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Open mike 22/03/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:31 am, March 22nd, 2014 - 182 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike 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 22/03/2014 ”

  1. (and when will this madness end..?..)



    (ed:..as a former long-term heroin addict..it horrifies me that people presenting with opiate-dependence issues..

    .are being given a life sentence to a drug that is more harmful/addictive on every level..

    ..a ‘cure’ that is worse than the original problem..

    ..my solution to this would be to substitute morphine-maintenance to/for those hooked on this hideous drug..methadone..

    …and horror of horrors..

    ..some people presenting with issues with ‘p’/speed..

    ..are also being given this life-sentence..

    ..these ‘liquid-handcuffs’..

    ..and it is beyond black-irony that this madness is justified by these ‘medical-professionals’..

    ..as ‘harm minimisation’..

    ..(try and get yr head around that one..eh..?..

    ..utter fucken madness..!..)

    • Once was Tim 1.1

      can’t disagree with anything you say PU!
      Can you remember when all that ‘harm minimisation/reduction’ bullshit came in (as opposed to the initial idea of putting people on the Nazi drug till ‘stable’, then gradual reduction of dose to nothing)???
      Can you imagine FFS….. there are now 60, even 70 somethings [if he’s still alive] who’ve been on the bloody stuff half their lives!
      …… and whilst being on it, treated like kids by power trippers justifying their existence.
      An alternative might be to return to better (and much more prolific) counselling services, Hanmers, Martons, etc; doing something about diversions; and putting efforts into reducing poverty in general so that various forms of escapism are less tempting. (Apparently only the wealthy are allowed to be happy and normal).
      Stop criminalising too ffs. EVERY time something has been criminalised – the result has been a far worse alternative – be it ‘homebake’, ‘P’, and now designer drugs and highs in various forms.
      No doubt, like me (watching my brother’s demise), have witnessed highly intelligent, functioning ‘units’ wasting away.

      /endrant (but rant with good reason)

      • phillip ure 1.1.1

        “..and whilst being on it, treated like kids by power trippers justifying their existence..”


        ..i didn’t touch on that..

        ..but the horrors/power-abuse around that ..

        ..kinda has me seeing red..

        ..and wanting to go and punch walls..

        ..(think of every ‘power-mad’ minor official you have met..

        ..then compound that…

        (and this..)

        “..At least four people have died within a year of being forcefully withdrawn from the CMP, the CDHB confirmed. .”

        these evil freaks are also killing the people they are meant to help..

        ..we spend millions re-aligning a road..’cos 3 people died on it in the last ten yrs..

        ..but dead-junkies..?

        ..ah..!..who gives a fuck..?


        ..only their families will care..

        ..no political mileage in that..


        • bad12

          Philip wants to make a correction for a piece of crap that He posted in yesterdays discussion here in ‘Open Mike’,

          Bowel Cancer is the biggest cancer killer in New Zealand Phillip???, wrong as usual, although you can claim to be an also ran with such a Wrong claim,

          Leading cause of cancer deaths in New Zealand,
          Lung 18.2%,
          Colorectal 15.3%,
          Breast 8.2%,
          Prostate 7.1%,
          Pancreas 4.1%

          Eating red meat ‘might’ be a cause of such cancers but ”there is no Evidence”

          Always happy to put you on the right track as far as the ”facts” go Phillip…

          • phillip ure

            yeah..right ho bad..

            ..red meat doesn’t cause cancer..

            (‘cos bad said so..)

            ..off ya go now..!


            ..go and play with yr ciggies/tobacco-plants..eh..?

            ..(and empty that fucken ashtray..eh..?..it’s overflowing with butts..)

            ..and make sure you have a bacon-buttie smothered in cheese while you are at it..

            ..i have absolutely no interest in having a link-war with you..

            ..my boredom threshold is far lower than that..

            • bad12

              No Phillip, you have no intention of having a ‘link war’ with me not because you boredom threshold is far lower than ‘that’,

              You have no intention of having a link war with me because it might disturb your ability to spread utter bullshit in these pages,

              As you can see by the link provided,”coz bad sez so” is also another tragic lie from you, i say so because the wikipedia which gives a very good over-view of Colorectal Cancers, with citing of various Science, ”says so”…

            • lurgee




              • cutting..!..there..lurgee..

                i reel back..

                ..mortally wounded..

                (btw..i haven’t seen/noticed your alias b4..

                ..have you ever said anything even mildly interesting in this forum..

                .care to link us to it.?.)

                • lurgee

                  I’ve been posting here, on and off, for ages. Certainly since the 2008 election, if not before. If you haven’t noticed, it says a lot for your self-absorption.

                  If you care to vet my posting history, there is a search facility. Point yourself in its direction, instead of expecting me to do it. What are you, some sort of Victorian factory owner, to be waited on hand and foot by grovelling peons?

            • Chooky

              nitrates in sausages cause cancer …where is your Philip Ure Vegan Sausage?….I have been looking out for it in the supermarkets…..

          • marty mars

            New Zealand has one of the highest incidences of bowel cancer in the world.
            Each year about 3000 people are diagnosed with the disease and more than 1200 will die as a result.


            Bowel Cancer is New Zealand’s cancer. Instead of leading the world in terms of the numbers of people affected by bowel cancer and deaths from bowel cancer, we need to lead the world in terms of finding solutions to this disease and improving outcomes for patients.


            So Bowel Cancer may not be the biggest cancer killer in nz but our affliction rates are amongst the highest in the world.

            • Belladonna

              We also have the highest rate of rheumatoid arthritis in the world, in fact our health statistics are a worry. Fish seems to be the new meat in this country – it is very high in mercury and should not be eaten too often. People seem to think it is a step up from meat but as fish have many nerve endings in their mouths it is a very cruel practice, plus the mercury could well affect the mental health of those who eat it, the hatters in Victorian England who dealt with mercury in their work ended up often going mad!
              There are quite a few research papers out now confirming that meat does cause cancer and heart disease. Fairly sure I read one recently put out by the British Medical Journal.
              Watch Forks Over Knives, available either from your library or online. This film has convinced many to go vegan.

              • McFlock

                pretty much everything causes cancer and/or heart disease.

                But there are a lot of things ahead in the queue of things to kill us than meat, when eaten (like everything else) in moderation.

                • like what..?..flock..?

                  • Belladonna

                    It is humans who cause unspeakable suffering to animals. I just dont get why empathetic and compassionate humans, especially lefties who are supposedly more empathetic and compassionate than your average rightie, can completely switch off when it comes to animals.

                    • McFlock

                      Personally, I’d be against eating meat if I thought they could tell us what they did on their holidays. Hence whales and gorillas would be doubtful, ethics-wise.

                      But I think a lot of folks simply anthropomorphise human feelings onto meatbots.

                    • just a bit of a ‘joke’ for you..eh flock..?

                      ..your ignorances are as fucken deep as they are wide..

                    • McFlock

                      It’s quite a good example of what I’d regard as a plausible sentience test: communication, memory, abstract thoughts, sense of “self”, sense of others.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘But I think a lot of folks simply anthropomorphise human feelings onto meatbots.’

                      McFlock, animals feel pain and sadness, this is an offensive statement.
                      One of the less fortunate legacies of the enlightenment was the devaluing of animals, which ultimately ushered in factory farming. This ugly spirit was embodied by Nicolas Malebranche, one of the nastier devotees of Descartes’ rationalism, which viewed animals as machines:
                      ‘They eat without pleasure, cry without pain, grow without knowing it; they desire nothing, fear nothing, know nothing.’
                      To illustrate the point, Malebranche reportedly kicked a dog by way of illustration (quoted in Saul Frampton’s book about Montaigne, a genuinely enlightened thinker of 16th century France, entitled Montaigne and Being In Touch With Life: When I Am Playing With My Cat, How Do I Know She Is Not Playing With Me?).

                    • McFlock

                      Well, we’re animals.

                      But cows and chickens displaying anything approaching a persistent state of sentience much more sophisticated than stimulus:response? I’d want evidence for that.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      There is evidence, McFlock, but it doesn’t suit your outdated and mechanistic prejudices so it seems you will simply refuse to acknowledge its existence. And I am talking of chickens, dogs, birds, and cows, not intellectually arrogant and cut-off human animals.
                      It’s too late to go trawling for evidence – there are loads of studies – but this review in 2010 in the Guardian might at least update your 16th century notion of animals as machines. In various studies, animals have been shown to display a sense of fairness, an ability to recognise human beauty, a moral awareness, and can feel pessimistic.

                    • The Al1en

                      Flippant, but relevant

                      Doesn’t look like lions give a damn about the feelings of antelope, wildebeest and zebra.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, up until that article, you hadn’t actually presented any evidence.

                      What I’m talking about is actual sentience, not physiology. Chickens rating faces that we find “attractive” is seeing whether they have the same physiological biases as us (maybe they associate those factors with food because pretty humans are more likely to nab the research assistant jobs, which involve feeding the animals? Who knows). Measuring baboon “grief” via stress hormones doesn’t actually mean the baboon is aware of why its body is stressed.

                      I’m pretty safe saying elephants are sentient, evidence being complex communication (beyond “I’m Horny!” and “Mine! Go away!” and “Danger!”), learning (not training), and the big one for me was watching film of an elephant calf stranded in a mud pool – the other elephants coordinated making a mud ramp (i.e. individuals went to different sides, some worked on the top and others pushed the calf up, without running around to check what was going on). The nabbed abstract thought, communication, sense of self, and so on.

                      Personally, I think sentience is a continuum – oysters at one end, higher mammals and maybe the possibility of a smart giant squid at the other. Most of the animals we eat would never have existed without us breeding them to eat. Most of them have at most a dim awareness, maybe, of existing from one moment to the next. We shouldn’t torture them, or kick them just for the hell of it. But to cry when one sees a cattle truck is displaying a whole range of intellect that, frankly, I don’t think cows can manage. I’ve met and lived with a whole bunch of farm animals. The brightest of them were not quite as smart as someone enthralled by prime-time network sitcoms.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘The brightest of them [animals] were not quite as smart as someone enthralled by prime-time network sitcoms.’

                      The human animal is the most murderous, destructive, polluting creature ever to inhabit this earth. And this is what you call smart.

                    • McFlock

                      The human animal is the most murderous, destructive, polluting creature ever to inhabit this earth. And this is what you call smart

                      So your concern foranimals masks your contempt for people.
                      Because yes, we are all of that. We are also so much more: creative, caring, curious, capable of rational heroism as well as instinctive reactions, we can build so much and (hopefully) we can walk so far. We aren’t “smart” because of our shortcomings, we’re smart because of what each of us might one day be capable of. I’ve heard stories of a cow jumping over the moon, but only a human has walked on the face of it.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Name a species that tortures and butchers its own kind en masse, and destroys its own habitat, or don’t assert manipulative and glib statements.
                      It’s rather ironic you accuse me of contempt when the reason I took issue with you was the contempt shown for Belladonna and her concern for defensiveness creatures.
                      The lovely qualities you ascribe to us are exemplified by those like Belladonna who feel things, and question why the world isn’t a different place.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Edit: That above is meant to read ‘defenceless creatures’.

                    • McFlock

                      Name a species that tortures and butchers its own kind en masse, and destroys its own habitat, or don’t assert manipulative and glib statements.

                      Well, that was concisely self-contradictory.
                      You do realise that a large number of species, lions for example, will kill any young of the same species that are not their own?

                      It’s rather ironic you accuse me of contempt when the reason I took issue with you was the contempt shown for Belladonna and her concern for defensiveness creatures.

                      Defenseless creatures that she would rather not exist, and upon which she purported some extremely doubtful characteristics.

                      The lovely qualities you ascribe to us are exemplified by those like Belladonna who feel things, and question why the world isn’t a different place.

                      And the regrettable human traits that you listed are frequently committed by people who choose only to project their own opinions, beliefs and feelings onto what they choose to see in the world around them, rather than recognising it for what it is.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      I said ‘en masse’ for a reason, McFlock. And, also, the torture and habitat destruction? Read some of the many examples given today on Mickey’s Dotcom distraction post if you are ignorant of the pertinent history.

                      ‘And the regrettable human traits that you listed are frequently committed by people who choose only to project their own opinions, beliefs and feelings onto what they choose to see in the world around them, rather than recognising it for what it is.’

                      Like most of your arguments, this is disingenuous and facile while sounding good on the surface.
                      It is the suppression of feeling that causes most of our problems. For instance, how would a WINZ minion inflict misery on their fellow citizens if they empathised with them?
                      It is no coincidence that the very people who deride the role of emotion in decision-making don’t have any time for animal rights arguments.

                    • McFlock

                      “En masse”?
                      Chimps are vicious buggers to their own, but you’d be hard pressed to find a species as populous as humans (therefore genocide is a bit difficult). Locusts are pretty good habitat destroyers, though. In fact most animals are – they expand to the level of resources (usually food), and then either migrate or population collapse.

                      It is the suppression of feeling that causes most of our problems. For instance, how would a WINZ minion inflict misery on their fellow citizens if they empathised with them?
                      It is no coincidence that the very people who deride the role of emotion in decision-making don’t have any time for animal rights arguments.

                      They say “a solution, to their problem as I see it, is obvious to me, therefore they are lazy or grifting”.
                      I’m not deriding emotion in decision-making, I’m deriding the assumption that everyone and everything is like us.

                      Emotion is good, with reason. Reason is good, with emotion. Either alone is insufficient: reason without emotion is sociopathic, emotion without reason is stupid.

                  • McFlock

                    air pollution
                    too much exercise
                    too little exercise
                    accidental injury
                    intentional injury
                    too much sun
                    too little vitamin D
                    too many bananas or brazil nuts

                    the list goes on…

                    • Belladonna

                      Agree with your list but meat and dairy still should be at the top of your list.

                    • McFlock

                      Bold claim.
                      At a guess, overeating (anything, including potato chips) should be at the top of the list, at least in developed nations.

                    • Chooky

                      ….too many vaccinations?…too many doctor’s visits?….too much smoking?….to much alcohol?….too much living?….too much fun?

                    • McFlock

                      too much measles, pertussis, etc as well

                • bad12

                  Lolz, Mac, Nooooo, please dont get me started,pleeease…

              • miravox

                “We also have the highest rate of rheumatoid arthritis in the world”

                I’m pretty sure the NZ RA rate is on par with most predominately (Northern) European populations. The highest rates are in some North American indigenous populations.

                If our reported rate is high, compared with other predominately European populations I’d consider looking whether fudging diagnoses of an unspecified inflammatory arthritis as rheumatoid to meet the pharmac criteria for more effective drugs is an issue as well as looking other health triggers (e.g. infection and environmental triggers).

                • Belladonna

                  Miravox, I saw a graph fairly recently that showed New Zealand at the the top for RA.
                  Diet plays a huge part. Many have recovered completely from RA by following a vegan diet. D

                  • miravox

                    I know where you’re coming from Belladonna, I’ve looked around a bit of the stats too, but yeah…nah – it’s not that simple, from what I understand.

            • swordfish

              “So Bowel Cancer may not be the biggest cancer killer in nz but our affliction rates are amongst the highest in the world.”

              One way to seriously cut the number of NZers dying of bowel / colorectal cancer is to ensure that GPs are up to speed on current guidelines. Bowel Cancer has one of the highest survival rates (out of all cancers) when caught early / and one of the highest mortality rates when caught late.

              There are 5 stages – from 0 to 4. Stage 0 = abnormal cells that haven’t evolved into cancer but are about to. Survival rate = almost 100%. Stage 4 = spread to distant parts of body. Survival rate = almost 0%. What seems to be happening quite often is that GPs are unaware of Stage 0 (which of course is precisely when oncologists and surgeons want to catch it). So GPs do the standard digital examination and if they can’t find a tumour then tell the patient that they haven’t got bowel / colorectal cancer. Which, in turn, gives the patient a false sense of security – they assume that their symptoms (dramatically changed bowel habits over an extended period) must simply be something to do with “growing old”. And so they’re virtually guaranteed to develop to a more serious – often fatal – stage.

              My mother went down to her GP 4 years ago, believing she may have bowel cancer. The above happened, her symptoms got worse, but she’d been assured by her GP that she didn’t have cancer (she’d clearly been at Stage 0). Finally, she goes down again in December 2013 and, of course, is finally diagnosed with rectal cancer – has to have a major operation, complete with colostomy and is still not entirely sure if she’s Stage 2 or Stage 3. Survival chances better than 50/50 but if the GP had done their job – would have been almost 100%.

              My parents have since heard that a number of middle aged and older people in their suburb have recently died of bowel cancer. Prob had same group of GPs.

              GP guidelines are that patients should be sent for a scan if they’re over 50 and have experienced significantly altered bowel habits for more than 8 weeks, regardless of whether or not GP can feel any lump / tumour.

              And I have to say – Wellington is far more poorly served when it comes to the number of specialist surgeons and the quality and financing of hospital treatment and related services than Auckland or Chch. But then we’re just the Capital City so what the fuck do we matter ?

              • bad12

                Tony Ryalls Health rationing, the first step is to deny there is a problem, this may get a bit explosive for Mr Ryall next month,

                Part of me thinks He might already know this and such is the real reason for His announcement of retirement…

        • Once was Tim

          Well PU, it’s become a ‘broad spectrum drench’ using a programme that’s fundamentally flawed.

          Firstly …. putting people with ‘P’ addictions on Methadone FFS!!!!
          Secondly …. what that ‘harm reduction’ reasoning means is that it’s easier to have long long long term “clients” that you can control and treat like kids, as opposed to cycling a greater number of addicts through a system (ensuring of course they receive adequate counselling and monitoring for a while).
          [Far easier to have little morning meetings discussing meaningless bullshit over a fewer number of “clients” than it is to have to administer the cycling through of a greater number. It’s actually a cushy little number for those involved].

          I’ve kept my distance for a very very long time – even as my brother went through it, for obvious reasons, but even then as a family member, one can’t help but be affected in some way or other – whether it’s being left to raise children; financial assistance to inevitable legal costs; emotional effects, paying for dental repairs, etc., etc., etc.

          BUT, Having now had so many older people now on that evil programme for such a long time, it’s going to be difficult to change. Perhaps the ‘harm reduction’ long term thing is at least now only appropriate for the 40,50,60-somethings because often it’s too late.
          Certainly though ‘P’ freaks that present, and those in say their 20’s and 30’s with opiate addictions shouldn’t have to have be faced with a life sentence.
          Utimately there are some in the medical/counselling professions that should be bloody ashamed of themselves – and of course politicians for under-funding and repeatedly taking piss-poor advice.

          Incidentally, a friend of mine, whose brother/friends also went thru’ it all (I think actually a past acquaintance of yours as well) were trying to count up the number of ‘units’ that have bitten the dust the other day. We lost count.

    • bad12 1.2

      The ”Life Sentence” Phillip was self prescribed by the users of both ‘P’ and needle jamming Heroin users like yourself around the 3rd time such users ”Chose” to use such drugs,

      You, and only You slapped those handcuffs on yourself and that was a long time in your case and any other Heroin/P users case befor they got anywhere near the Methadone which is the States remedy as a ‘maintenance dose’ to the addiction,

      Your laughable demand for Morphine over Methadone only tells me that deep in your psyche you still crave that Heroin like nothing else on this Earth,

      You might see such a demand as ‘reasonable’, but, that ‘reasonableness is just your Junkies mind demanding the Heroin you crave, obviously because Methadone just doesn’t ”do it” for your addicted little tortured soul,

      Screaming for Morphine over Methadone is in reality a scream for more Heroin to keep the addiction raging, and, by the way, Methadone didn’t kill those other junkies, years of drug abuse done them in and Methadone was just the final straw for their abused bodies and minds, all self inflicted i might add,

      indulge in enough Morphine Phillip and that will literally stop you breathing,



      • Once was Tim 1.2.1

        Btw… the only problem I have with PU at times is a kind of dogmatic, preaching approach that just serves to get everyone’s back up – like the stereotypical reformed smoker.
        I’m not sure what the answer is, but it sure as hell isn’t the current methadone programme (at least for ‘P’ freaks and the younger opiate addicted). Even Australia has a far more sensible approach to it all – who’d have thunk!

        • bad12

          Once was Tim, there’s a question to be asked here, ”does the methadone program stop ‘P’ and Heroin users using the drugs”???,

          Sure we have a ‘cheap fix’ without those using the Methadone program also going through a Hamner Springs type rigorous counselling program,

          The ‘bean counters’ have obviously come to the conclusion that if the ‘Done program’ removes the need for addicts to access street drugs like Heroin and ‘P’ then the financial cost of the addiction is also removed along with the crime that comes with that financial cost of the addiction,

          In bean counter land it aint about ‘salvation’ of the addicts, we aint short of people, its all about managing the problem in terms of criminal harm such addictions cause,

          Becoming addicted is oh so easy, i have boxes of prescribed pain killers here which during the first week of their use definitely got me ‘out of it’, to have kept up that ‘out of it feeling’ would have required me to keep upping the dose as the ‘buzz’ wore off after a week,

          Knowing what addiction is, i have gone the other way and stopped using them unless i cause myself an acute bout of pain,

          If i chose the other route, to chase the ‘buzz’ sooner or later these painkillers would have been of no use to me for the purpose they were prescribed and i would be back at the doctors demanding stronger for longer pain medication,

          Its easy to become addicted, from Tea to Heroin, the easiest thing in the world…

          • Once was Tim

            In answer to the ”does the methadone program stop ‘P’ and Heroin users using the drugs”???, – not from what I’ve witnessed but then I work on a policy of not hanging round the barber’s shop because one is liable to get their hair clipped.
            It is as you suggest – a bean counter approach.
            It’s also at times a bit of a ‘holier than thou’ approach’ by many involved in the various professions involved in its administration, and often by policy decisions made..
            If it wasn’t so sad, I’d be amused. Often the attitude by them is that they’re somehow ‘better’ than the stereotypical dirty filthy addict when in fact I know of certain Trauma Specialists, children of Science Advisors, Police officers; Counsellors themselves and many others who are in no position to hold that attitude .
            Some have had the benefit of wealthy parents able to pay for private counselling services, others simply got bored and grew out of it all (probably those that don’t necessarily have a certain personality type), others just switched to so-called ‘respectable’ addictions – like the TAB or became at least borderline pissheads.
            In my brother’s case, it all started by being introduced to heroin whilst a border at Christ’s College – I’ve come across certain ‘professionals’ that don’t like to be reminded of that – Eh What!

            For me, the safest policy is not to hang around the barber shop.

          • greywarbler

            You mention Hamner Springs – was it regarded as a help centre that worked for addicts?
            It seemed to have a good name and the direftor was well thought of. What was your opinion? And should it be replicated as a major means of changing addicts lives?

            • Murray Olsen

              I knew plenty of addicts/users that went through Hanmer Springs and other places and didn’t seem to be helped by the experience. I don’t personally know any who were “cured” by the experience. I knew a small number who stopped after stints at Odyssey House, although they all (3) went on to make careers in the addiction treatment industry, so I don’t think they were ever really cured. Given that addiction is one of the most difficult things to treat, a success rate that may be laughable in other areas of medicine may well be laudable. The other thing is that I am only speaking from experience and have no idea how well that would generalise.

              With many addicts, their addiction is perceived as the most significant thing that ever happens in their lives. Even if and when they do stop, they never seem to stop talking about it, which makes me wonder about their ability to do much else. Some of us manage to hardly give it a second thought, and go on with other things, at which we can be very successful. For obvious reasons, the first category are noticed far more.

              • greywarbler

                The talking about it by ‘cured’ addicts. It certainly is a powerful change in their lives, a winning leap like a high jumping athlete. Something thatt hey would remember for the rest of their life, though not talk about.

                But wouldn’t talking about it echo that old joke about the person who wants to show off their war wound or their operation scar. It’s the most dramatic thing that has happened to them, they have been at the edge of losing themselves, their lives and survived. They just haven’t got round to getting a tshirt that blazons
                `I survived methadone/ my aneurysm,/rheumatoid arthritis/ bi-polar attacks/grand mal/gout’ etc.

                And there is that thing about one problem masking another. It may be preferable to concentrate on the drug thing rather than other troubling things from the past that want to thrust their unwelcome presence into the mind. Our minds are definitely delicate things, and to cope with life’s impacts on us, who knows what defences we will build.

                And … excellent jousting. Did you smell some bacon cooking! That was a riposte and a half.

                • Murray Olsen

                  I saw getting over addiction as giving myself an opportunity to do other things, and I’ve concentrated on them. I never saw it as a great achievement in and of itself, but it has allowed me to do the odd thing that, if I were not so modest, I would give myself a little pat on the back for.

                  Others approach things differently, and good on them I suppose. It doesn’t mean that they can deny my experience, nor I theirs. If I were a believer in one unique truth, I’d be religious, or, if I were insane as well, I’d join ACT.

    • Murray Olsen 1.3

      Methadone treatment had its place, and probably still does. Most of the problems with it came from not prescribing enough and forcing withdrawals when people weren’t ready. I have no idea why it would be prescribed for people using amphetamines, and have never seen any hard evidence that this happens. I don’t expect that you’ll be able to provide any, because you never do.

      • phillip ure 1.3.1

        ah..!..fuck off olsen..

        ..can’t be bothered dragging you from square one..

        • Murray Olsen

          Yep, about what I expected. You can’t even handle the non-existent withdrawals from cannabis without displays of unprovoked aggression. Did you smell some bacon cooking or something?

  2. jepenseque 2

    Morning all. The one “left wing” possible policy that really excites me as a game hanger for the country is a UBI. On this site most people promote it as an equity policy, which it is. But it has a number of elements that would be very appealing to conservative voters also. It would reduce cost and complexity in govt. Half of ird and most of winz could be reassigned to do something more useful. We could significantly drop abatement/effective marginal taxation rates on work, encouraging more participation. We could simplify the tax system to maybe one or a max of two rates. My question is that why is labour not picking this up? Cheers

    • cricklewood 2.1

      The reduction in bureaucracy is a big selling point for me. I have an inherent dislike for systems that take money out of one pocket and then put it back in the other. It seems a ridiculous waste of resource to me.
      If you have a ubi for every citizen working for families can go, no need for a baby bonus scheme etc.
      I would imagine that if you had a decent tax free threshold as well and then reset the tax levels in such a way that people say earning around $100000 end up with about the same amount of money after tax as they have now and those above slightly less due to a higher tax rate at the top.
      It takes so much complexity out of the system and would make a massive difference to those at the lower end.

