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Open mike 22/10/2013

Written By: - Date published: 4:45 am, October 22nd, 2013 - 225 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 right up to the mike…

225 comments on “Open mike 22/10/2013 ”

  1. lprent 1

    Apologies to our overseas readers for the outage over the past 1:50

    What was meant to be a easy fix of the CDN system that caused an outage mid-morning yesterday turned out to be a bit fraught. Mostly because of a single mistake in the fstab describing the /tmp directory that I ‘fixed’ at the same time. The usual cascade of problems made more hairy with a live system and a lot of visitors at all hours of the day or night.

    That was to fix a nagging problem with reboots not booting up a different mounted volume on /tmp that caused our image uploads to the media library to fail.. *sigh* Anyway after mounting the boot volume on another machine I fixed the fstab and put everything back together, and everything is now working correctly.

    Off to bed…

  2. Gruntie 2

    Btw, I have ongoing issues when I try to save THe Standard as a home page on iPhone and iPad – doesn’t reload – any tips?

  3. vto 3

    Cameron Slater can line up next to David Carter and Nick Smith when it comes to the arsehole stakes.

    Occurred to me last night that Carter has gone very quiet on his threats to Regional Councils around the country dealing with irrigation consenting issues a few short years ago to sharpen up to their governments ideas or suffer the same fate as Environment Canterbury.

    This is what David Carter did and it is nothing short of a corruption of our democratic system. Lying and stealing to get his voters what they want. Nick Smith the same with the Ruataniwha proposal.

    Dirty despicable disgusting. No wonder slater thinks that way – it is the National Party way.

    It is rather amusing how any such threats by David Carter to regional and other councils today would simply be laughed at. They have lost their brief power. This government now has no power. hahahaha David Carter – arsehole. