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Open mike 22/10/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 22nd, 2019 - 38 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 …

38 comments on “Open mike 22/10/2019”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Looking at the leaked documents regarding light rail in Auckland in today's online Stuff – https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/116758191/aucklands-light-rail-under-queen-st-and-over-mt-eden-the-super-funds-tunneling-or-flying-tram – it seems to me we now need to exercise some caution in how we react.

    This is clearly a planned leak designed to a) make the project look flaky and b) do maximum political damage to the coalition government, and in my opinion it probably originates from someone on the board fired by Twyford.

    It is clear the leaker is in lockstep with the National party, who have leapt on this to engage in their now usual culture war bashing of PT.

    Labour has been blindsided, for which they deserve be condemned for breathtaking political idiocy. They – especially Tyford, does he not employ poltical advisors? – should have seen this coming, especially given how much the minister has been at war with the National party toadies who he recently cleared out at the NZTA. The blame must fall squarely on Twyford, who has been exposed for a second time as a bungling incompetent both operationally and – arguably worse – for his political management of two key, flagship policies for Labour. The only solution now is for Jacinda to publicly fire Twyford, dismiss the SuperFund bid, and direct AT to get on with their project with an aim to get some sort of political win with spades in the ground before next years election.

    One other thing is clear. Public transport has been elevated into a frontline culture war issue by National and it's ideological fanboys in the bureaucracy and online. Attack PT initiatives and you are attacking those smug environmentalists, urbanistas, immigrants, and hippies with their bikes and trains and their lectures about climate change. It is about rarking "everyday New Zealanders" in their dormitory suburbs who like their SUVs to hate their fellow country men and women for no other reason than a lust for power by an irresponsible and utterly unsuited for power Simon Bridges.

    Bridges went to Australia, saw how the Australian liberals used social media to spread hate and culture war to win and came back to NZ to clear out his team. He now has lots of money from China and 16 out of 20 staff doing social media and spinning bullsh*t, lies and division on issues like PT.

    The left – and Labour, who seem to have carried into government the utter incompetence of political messaging they displayed in opposition – need to start taking bridges use of hate and lies via social media seriously and start discussing not what he is saying, but what he is doing and the implications of such irresponsibility.

    • Ad 1.1

      Bridges is now climbing in as you would expect.

      It's worth stepping back a bit and recognising that public transport in New Zealand is in the best place it's been in 60 years.

      NZTA is the right place for the blame at this point, and Sir Brian has fronted that yesterday.

      Further upstream the main issue is Treasury and DPMC for failing to intercept the NZInfra bid before it went direct to the Minister.

      Either way it's now a Cabinet decision early next year, which is as it should be for a deal this size. No one is covering themselves in glory, but Cabinet will unite on it.

      In Twyford's defence, he's the Minister who has sought the strongest reforms from the two most entrenched and hardest policy areas: transport and housing. The PM acknowledged as much in the reshuffle.

      Also, unless it really drags out, light rail is still going faster than the CRL decision.

      With about $60 billion of work currently sucking New Zealand human resources (eg CRLL), either proposal is going to need an awful lot of overseas help. A small delay is good for capacity reasons.

      No one other than the chattering class is bothered by the delay. PT users are fine with it, those affected by CRL and other city construction are fine with it, the construction industry is fine with it. Maybe the Greens are a bit, but they're more banking on their Carbon bill for any tangible result this term.

      All they have to do is sign before the 2020 election and it's underway.

      Odds for that are very good.

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    So, Stuart Nash is making joining gangs unattractive, and on RNZ this morning he expressed the opinion that Gang members/Meth dealers of Wairoa should "get a job at the meat works, and make their kids proud of them".

    Like its 1975 again.

    Mr Nash appears to have a very selective memory, has he really forgoten the recent history of the Wairoa Meatworks?

    Three years on, will Wairoa AFFCO workers finally be paid?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/109167252/court-rules-locked-out-affco-workers-must-be-paid-lost-wages

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/affco-talleys-backs-down-over-leave-ban-helen-kellys-funeral

    and now?

    Affco Talley are seeking approval to bring in migrant workers to its Wairoa and Rangiuru plants, but Cooke said: "It's absurd to try to import workers into a community where there are 600 job seekers — especially following past practices of Affco including lockouts of vulnerable workers, and the lack of any training programme to get new local workers employed.

    "Given the high level of under-employed or unemployed in the Wairoa district, and the limited ability of a small and relatively poor community like Wairoa to absorb and support new migrants we think Affco is taking the mickey."