      • phillip ure 2.1.1


        ..+ 1..to pretty much every word..

      • Skinny 2.1.2

        The entire tax system needs a major rework, once L/G/ and others get in power soon we can crunch the numbers etc to make radical change. CGT is a good start as is the rich coughing up to pay their share.

    • Chooky 2.2

      +100…me too

      …UBI is simple…everyone can understand it…it is equitable….it gives everyone dignity and respect….and everyone feels part of a caring society ….essential for a healthy participatory democracy

  3. felix 3

    So now it’s official. John Key considers the National Party to be a charity.

    For the last 6 years the Nats have been spreading a rumour about Key donating his salary to “charity”, and a lot of people seem to believe it.

    And now I believe it too.

  4. joe90 4

    Starts at 7′ 00″ – former Problem Gambling Foundation head John Stanfield puts the boot in.

    …patron saint of money launderers and loan sharks..

    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/aft/aft-20140321-1610-the_panel_with_susan_hornsby-geluk_and_nevil_gibson_part_1-048.mp3" /]

    • David H 4.1

      HAHAHA the best description of Dunne I have heard for a long time.

      “30 years of Sucking on the public teat In Parliament”

      But in Plain English
      A Bought and Paid for Man. Stands on the principles of the highest bidder.

      • Bearded Git 4.1.1

        Stanfield on Dunne: “The patron saint of money launderers and loan sharks and never so much as a squeak against his mates in the liquor, tobacco or gambling barons (sic)….”

        This decision (Problem Gambling Foundation being dumped) could be the end of Dunne if used against him in his Ohariu electorate.

        Gotta be a vote loser for the Nats too. (Nats 45.5% Lab Green 45.5% in latest Roy Morgan)

        • Chooky

          there has to be a concerted effort of get rid of Dunne …he is a despicable hypocrite and toady

  5. Can we do politics better?

    Better voter turnout? Better party participation? Better candidates? Better MPs? Better parties? Better political behaviour? Are these all linked?

    The political arena needs to have robust debate, it needs to have keenly contested ideas and ideals, policies and personalities.

    But we have a problem. Our politics often seems dominated by deception and lies, attacks and smears, attempts to destroy opponents and governments. And domination of the dirty dishonest dark arts of politics results in widespread disappointment and disillusionment, and that’s what we have.

    Record numbers of people don’t vote. A number of MPs are frustrated and annoyed at the poor standards of behaviour in Parliament and in the wider political sphere. It’s difficult to attract women into politics, and advance them in politics, and keep them in politics, because of male dominated poor behaviour.

    Some MPs, some party employees and some journalists seem dominate with agendas, diversions, attacks, with a sordid and sensationalist approach. Unfortunately their loud voices and over the top actions get a disproportionate amount of attention. The same applies to political forums in social media.

    Can we do better? If enough people want better and don’t remain passive, pissed off and turned off, yes.

    There will always be politicians and activists who think that anyone who disagrees with their aims and ideals is an enemy who should be dealt to and if possible destroyed. It’s ingrained in their nature, as if they are intoxicated by a quest for power. In a way similar to drunken thugs who think it proves their strength and dominance, or think it’s fun to smash people.

    To diminish the dominance of dirty politics it needs to be confronted. And better alternatives need to be established.

    Most MPs are decent people wanting to do better for New Zealand. They have different ideas on how to make things better but they want things to be better.

    They need to be held to account if they make mistakes or do things they shouldn’t.

    They also need the help and support of decent people who want better from our politicians and our Parliament.

    I decided to become involved in politics because I wanted better politics. I’ve become involved in many things, I’ve gained useful experience. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve made friends. It seems that I’ve enemies. That’s inevitable in politics.

    I now want to focus most on my original goal, doing politics and doing democracy better. I believe we can and we should. To succeed it needs a number of people with a common aim. There’s many people who wish for better out there. We need to stand up more, speak up more, act more positively.

    I’m prepared to reach out to people with similar aims and work together. Some will see it as a threat to their petty, pissy and destructive way of doing things. So be it.

    We can do politics better if enough of us want to, and if we make it happen.

    • twitter..twitter..titter..twitter..(handkerchief-wring..)



    • cricklewood 5.2

      I noticed Pete had been testing the waters.
      I guess the tl:dr missive on fairness was inevitable…

    • andy (the other one) 5.3

      Shorter Version as tl;dr

      ‘Why can’t everyone be like meeeeee!1!!!1!!, only I can save you all from yourselves, look at meeeeeeeee!!!1!!, I, I’ve, I, I’m, meeeeeeeeee!!!11!!

      PG the self appointed arbiter of political discourse. Yes Pete, politics would be sooo much better if we could all be as beige as you and have permanent fence marks on our butts.

      Go back to factchecking (cough, cough).

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3.1

        Shouldn’t that be “PG;dr”?

      • phillip ure 5.3.2

        “..PG the self appointed arbiter of political discourse. Yes Pete, politics would be sooo much better if we could all be as beige as you and have permanent fence marks on our butts.

        Go back to factchecking (cough, cough)…”

        (heh heh..!..)

    • karol 5.4

      PG, you make a good argument for the need for more open and democratic political debate.

      Given that the original Politico-checker NZ site call for volunteers stated that the editor position required someone with a strong research background, what are your credentials for the position/

      This goes to the heart of my scepticism about you in the role. I have a research background, and have mixed a lot with researchers and read many peer reviewed publications. I have yet to see any evidence that you have a strong research background.

      • Pete George 5.4.1

        The editor role is wide ranging. There is a research co-ordinator who will manager the research team, if you’re interested in contributing or know anyone who might be then contact Kirk, details here. It requires more than just academic research skills, it’s obviously highly political. The more input we can get from across the spectrum the better, that will give us overall balance. the more participation the better it will work.

        • phillip ure

          care to tell us how many of yr ‘left’ volunteers have fled..

          ..since the announcement of you as their boss..?

        • karol

          Well the details you link to, PG, indicate you have a background in research. Good research is n=done in unis and in other organisations doing research.

          i do not see how you can fulfil the stated editorial role – as final gatekeeper of “truth ratings” and what is “true and accurate”.

          I remain skeptical. I have seen nothing in your way of arguing that shows you have a significant understanding of, or capability with, rigorous research and related analysis.

          I do hope the others doing work for the site. The deputy editor looks to have more relevant experience and paper qualifications.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.5


    • Ergo Robertina 5.6

      We could do ‘politics better’ if we rejuvenated the parliament by introducing parliamentary democracy where politicians were not almost always bound to boring party lines (remember when marriage equality passed, and there was genuine engagement rather than silly point scoring). We’d end up in a more honest place, in terms of where the parties really sit on the political spectrum.
      This would create more interesting discussion and comment.
      A well resourced, accountable, interesting, representative parliament.
      Direct democracy is not the answer.
      Nicky Hager (who rarely comments on party politics) touched on the malaise in his 2012 Bruce Jesson address:

      ‘The politician Peter Dunne, for instance, is a hard-line free market politician from the 1980s, a moral conservative and a friend of the alcohol, tobacco and gambling industries. He is called “centrist”. The New Zealand Labour Party maintained most of the 1980s free-market policies when it was in government twenty years later but was called “centre left” — making it hard for the party to understand why it’s policies are contradictory and what it needs to do to realign with its consistuency. The “centre-right” National Party is also a very confused place. Its free-market policies sit uncomfortably with its traditional conservative policies, and its big-business friendly policies clash badly with its small-to-medium sized business constituency. The label “centre right” doesn’t help understanding or progress on these issues at all.’

      • Draco T Bastard 5.6.1

        Direct democracy is not the answer.

        Yes it is. As long as we have representatives making the decisions then parties and all the negatives you point to will still exist. With participatory democracy we will get real engagement and discussion because the discussion will no longer be limited to what the caucus thinks.

    • Great, another pathos dripping fake and insincere post (just like the last time you did it) – learn some new tricks.

    • lurgee 5.8

      How come you’re getting advance copies of Cunliffe’s speeches?

    • North 5.9

      Hahaha……..Petey George – the quintessential mealy mouthed, country vicar affected, while risibly disingenuous MP wannabee, aspirant to the guzzling trough.

      Telling us that we should be ‘nice’ and draw a line under the patent foulness of Smile & Wave & Invoice and its hubris, entitlement and destructiveness to democracy. Get off the grass Petey !

      But thank you anyway for the preview of your nightly fantasised maiden speech.

      “I have a dream……..(of being a celebrated, august, ‘someody’) “.

    • The Lone Haranguer 5.10

      Peter, I agree than most (all maybe) who become MPs want to make the country a better place, and that the “better place” is per their own definition.

      One MP (who you guys would never actually have voted for) said that most MPs work very well together in the committees and all genuinely listened to each other and to those who came to do submissions. And that most were pretty good at compromising to try and get better legislation.

      Now maybe everyone becomes a bit more beige by the experience, and perhaps thats why the middle is often called “Labour lite”, or “National lite” depending on who is in opposition and why those who cant see politics delivering the outcomes they want, dont vote.

