead and was in intensive care.

    The taxi should be instructed to take a patient to his or her home not drop them off at the shops. The instructions from the hospital should be quite clear. Better still phone the family.

    The supershitty is too busy being grand to listen to the wants of ratepayers and the holes round ornamental trees should have been filled in as they say has been requested for a long time. When you think of the constant conniptions by Health and Safety on small business and private people, the authorities are playing us for suckers, local and national government.

  15. Pat 17

    "But hey hold on, the Statistics Department concludes: “Inflation was low in the March 2019 quarter because of falls in the prices of petrol and international airfares.” Right. So, apparently, the people struggling to pay for their smokes at the supermarket can take comfort from the fact that the price of getting to the Amalfi Coast for their winter holidays just got cheaper. So, maybe we’re not measuring the price fluctuations in any basket of goods that’s relevant to most New Zealanders. By the way, the cost of non–tradeable goods and services rose by 3% in the past year. So much for inflation being low to non-existent. In the real world, prices are going up."


    Ah…theres that convenient CPI in operation again

  16. bwaghorn 18

    How the fuck have i become waghorni.

    That bloody cursor is still in the name bit ever time i go to comment

    • Incognito 18.1

      No sure, I think that’s why one of your comments ended up in moderation, briefly.

      • bwaghorn 18.1.1

        Cheers . Im having problems with being unable to right comments some times due to the cursor being in the name section and not being able to get ot to shift to the comment box .

        • Incognito

          I’m afraid I won’t be of much help to you, but hopefully somebody else might shed some light upon this.

          I assume you use a mobile phone.

          I never use a mobile phone and always type on a keyboard and in Word first. Thanks to this, many a stupid comment of mine got deleted before it even made it into the TS comment box …

          It also avoids the strain on eyes, neck, and fingers using a device that’s euphemistically called a smart-phone wink

        • greywarshark

          That happens to me on the computer where I select all in the name box, cut and paste it into where I want it to be. Then put my name back in the right place. Then I haven't lost the bits of comment that have got into the name box while I have merrily been typing away. I admire you people who are doing it all from a phone. Marvels.

    • marty mars 18.2

      Maybe a hyphen is the way to go,
      like wag-horni
      bit suspect but probably true 🤔

  17. marty mars 19

    Hint for jackson – stfu

    The iwi owners of Shelly Bay argue Sir Peter Jackson has long lost the right to have any say over what happens at the Wellington site…

    … But to Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust (PNBST) trustee Neville Baker, the whole argument missed one crucial point – the land in question belonged to iwi and it was up to them to do with it what they wanted.

    Taranaki Whānui – of which PNBST is part of – settled its Treaty of Waitangi case with the Crown in 2009 and, almost to the day of settlement, used money it got to buy the Shelly Bay land.

    Baker said the land was bought because it was historically used by iwi and "we felt we should buy it back".

    Baker, on Monday, said Jackson then gave up his rights to influence what happened there.

    "The point really is, we have the right to develop what we own and it is no-one else's decision."


    • mauī 19.1

      I agree Jackson should but out. It's just sad that the Trust appears wedded to capitalism and has partnered with Cassel's "The Wellington Company"… kind of ironic.

    • greywarshark 19.2

      It's a shame that Jackson and Maori cannot come to a mutually satisfactory conclusion. Opportunities for suitable Maori to have apprenticeships with him. People need to see him as having something to offer instead of going all sour because he didn't play their game.

      No-one else in NZ could have done the job with LOR and we now have another string to our bow, big film making and model making. With so many people willing to spit on entrepreneurs it isn't surprising that we languish in a jobless low wage environment – you don't kick a possible employer in the teeth because you want more money, you keep talking and thinking. He is here, and could be worked with to build up an apprenticeship, get some ongoing advantages.

      They don't come often – cunning minds work at how to get opportunities, not march in the streets complaining. But the leaders of the march might as well have said 'Let them eat grass' – nothing could have been the outcome.

  18. joe90 20

    But but… the Nazis are in Ukraine.


    MOSCOW — Jewish officials say an arson fire was set at the largest yeshiva in Russia as the faithful were gathered there for a Passover meal.

    No one was reported injured in the Friday fire at the Torat Chaim school in an eastern Moscow suburb.

    Olga Esaulova, a spokeswoman for Moscow's chief rabbi, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying the fire was set in a storage area for kosher meat and that swastikas were drawn at the yeshiva's entrance.


  19. marty mars 22

    RIP Blair Peach. Not forgotten.

    Born in Napier and educated at Wellington's Victoria University, Peach was a Kiwi teacher killed by a British policemen during an anti-fascist protest in 1979. April 23 marks the 40th anniversary of his death. He was just 33 years old.



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