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12267181

    Landlords in parts of Kaiti and Wairoa are reaping the highest returns in New Zealand as new data shows renters across Gisborne are paying $51 a week more than they were last year.

    Rental statistics from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show mean rents in Gisborne are at record levels of $344 a week. That equates to an annual rental bill of $17,888 — $2652 more than renters paid last year.

    http://gisborneherald.co.nz/localnews/4036639-135/wairoa-and-kaiti-rental-returns-best

    As usual Labour has an amazing disconect…sure, make joining the gangs unatractive, though given the recent 30% rise in Hawkes Bay gang numbers thats a joke, BUT, more importantly…Why not make normal life, as a normal, functional member of society the attractive option?.

    My advice if you want to weaken the allure of gang life..Wages, job security, housing, community(night classes, Health services, education)..start there.

    • marty mars 2.1

      + 1 nice post mate

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.2

      Seriously excellent post AT…thanks for the history lesson.

      I laughed out loud when Nash described Wairoa a ' lovely city'.

    • Siobhan 2.3

      ….nice piece Adrian. Very succinct, excellent spelling for a change. 10/10wink

      Note to self…remember to log out of Adrian's account before posting on TS at work.

      • veutoviper 2.3.1

        LOL. Agree with your assessment of his your piece. As Rosemary McDonald said a seriously excellent post. Enough so to actually prompt me to comment as I rarely bother commenting here these days.

      • marty mars 2.3.2

        It did seem a bit too good to be true tbh and leopards and spots and all that – but nevertheless a good piece ta

      • OnceWasTim 2.3.3

        Well I seriously hope that most of the commenters here do their bit by boycotting Talleys products.

        "Every little bit helps" said the old lady as she spat into the ocean

        • Siobhan 2.3.3.1

          Indeed..that is very true, though avoiding Talleys products is easier said than done. And tbh the entire food industry from farm gate to plate is rife with exploitation. Hence the need for even more foreign workers. And the growth of gang culture and inequality and dangerous Drug use in 'thriving' horticultural areas like the Hawkes Bay.

          Maybe we should all take the time to contact places like RNZ when they uncritically allow Politicians to give their little speal without any context*..and directly confront politicians like Nash that they need to represent all levels of society*..not just the employers and industry…..

          Direct action is whats needed.

          * Adrian Thorntons approach. May he never change his spots.

          • OnceWasTim 2.3.3.1.1

            Have been doing those things for a few years.

            You might be interested in this little gem:

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/116767166/heinous-bottle-store-owner-fined-200000-for-exploiting-staff

            I am because the Labour Inspectorate spokesman seems to have suddenly had an epiphany.

            This is the man, whom shortly before the election, assured us on RNZ that there were a sufficient number of inspectors.

            This is the man, who given his senior position, should have been aware of the culture surrounding some of his colleagues – one of whom openly referred to some immigrants as "scum"

            This is also the man, who given his senior position, WAS aware of the degree of migrant exploitation, but, along with colleagues saw it as all a bit too hard to do anything about.

            And then this is the man who sat back and wondered why there was a reluctance to report exploitation, because when they did – they were fobbed off, and in some cases, ushered out of the country before you could say "boo".

            Instead of assuring us (his employer) that there were enough inspectors, and that we shouldn't worry our pretty little heads because 'thems know better', he should have been screaming blue murder, AND if necessary, blowing a very loud whistle. He actually did SFA. Maybe he had a big mortgage – who knows….

            Kudos to an underling worker-bee Labour Inspector Ya Rachael Tsui who probably should be running the place.

            While the Minister might have "complete faith in his officials", sure as shit I, and quite a few others can't – even if he comes across as a 'nice enough bloke' (going forward, in the ecosystem of immigrant-labour relations).

            In many ways, it epitomises all that's gone wrong in the public service.

      • lprent 2.3.4

        🙂

        I should have another look at that. But it is damn hard to prevent cookie caching.

        Ask any parent…

    • The Chairman 2.4

      My advice if you want to weaken the allure of gang life..Wages, job security, housing, community(night classes, Health services, education)..start there.

      Indeed, Adrian.

    • Tiger Mountain 2.5

      Well put Adrian Thornton. Talleys’ appalling record on safety particularly, and employment rights, and union busting, should see them slapped with all sorts of actions and restraints of trade. But they are experts at developing “company town” thinking, and sycophantic local and Parliamentary politicians.