      The bloody minded reformists havent got a chance under MMP.

      So we wont see any of the radical stuff of previous generations of the NZLP – from the Savage radical stuff to the Douglas radical stuff of more recent times.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.10.1

        So we wont see any of the radical stuff of previous generations of the NZLP – from the Savage radical stuff to the Douglas radical stuff of more recent times.

        The problem being that we actually need radical policies so as to get out from under this neo-liberal rock that the governments of the last thirty years have placed us under.

        BTW, taking account of reality really isn’t all that radical whereas keeping going under the present delusional policies is.

      • Puddleglum 5.10.2

        Your argument seems to be that New Zealand has, in effect, entrenched a radical socio-economic and political environment originally established in the late 1980s and early 1990s? That one group of “bloody minded reformists” have triumphed in radicalising New Zealand society?

        It follows, then, that moderate, balanced policies are now impossible – or extremely difficult – to introduce. That means your conclusion – “So we won’t see any of the radical stuff of previous generations of the NZLP” – is almost exactly incorrect, since it is not ‘radical stuff’ that is disallowed – after all, one form of radicalism has been entrenched – but, instead, ‘moderate and balanced stuff’.

        For example, if the NZLP decided, when it is next in government, to introduce further privatisation in the education system that would be perfectly possible and would receive a smooth ride – since it conforms to the entrenched, radical agenda. Alternatively, if it wished to reduce the amount of private sector involvement in the education sector that would not be possible – or extremely difficult to ‘sell’ – because it is too moderate for the entrenched, radical agenda.

        Or have I misunderstood your analysis?

        • Draco T Bastard


        • The Lone Haranguer

          My point is that radical change from where ever we currently are, is off the agenda under MMP.

          Under MMP theres no way that the Douglas reforms would have got past Parliament.

          If you recall, Lange was a power hungry PM who wanted control. He had the majority party in Parliament, and then he had a cabinet (and ministers outside cabinet) who in total numbers more than 50% of the caucus, and then had the “inner cabinet” which was more than 50% of the total cabinet.

          So his little group had control over the whole parliament. And when he lost control to that group of radical socialists (Prebble Douglas & co) he was totally screwed, and his legacy would forever be of a weak PM who lost control of his team.

          Im sure that Douglas and Prebble still see themselves as radical socialists trying to right the world, and that if Labour had only listened, everyone – including the workers – would be way better off now.

          Now maybe very few agree with their take on things, but Im sure they both still hold those views even now

          • Draco T Bastard

            My point is that radical change from where ever we currently are, is off the agenda under MMP.

            I don’t agree with that. I think if the Labour party went far more radical left than what they’re doing now then they would get more votes as the people who aren’t voting will flock to them.

            • The Lone Haranguer

              Labour are too scared to do a sharp left turn as its their belief that you have to occupy the middle to occupy the treasury benches.

              The only way to achieve it is to have parties to the left of them propose the radical stuff and then to coallition with them. If the radical stuff works then Labour can claim it as their own (as senior party in coalitions do) and if it doesnt, they can hang the minor out to dry. (as happens in NZs version of MMP)

              • greywarbler

                The Lone H.ger
                Yeah that sounds a good scheme, good thinking. Hope that Labour takes that approach which is the sensible pragmatic one for these days. That doesn’t allow Jones to go cocking his leg up at Greens posters. That’s something else Labour has to attend to.

    • Skinny 5.11

      Don’t worry Pete we are going to get rid of the current regime.

      Another commitent from a previous non voter this morning. I will personally get him to the voting booth. Closing in on 100 from this group adding to swing voters coming back left and shoring up the importance of voting to the first timers, made easy by Key-National’s anti student loan policy and the youth wage policy.

      I maintain it will be a huge defeat for NACT, more than what people expect.

      • Rosie 5.11.1

        “I maintain it will be a huge defeat for NACT, more than what people expect.”

        Thank you Skinny for your positivity and enthusiasm – something we’re not hearing a lot of lately. All that is required of us is some work and effort, such as you are putting in – it will pay off. Being gloomy and giving up won’t.

    • Stuart Munro 5.12

      Read Putnam.

    • MrSmith 5.13

      Peter G the fence sitting concern troll is back for election year, yippy!

      With his recipe for our political salvation, oh joy of joys, when all we really need is more transparency, more transparency and more transparency, but PG isn’t really interested in improving anything except his own public image.

      An example of how PG the concern troll works:

      “There will always be politicians and activists who think that anyone who disagrees with their aims and ideals is an enemy who should be dealt to and if possible destroyed. It’s ingrained in their nature, as if they are intoxicated by a quest for power. In a way similar to drunken thugs who think it proves their strength and dominance, or think it’s fun to smash people.”

      And then.

      Most MPs are decent people wanting to do better for New Zealand. They have different ideas on how to make things better but they want things to be better.

    • greywarbler 5.14

      Too long a comment Pete George. If you can’t be brief – Felix fits more valid punch into 20 words than you do in 200, then stay away. Check yourself. There’s plenty of content.

  6. cricklewood 6

    Since Pete is having a missive regarding fair and balanced I thought id have a crack…
    Using Gower as my example and the sensationalist way he likes to report seemingly trying to become a celebrity or part of the story.
    Whether it’s Labour he’s after or National the man is an embarrassment either cheered or jeered depending on who his latest target is. I suspect he regards ‘balance’ as reporting both sides in the same sensationalist manner. I would argue that balance is to be found on a story by story basis not see sawing about hoping you’ll end up in the middle and thus ‘balanced’
    I would encourage everyone to ignore his ‘news’ whether it is favouable to the left or indeed the right as it is only a matter of time before he shifts aim. The less oxygen given to him the better I feel much like our friend PG.

    • bad12 6.1

      Different strokes for different folks i guess cricklewood, i am starting to enjoy Alfred E.Nuemann, (Paddy Gower), as He seems to be a little reformed,

      Admittedly the lies told by Gower around the non-existent ”leadership challange” were unacceptable, but, you cannot level that same claim about the two interviews Paddy has done with Slippery the Prime Minister in the past couple of weeks,

      Real Gems i would call them, shining the light of the ”truth” on the PM, No lies, No overt grandstanding, just straight questions exposing that truth,

      Anyone in this life is capable of change, we all do it throughout our lives, if Gower continues in His current vein of seeking the truth using that truth then i will offer Him a modicum of applause just as i will be quick to give Him the thumbs down if He again stoops to lies…

    • Ergo Robertina 6.2

      I agree with you cricklewood. Tv3 fills a vacuum – because tvnz is not really interested in politics coverage. Tv3’s coverage is over the top and gives too much power to one person. Only a few issues get covered and many are ignored, such as the total debacle of the asset sales programme – no real heat on national over that.

  7. Bearded Git 7

    Love this-the Wail thinks tv3 is anti-National. Ha ha ha ha ha…


    • bad12 7.1

      Lolz, i simply refuse to read Blubber boys ‘wail’, whats He whining about, Paddy Gower interviewed Slippery the Prime Minister in China for TV3’s ‘the Nation’ this morning,

      While He again asked Slippery about the ‘Charity’ involved in the rounds of golf, He, in my opinion let our Prime Minister off the hook far too lightly choosing not to question Him on the difference between todays answers given surrounding these ‘Charitable’ donations accruing to the National Party and the original answers that the PM gave,

      Also let slide in a big way by Gower, with much hurled abuse at Him by me as a viewer, was the sheer hypocrisy involved in a Prime Minister hoodwinking the public and the media into the belief that these ‘Charity events’ were anything of the sort gaining Himself free publicity as the ‘good guy’ only too happy to take time out to do things for ‘Charity’ when in actual fact there was no ‘Charity’
      whatsoever involved,

      Its simple fraud that our PM indulges in, and, i can only hope that the kid gloves displayed this morning by Gower aint as a result of Him having His chain yanked by those above him in the food chain, forlorn my hope may be, hopefully tho, Gower is only biding His time until the PM returns to face the music in the Parliament befor He continues to expose this Fraud and the architects of this fraud for what it is…

      • anker 7.1.1

        Saw the interview too and thought Gower was very weak in questioning Key over Oravida.

        It is NOT CREDIBLE that someone turns up having been bought at a charity match and fails to ask what the charity is!!!! This is one of many question Gower should have hurled at Key.

        i.e.” Do you mean to tell me you do a lot of these charity gigs, you turn up, knowing that your valuable time is spent raising money for some worthy cause and you don’t even ask the very simple, obvious question, that all bar people who are cognitive challenged (my apologies to such people) would ask?”

        Also note how Keys slides it on to everyone else. It’s not Key who is responsible for fund raising for National being a “charity”event, it’s the National Party. Hello!!!

    • Once was Tim 7.2

      Amazing! The Natzis get a couple of instances when their trad allies become so embarrassed by their blatant antics they simply have to question them (such as Collins et al), and the likes of Hooton and the Whale start squeeling like stuffed pigs.
      Really, the only reason the likes of Gower and Co have done so is that they fear they may be caught on the wrong side of history – they have slightly longer vision than the extended pot bellies, ample arses and pinochio noses of those they’re VERY occasionally trying to hold to account. Journalists they’re NOT though.

  8. (this one ‘moved’ me..)

    “..Heart-breaking pictures have emerged of the moment a giraffe said goodbye to a terminally ill zoo worker – who had spent most of his adult life cleaning the animal’s enclosures.

    Maintenance worker Mario has terminal cancer and had asked to be taken into the giraffe enclosure at Rotterdam’s Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo.

    The 54-year-old was wheeled into the enclosure on his hospital bed.

    Within minutes – the giraffes approached him and began to nuzzle and kiss him..”


    • Chooky 8.1

      +100 PU …thanks for that picture …it speaks a thousand words….and where humans fail ….animals often show compassion and understanding that is non verbal.

      ..i read a book once about an autistic or aspergers woman ( who eventually became a professor of Anthropology ) ….anyway her life was a mess until she got a job in a zoo and established a relationship with the gorrillas….she was healed by looking into their eyes and touching their hands.

    • greywarbler 8.2

      That’s a poignant human animal moment. I wonder if in NZ it could be arranged? I wouldn’t think so, we seem to have lost our humanity but have fallen further than animal levels of behaviour.

      • Belladonna 8.2.1

        I can remember reading a story about a cow who had 2 calves and hid one in a hedge to stop the inevitable. That has stayed with me a long time. If a cow has the ability to figure out such a scenario then they are obviously intelligent enough to know at a certain stage of the butchery that awaits them.
        We can do better.

        • Rosie

          Yes, cows have great sensitivity and a powerful maternal drive. I’ve had some lovely interactions with cows – I’m sure they are more intelligent than we give them credit for.

          I live near a beef “hobby farm”. The calves do live with their mothers for about a year it would seem but when they are taken away, for slaughter, I presume, the cows moo loudly for days and well into the night. It’s really painful to hear, it’s like they are crying.:-(

          • phillip ure

            they are ‘crying’..rosie..

            • Rosie

              I know. Their grieving is so sorrowful

            • Chooky

              …i am going to go to hell for eating meat!….i know it!….cattle /sheep trucks are a bit like taking the peoples off to the concentration camps…i have seen a sheep standing by her dead lamb for 3 days and mourning….mind you i have seen other sheep drop their lamb and take off as if nothing had ever happened

              ….next incarnation i will be a vegetarian or a cow or a sheep or a piggie….and I will accept my fate but I will curse those humans ….who are very far down on the evolutionary scale

              • Belladonna

                It’s never too late Chooky! I hate overtaking those cattle trucks, you can smell the fear in my opinion. I invaribly blub when I see those lovely sad brown eyes. Cows are such lovely passive creatures that never cause harm to any living being.

              • Rosie

                No such thing as hell Chooky…………….it’s your choice and it’s up to you.

                On the subject of cattle trucks I will say this though. As well as living near a beef hobby farm I have to go past an abattoir on the way to town! Either on the bus or in the car my stomach lurches as I see the full trucks pull into the Taylor Preston slaughter house in the Ngauranga gorge here in Wellington. It’s a moment of real despair. It’s just as bad seeing the empty trucks pull out of the yard. You know what’s happened.

    • Rosie 8.3

      Thats lovely phillip. The emotional intelligence of animals seems to be greatly underestimated – just an observation.

      One of my favourite images is John Duncan’s “Saint Columba farewells the white horse”. (1925)

      The story goes that Saint Columba was dying, and horse friend knew his days were numbered and came to say goodbye. Although I don’t have a religious bone in my body I find this image really quite moving as I have a strong affinity with horses having spent many years around them and know their sensitivity for human states of being. The link is a bit random as my images search isn’t working.


      Also, man of the moment is New York mayor Bill De Blasio (sp?) who believes that keeping horses stabled in the city for use as touristy carriage horses is inhumane and is planning on outlawing the industry. He has strong resistance however including “celeb” resistance from the likes of Liam Neeson, so has a bit of a fight on his hands. He talked John Stewart from the Daily Show around though!

  9. James Thrace 9

    Peter Dunne really is an angry homonunculus isn’t he! On the nation with Tova he really seemed to struggle to retain his composure.

  10. Penny Bright 10

    In my considered opinion, it seems that this issue of NZ Justice Minister Judith’s Collins corrupt, corporate cronyism ain’t going away any time soon, and it IS (as I predicted) hurting National.


    Justice, Minister—Visit to China and Potential Conflict of Interest

    [Sitting date: 18 March 2014. Volume:697;Page:16731. Text is subject to correction.]

    Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Minister of Justice: Does she still stand by her claim that Oravida business was not discussed at her dinner in Beijing at which Oravida personnel were present as well as a senior Chinese Government Customs official?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS (Minister of Justice) : Yes, but I do need to correct the member’s question. As I have said before, guests at the dinner included a senior Chinese Government border control official and Ms Margaret Malcolm.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Can she confirm, therefore, that she and Margaret Malcolm are fluent in Mandarin, and were therefore able to understand everything that was said during the dinner?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: No. I can, however, assure the member that I am fluent in English and I can understand when someone is talking to me in English—normally.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: That being the case, can she confirm that because the senior Government customs official—or border official, as she says—did not understand English, he said nothing to anyone during the dinner and just sat there mute the whole time?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: The senior Chinese Government official did have some English, but it was limited. I did my very best to talk about what a great country New Zealand is.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Is she saying that there was a dinner meeting involving a senior New Zealand Minister, an adviser, a senior Chinese customs or border official, and business personnel from Oravida, which is having trouble with customs and entering China, and yet not one person during that dinner mentioned that subject?


    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Given that she said that there were language issues at that meeting when the Prime Minister spoke to her on this matter, did he question her public assurance that Oravida business and customs entry problems were not discussed, knowing, as he did, that neither she nor Ms Malcolm speak Mandarin and therefore could not give such an assurance?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: Given that it was a very short dinner—

    Hon Annette King: How short?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: —well, it was a very short dinner—and the language being spoken was English, or forms thereof, I actually can give that assurance to the Prime Minister.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Given the acknowledgment that the border customs official spoke little English at all, is it not a fact that her claim that Oravida business was not discussed was false, as is the Prime Minister’s claim of receiving such an assurance from her, which means that both she and he—the Prime Minister—are knowingly involved in a cover-up of a serious breach of the Cabinet Manual?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I challenge that member’s assumptions, and I would have to say that since I was there and he was not, he should stop making it up.

    Grant Robertson: Why will she not reveal the rank or identity of the Chinese official?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: Because I have been advised by the Prime Minister’s office that we never reveal those matters.


    “Roy Morgan poll has Collins scandal denting Nats’ support”

    There is a LOT more to come on this disgraceful story of corrupt, corporate cronyism, which straight goes to the top ….

    In my considered opinion, corrupt Minister of Justice Judith Collins is being protected by corrupt, ‘shonky’ Prime Minister John Key.

    PS: Don’t forget, that on Minister for Justice Judith Collins’ watch – New Zealand STILL has yet to ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption.


    Because our NZ domestic legislative anti-corruption framework is not yet in place.

    One of the things NZ URGENTLY needs, is a genuinely Independent Commission Against Corruption.

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’


  11. drongo 11

    Who the hell is Peter George? Mr NOBODY.

  12. joe90 12


    Recursive Fury: Conspiracist Ideation in the Blogosphere in Response to Research on Conspiracist Ideation


    Conspiracist ideation has been repeatedly implicated in the rejection of scientific propositions, although empirical evidence to date has been sparse. A recent study involving visitors to climate blogs found that conspiracist ideation was associated with the rejection of climate science and the rejection of other scientific propositions such as the link between lung cancer and smoking, and between HIV and AIDS (Lewandowsky et al., in press; LOG12 from here on).


    • joe90 12.1

      Seems the conspiracy loons are thin skinned too.

      A psychology journal is said to be preparing to retract a scientific paper that found a link between conspiratorial thinking and the rejection of global warming science after climate sceptics claimed the paper was defamatory.

      DeSmogBlog has learned the paper’s four authors, led by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, the chair of cognitive psychology at the University of Bristol, have signed gagging orders preventing them from discussing the nature of the complaints about their work, carried out when Lewandowsky was a professor at the University of Western Australia.

      News of an alleged pending retraction, by the Switzerland-based journal Frontiers in Psychology, has leaked onto climate sceptic blogs but the journal is yet to make a formal announcement.

      But DeSmogBlog can reveal that Freedom of Information documents obtained last June but revealed here for the first time show that climate sceptics complained that the work was defamatory.


  13. Clemgeopin 13

    Pope Francis tells the Italian Mobsters off:

    He warns them that they will go to hell if they don’t repent and renounce their “blood-stained money and blood-stained power.”


    The occasion was a prayer vigil at a Roman church for relatives of innocents killed by the mafia, during which the names of 842 victims were read aloud as a somber Francis looked on.