      Talleys spend a lot on the regular cases taken against them by workers and Unions. They overwhelmingly lose, as TRP has outlined here previously, but they don’t care so deep are their pockets and anti Union attitude.

    • The Chairman 2.6

      Adrian, your advice largely taps into what's been suggested in the link I posted (below) re suicide at comment 6.

  3. joe90 3

    Postol tried to get his conspiracy theory published. Thanks, but no thanks.

    Gregory Koblentz, a biological and chemical weapons expert at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, says the paper’s aim was clear: “While on its surface, Postol’s article appeared to revolve around a narrow technical question about whether a rocket or a bomb created the crater in Khan Sheikhoun, the purpose of the article was in fact to challenge the impartiality and competence of the OPCW and JIM,” he says.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/10/prestigious-journal-pulls-paper-about-chemical-attack-syria-after-backlash

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/scientists-clash-over-paper-questions-syrian-government-s-role-sarin-attack

    • francesca 3.1

      Hmmm

      That reasoning is reminiscent of John Key's assertion that Mike Joy's findings were primarily anti dairying, thus dismissing the science.

      • Ngungukai 3.1.1

        Key unfortunately does not know much about History or Science ?

        He is a Financial Wizard.

      • francesca 3.1.2

        Carrying on from your quoted link Joe

        "In emails last month, Koblentz urged SGS not to publish the manuscript, saying it would be “misused to cover up the [Assad] regime’s crimes” and “permanently stain the reputation of your journal.” Initially, the journal’s three editors said they planned to go ahead with publication. Later, they decided to hold off, writing that they had identified a “number of issues with the peer-review and revision process” and would “examine whether the editors can rectify the problems that we identified.”

        The Editors have decided to return this manuscript to the authors without prejudice and not proceed further with considering it for publication.

        Science & Global Security

        The newly posted update makes clear that the decision not to publish the paper is final but does little to explain it. “The Editors have determined they cannot now rectify the problems that were identified, while others are outside of our control—including the manuscript, some comments from reviewers, and the authors’ responses now being in the public domain,” the statement says. “As a result, the Editors do not see a viable path to providing an independent, fair, effective, and conclusive blind peer review of this article by this journal.”

        very convenient

        So not so much the science I suspect , more the politics.

        Unless you are going to refer to the open source findings of that well known, rigorous science journal Bellingcat

        hah!

  4. joe90 4

    Brain spurs.

    President Donald Trump on Monday claimed he's receiving unfair scrutiny because of the "phony emoluments clause," as he defended his prior decision to host next year's G-7 summit at his Doral resort in Miami.

    […]

    “You people with this phony emoluments clause,” Trump said as he took questions from reporters during a Cabinet meeting.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/21/trump-emoluments-clause-053289

  5. Richardson not happy about comments made about him by Winston Peters ?

    Both him and Garner are RWNJ's ?

    Richardson needs to have a Cup of Concrete and Harden Up ?

  6. The Chairman 6

    The link below is a very insightful read re New Zealand's suicide problem and how to help address it.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/10/opinion-a-view-from-the-sharp-end-of-new-zealand-s-suicide-problem.html

  7. marty mars 7

    the tepid turd turnip – no need to pretend anymore

    Donald Trump made clear on Monday that those US forces remaining in eastern Syria would be there to protect the oil rather than the people.

    “So we have a small group there, and we secured the oil. Other than that, there’s no reason for it, in our opinion,” the president told reporters. “Where’s the agreement that said we have to say in the Middle East for the rest of humanity, for the rest of civilization to protect the Kurds? We never said that.”

    …The US defence secretary, Mark Esper, confirmed that the US was keeping troops “in north-east Syria that are located next to the oil fields”.

    “The troops in those towns are not in the present phase of withdrawal,” Esper told journalists during a visit to Saudi Arabia. “A purpose of those forces, working with the SDF [Kurd-led Syrian Democratic Forces] is to deny access to those oilfields by Isis and others who may benefit.”

    The admission that the troops the US was leaving behind would be there exclusively to guard the oil, rather than the Kurds and the several other minorities in the area, seemed likely to further inflame already widespread feelings of betrayal.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/21/residents-of-syrian-city-pelt-retreating-us-troops-with-potatoes

    • Sabine 7.1

      he never did pretend – it is just that some where really taken by that economic anxiety of the white working class man – that of course out weighted the economic anxiety of all other working class people, and thus people did no see nor hear the shit he said I mean really calling all Mexicans rapists and murderers is not racist, its humor really he was just doing a funny, and grabbing women by their pussy without consent is also not sexist and predatory, and of course he will just keep the oil, use the soldiers of shitfacelandia to guard 'his' oil – they knew what they were signing up to, and if Turkey does not pay up Turkey is gonna get attacked by the US, all this is just the shitface doing a funny, did you not know?