    After voicing his solidarity with the family members, Francis said he couldn’t leave the service without speaking to those not present: the “protagonists” of mafia violence.

    Addressing these absentee mafiosi, Francis was unsparing:

    “This life that you live now won’t give you pleasure. It won’t give you joy or happiness,” he said. “Blood-stained money, blood-stained power, you can’t bring it with you to your next life. Repent. There’s still time to not end up in hell, which is what awaits you if you continue on this path.”

  14. greywarbler 14

    On Radionz soon will be news on Sartres newspaper set up in 1973? called Liberation.
    Which is having difficulties in the digital age. Wonder what they’re doing about it.

  15. Venice’s population voted for independence from Italy. Not just few but 89% of its population. That is on a par with Crimea and while some might argue the population of Crimea did so under threat of a gun the same can’t be said of the population of Venice. What is next? Ngai Tuhoe?

    • Populuxe1 15.1

      However unfortunately for Venice, the days of the republic of La Serenissma are long gone and without the financial support of the Italian state that particular living museum will be tits up in a year. As for Crimea, votes don’t count when foreign forces are occupying the region with their shooty shooty bang bangs. I doubt Tuhoe is that stupid.

  16. Penny Bright 16

    FYI ……………….

    “6 March 2014

    NZ Prime Minister
    John Key

    OPEN LETTER / OIA request – re: the alleged ‘conflict of interest’ of Minister of Justice Judith Collin’s perceived endorsement of Oravida milk.

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Please provide a copy of the advice purportedly provided by the Cabinet Office, upon which you are relying, which substantiates your following reported statement:

    Prime Minister John Key said the Cabinet Office “unequivocally .. said no there’s no breach.”

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’



    Collins told Oravida its milk was ‘nice’

    By Claire Trevett

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption/ anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’ ”

    ” 21 March 2014

    Why is Prime Minister John Key’s Chief of Staff, Wayne Eagleson still replying to Official Information Act requests addressed to Prime Minister John Key?

    Why are OIA requests not going STRAIGHT to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, (DPMC) instead of apparently being effectively filtered through the ‘party political’ Office of the Prime Minister?

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti=privatisation Public Watchdog’ ”



    ” 21 March 2014

    “Dear Ms Bright

    Official Information Act Request for Information Relating to Advice on Ministerial Conflict of Interest

    I refer to your Official Information Act request of 6 March 2014 for “a copy of the advice purportedly provided by the Cabinet Office [in relation to the alleged conflict of interest of Minister of Justice Judith Collin’s perceived endorsement of Oravida milk] upon which …[the Prime Minister is] relying, which substantiates … [the Prime Minister’s] following reported statement: Prime Minister John Key said the Cabinet Office ‘unequivocally …said not there’s no breach”.

    The information you have requested is not held by this Office and is more closely related to the functions and responsibilities of the Cabinet Office, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Accordingly, I am transferring your request to the Cabinet Office under s 14 of the Official Information Act.

    Yours sincerely,

    Wayne Eagleson
    Chief of Staff”

    Why did this OIA not go STRAIGHT to the DPMC in the first place?

    Answering OIA requests is NOT the job of the party political ‘Office of the Prime Minister’ – END OF STORY.


    “Conduct, public duty, and personal interests

    Managing conflicts of interest

    2.69 Ministers must ensure that any conflicts of interest are promptly addressed. The Secretary of the Cabinet (and, where appropriate, the chief executive of the department concerned) should be kept informed of conflicts of interest as they arise.

    In addition, the Prime Minister should be advised in writing of conflicts that are of particular concern or that require ongoing management. If in doubt about the appropriate course of action, Ministers should consult the Prime Minister or the Secretary of the Cabinet.”


    “Administrative support to the Prime Minister

    This includes preparation of replies to Parliamentary questions, and dealing with Official Information Act requests and other correspondence. A totally separate body, the Office of the Prime Minister, also advises the Prime Minister: it is the primary point of responsibility for managing political issues and relationships with other political parties and for providing administrative and media support.


    DPMC formally came into existence on 1 January 1990, as a result of a report which recommended establishing structures to provide two separate streams of advice to the Prime Minister; one, a new government department to supply impartial, high quality advice and support to the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), and another, a Prime Minister’s Private Office (which is not part of DPMC), to provide personal support and media services, and advice of a party political nature.”

    Quite frankly – in my considered opinion, any person from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) who has given advice that Minister of Justice Judith Collins has not breached the Cabinet Manual for her ‘perceived’ endorsement of Oravida milk , is unfit for duty and should be sacked.

    That is of course, if such ‘advice’ was ever given to Prime Minister John Key in the first place?

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    Contrarians bully journal into retracting a climate psychology paper

    However, nobody likes being called a conspiracy theorist, and thus climate contrarians really didn’t appreciate Recursive Fury. Very soon after its publication, the journal Frontiers was receiving letters from contrarians threatening libel lawsuits (Graham Readfearn has some details). In late March 2013, the journal decided to “provisionally remove the link to the article while these issues are investigated.” The paper was in limbo for nearly a full year until Frontiers finally caved to these threats.

    In its investigation, the journal found no academic or ethical problems with Recursive Fury. However, the fear of being sued by contrarians for libel remained. Frontiers explains (emphasis added),

    “In the light of a small number of complaints received following publication of the original research article cited above, Frontiers carried out a detailed investigation of the academic, ethical and legal aspects of the work. This investigation did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study. It did, however, determine that the legal context is insufficiently clear and therefore Frontiers wishes to retract the published article. The authors understand this decision, while they stand by their article and regret the limitations on academic freedom which can be caused by legal factors.”

    Damn because that will fuel the climate deniers legal attempts to shut down real research.

  18. http://whoar.co.nz/2014/whoar-exclusivescoop-the-mana-party-and-kim-dotcom-are-holding-election-talks/

    ed:..a bird has whispered in my ear that the mana party and kim dotcom are engaged in preliminary talks..

    ..with a view towards working together in the election-campaign..

    ..and possibly coming together into a new hybrid party..

    ..a suggested name..?

    ..the mana.com party..?

    this idea is interesting..and it could work/be a good fit..

    ..my understanding is that both parties are still some way from closing a deal..

    ..and that details are still to be worked out..

    ..but i see dotcoms’ internet party concerns and mana concerns fitting together well..

    ..(with the spread of free/low-cost internet to the more deprived areas being an idea that could well resonate with voters..especially younger ones..

    ..and the mix could well give a fillip to the mana party party vote..

    ..and spread the appeal to many who may not have thought of mana as an option before..

    ..once again..especially amongst the younger wired voters..

    ..in fact..as an example of lateral-thinking..

    ..it resonates..

    • bad12 18.1

      ”The little bird” Phillip would seem to have as much of a grip on reality as you do…

      • phillip ure 18.1.1

        you will of course offer me an abject apology when i am proven right..

        ..won’t you..?

        • marty mars

          This was on Mana website 3 days ago

          “Last year I was invited to meet with Kim Dotcom, but I declined because I didn’t want to get swamped by the Labour, Greens and NZ First pilgrimages to the mansion,” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

          “But when the invitation was extended again earlier this year I decided to accept, but not at Coatesville. I met with Dotcom at my mates place on the Shore where we discussed a number of issues:

          · How much we both dislike the way John Key has allowed NZ’s intelligence services to be used as pawns by American big business against a New Zealand resident;

          · How much we both dislike John Key’s cavalier dismissal of the rights of ordinary New Zealanders;

          · How well things are going in the Bundesliga;

          · How bleak NZ’s future under National will look if John Key keeps floggin’ off our key assets;

          · What MANA would like to see in a positive future for Aotearoa;

          · What Dotcom might want to see happen in Aotearoa; and

          · What wonderful beaches we have in Aotearoa.

          “We clearly have common interests, but for the record, I didn’t ask him to fund MANA, and he didn’t offer to either. I didn’t ask him to join MANA, and he didn’t ask me to join his party.”

          “I haven’t spoken publicly about the meeting because I haven’t yet spoken with the MANA Exec about it. That’s set for later this week.

          “There are no further meetings planned.”


          I suppose you will apologise if needed too eh phil? You know about the ‘exclusivescoop’ of the ‘election talks’ rumour you are propagating.

          • phillip ure

            well..i guess time will tell if i am correct or not..eh..?

            ..and possibly sooner than you may think..

            ..and of course if i am wrong..

            i am man(a) enough to apologise..


            ..as no doubt those accusing me of bullshitting will also do..

            ..when i am proven right..


            • marty mars

              Did you even know that that had been posted on the Mana site? Your report on your site is exactly the same as what you posted here.

              Maybe stick to trying to destabilise the Greens by calling then carnivores eh?

              and of course if I’m wrong I’ll say sorry 🙂

              • yes..i knew that..

                ..3 days is a long time in politics..eh..?

                ..and i look forward to it..

                ..yr apology..

                (if i ‘did’ emoticons..i wd leave you a smiley face back..

                ..a ‘heh!’ will have to do..)

                .and..are the greens not ‘carnivores’..?