      He Did Never Pretend.



      • marty mars 7.1.1

        thanks for stating the obvious

        many times the pretense is that the oil is not the issue – the oil is the issue as WE ALL KNOW and now they just say it instead of saying other things like protecting the people or other lies

  8. Brexit –

    The DUP has threatened to unite with Labour to back a customs union this week as it warned it will unleash “guerilla warfare” to bring down Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

    In a move that could torpedo the Prime Minister’s strategy for delivering Brexit by Oct 31, senior DUP figures have threatened to back proposals which could prevent the UK from pursuing its own trade policy.

    Should MPs back an amendment for customs union this week, Mr Johnson could be forced to pull the legislation required to ensure the UK leaves the European Union on time.
    from Henry Yorke of the Telegraph

    Also on The Telegraph
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/brexit/

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-50132790
    PM aims to push Brexit bill through in three days

    The Guardian's seemingly thorough summary.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2019/oct/21/brexit-johnson-to-push-for-deal-as-labour-woos-rebel-tories-eu-extension-live-news

  9. Three x3 Mongol Gang cars were torched Sunday night in the Tauranga//Mt Maunganui Area in the Bay of Plenty.

    None of these cars had number plates on them ?

    What's going on here ?

    Evidently they are a ruthless American Gang who have set up branches here in NZ, no doubt to facilitate the drug trade from Central & South America ?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12278400

    • David Mac 9.1

      Yep, Est. USA 1969. Well established chapter in Oz, deportee is establishing a chapter in NZ.

      It would be good to see some initiatives to assist these deportees become assets to NZ rather than press on with the social and financial expense they're currently totting up. A solid straight path must be the best way to get back across the Tasman.

      What's a man covered in tattoos, that hasn't had a proper job in 10 years and accustomed to living on $200k pa income to do? Lining up some basic probationary requirements but essentially ignoring the situation is the very worst solution of all.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12275576

  10. Poission 10

    Here is the news redacted.

    • OnceWasTim 12.1

      Indeed. And as long as they are: Oh Dear! HOW VERY SAD!.

      I guess on the upside, laundry operations will have to be shifted to Christchurch or outsourced to the TAB. There'll be a few bottlenecks of course with one less high roller operation available

    • Ad 12.2

      Because the Sky City Convention Centre is the most critical piece of infrastructure to New Zealand being able to host APEC in 2021, we are likely to see a Cabinet response to this event.

      SKy City Convention Centre is uniquely designed for the degree of security that APEC will require, separating for example Putin from Xi from Trump and all their entourages.

      The fire will knock out their already much-delayed completion timetable to this APEC-critical infrastructure.

      Some unique art and installation items will have been irrevocably damaged.

      Until literally the smoke clears we will not be able to gauge how the APEC timetable milestones are affected.

      But it will have Prime Minister Ardern's full attention from a national preparedness perspective.

      • greywarshark 12.2.1

        Talk of a torch being left to start a fire as a possibility. I wonder whether the work force is a trained one, whether it is a trained one from NZ, trained in what is needed for this type of building work, or is a sketchily trained workforce from outside NZ?

        You get to reap what you sow.

        • Exkiwiforces 12.2.1.1

          At least I'm not the only thinking along those lines, who the bloody hell uses a blow torch on combustibles such plastics, rubber etc? Haven't they heard of a heat gun etc for plastic welding.

          It all sounds very dodgy to me either AUS/NZ Standards or NZTA Standards all whatever they are called these days are shit house or a ill trained worker not trained to AUS/NZ Standards from Overseas.

  11. joe90 13

    Projected Liberal minority government.


    https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/elections/federal/2019/results/

  12. ScottGN 14

    CBC is predicting a return to office for Liberal Party in Canada. Polls are still open in BC but Trudeau appears to have done enough in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario, particularly the 905 around Toronto where there are loads of seats.
    interestingly the Libs and the Tories are pretty even with about 37/38% of the vote each. FPTP however is delivering tight seats to the Liberals. Maybe the Tories should take up the cause of proportional representation in Canada?

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