                ..and why would ‘the truth’ ‘destabilise’ them..?

                ..and i’ll tell you what will ‘destabilise’ them..

                ..being locked into an agreement with labour..

                ..whereby being ministers will mean they will be unable to speak out about govt policies they may oppose..

                ..something to do with cabinet-solidarity..?

                ..as i understand it..

                ..i fear too many of the greens have bmw-gleams in their eyes..eh..?

                ..and maybe you cd tell me why in tureis’ state of the nation speech..

                ..the words ‘climate-change’ never passed her lips..?

                ..i wd suggest..that if you are a green.. you should be fretting/asking about that omission..

                ..mind you..i understand those ministerial limos are pretty comfortable..

                ..as is the salary/income of a minister..

                • I’m not a Green voter (although I have been in the past). I am a Mana supporter for 2 ticks and my $ as a member.

                  As far as I am aware there are no vegan parties likely to stand for parliament (although I think there should be) which must leave you in a bit of a bind re your vote – how you reconcile that must be tough.

                  • so..as a mana member..

                    ..what wd b yr thoughts..if in fact i am correct..

                    ..and a deal is able to be patched together..?

                    • Well I suppose if kim supports Mana’s kaupapa then he’d be a useful member but apart from that I don’t see any benefits for either side – but that’s just my opinion of course and if the leaders of Mana had different ideas I’d always be open to hearing those ideas – I trust the leadership and their belief in the kaupapa and the longterm goals of the Mana Movement.

                    • no ‘benefits’..?

                      ..how about a common enemy..?

                      ..and financial help for a party whose most members are at the bottom of the economic-pecking order..?

                      ..and for dotcom..

                      ..that 5% threshold wd not have to be reached..

                      ..and i see his internet/pirate’ party..and mana..

                      ..if you think about it a bit..

                      ..(fast internet-access as a human right..?..for all new zealanders..?..)

                      ..having more in common than you may think at first glance..

                      ..and politics can make (seemingly) strange bedfellows..

                      ..i am also a mana party member..

                      ..and i find the idea both novel..and exciting..

                    • I think feeding the kids, destroying poverty, creating equality through tino rangatiratanga and the rest of Mana’s kaupapa to be more compelling than giving everyone fast internet.

                    • ..of course those mana priorities wd remain..

                      ..you don’t see it as being part of the same package..?

                      ..the sweeping away of gross inequalities..?

                      ..why should so many people be excluded from an online life..

                      ..just ‘cos they are poor..?

                      ..like many others..i see that as a basic human right..

                      ..in the 21st century..

                    • Phil firstly great to see you’re a Mana brother.

                      I suppose in my heart I’m not convinced about Kim – I struggle with his excessive wealth and I struggle with the fact he donated to banks and I just don’t yet see him as a friendly dude wanting a better world for all – for me I can’t get over thinking that it is all about him and that doesn’t align with my political or social viewpoint. But I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

                      I also think it is dangerous to put too much weight in the enemy of my enemy is my friend – sometimes they are the enemy too.

        • bad12

          Actually Phillip, i think you can take it as a given from Marty Mar’s reply to you below that you are in fact wrong,

          i do tho take back what i said to you about the ”little bird”, its fucking obvious that ”all the little birdies” i see chirping in my Pohutukawa tree’s every day have a Far Far greater grip on reality than you will ever be blessed with…

          • phillip ure

            have you emptied that ashtray yet..?

            ..it looks disgusting..

            • McFlock

              yeah, because hippies are so pretty. /sarc

              • Why dis the hippies mate cos sure as hell phil ain’t one and I hope he doesn’t correct me on that lol.

                • McFlock

                  ’tis a weakness of mine.
                  In the words of the philosopher Professor Cartmenez, “they want to save the world, but all they do is smoke dope and smell bad”

                  • That smell could be natural human scent – it’s not bad – bad is the sweet unnatural disguising artificial odors used by everyone else – that contribute to so much global suffering for humans and animals alike. Sure, you have to wash with water regularly but that’s like wiping your bum after a poo, as in pretty basic hygiene. The bad smell may also be the leeching of substance through the skin from that which has been ingested – and fair enough that can be awful. But these traits are not exclusive to those that would call themselves ‘hippie’ at least in my experience.

                  • karol

                    I was a hippy – didn’t smoke much dope – didn’t really like it. And shower daily – or more.

                    I’m still for all of the anti-materialist hippy ethos.

              • Why dis the hippies mate – why do you hate them so. Phil may correct me (and I hope he doesn’t) but he ain’t no hippie.

              • Sorry about the double up – you pick the one that resonates 🙂

                • marty..i have never worn a headband…nor sung ‘kumbaya’ in a group..

                  ..(tho’ my hair has been halfway down my back..but currently a number one..

                  ..and beards have come and gone at different times/stages..)

                  ..but i find much about ‘hippies’ to both like and admire..

                  ..especially if compared to brainless rightwingers like flock..

            • bad12

              Ha ha ha…what was it you said below…that’s right brainless right wingers…what a riposte from one that uses his one working braincell to plagarize a right wing loving poet to produce an astounding lack of style…

              The fact that you continue the same old chant about ashtrays simply proves the one working cell is still operative..just…your bristling today Phillis…my first comment to you this morning while not having the desired effect…did produce an interesting one…we will have to refine your progam a little…it could be painful but that’s a small price we are willing for you to pay for our endeavors to drag you into the real world…

        • bad12

          I will Phillip, offer you a large upright middle finger in lieu of any such apology having to ever be tendered in you direction,

          When you are proved right on anything you choose to rave like a drug loony over you will in fact probably have ‘won’ as such a day will probably result in myself having a major coronary…

          • McFlock

            too much shock can kill us, too 🙂

          • phillip ure

            well..best you go and hang around a hospital a& e.

            ..(and make sure you get there early in the morning..

            ..and don’t read the herald on sunday b4 u get there..)

            it’s sat nite..

            ..have you been overdoing it on yr ‘meds’..?

    • Murray Olsen 18.2

      I doubt if Mana would join up with Dotcom’s non-existent Internet Party. While there are obvious areas of agreement, Dotcom’s basic political philosophy of libertarianism ends up seeing the world as a rich man’s playground. Mana are not as silly as your little bird.

  19. greywarbler 19

    An intriguing mention for tomorrow’s offerings on Radionz I think in the afternoon.
    From Christchurch a report on an inconvenience store offering things that money can’t buy.

  20. amirite 20

    Latest Roy Morgan poll shows National and Labour/green coalition neck and neck


    • Zorr 20.1

      But… the Herald-Digipoll!!! The sky is falling on Labour!!!

      (must also be remembered that even the Roy Morgan systemically overestimates Nat support and so this is even worse for the Nats than might appear from the numbers)

      Sadly, still comes down to Winston – but the greater the support for L+G, the more likely he is to deal with them first imo.

  21. greywarbler 21

    Humans and their clever and destructive toys which will turn around and bite us?
    Radionz news.
    Students invent tree-swinging robot
    Canterbury University students have developed a robot that can swing between trees, in the hope it may one day be put to good use in forestry.

  22. Clemgeopin 22

    I just read this excellent advice from a poster there, Alex Coleman, on the ‘Pundit’ website regarding NZF:

    It’s fun to try and guess, and come up with reasons for why he (Winston) may do
    various things, but at the end of the day I think the message the other
    parties should be pushing, ( a message which has the added benefit of
    being true), is something like;

    ‘If you have a preference for

    who will lead the next government, vote for that party instead of
    Winston. If you don’t care who leads the government and your main
    concern is having Winston in the mix, then vote for him, but be aware
    that he could go either way depending on what else happens’.

    This message, I think, gives voters the most honest appraisal of what sort of government their vote will help to build.

    • a vote for peters last time from the left..was safe..

      ..that is not the case this time..

      ..it is no longer ‘safe’ 4 anyone left to vote 4 peters..

      ..’cos ya don’t know which way he is going to swing..

      ..and imagine being left..and voting for him..

      ..and then he goes with key..

      ..you’d be bummed..eh..?

      ..so best to be safe..

      ..and just cross him off the list of possibilities..

  23. Murray Olsen 23

    I was talked into having a flu vaccination this year, for the first time ever. A few hours later, I was aching, vomiting, feverish and shaking uncontrollably. It was worse than any flu I’ve ever had and thankfully only lasted about three hours, but my chest is still sore from vomiting. While I’m all in favour of the vaccines that allow us to live without polio, smallpox, measles, mumps, and a few other things, I doubt very much if I’ll be dosing up on the flu vaccine ever again.

    • McFlock 23.1

      might be useful to know what the reaction was to, though.
      Just in case you come across it outside of vac.

  24. sheeprus 24

    i like all my ewes to be vaccinated before I bring them into my bed at night.

    [lprent: banned for being a frustrated dickhead ]

    • Murray Olsen 24.1

      Go back to Kiwibog. That’s the place for those who want to take strange creatures to bed, and for those looking for someone who will take strange creatures to bed.

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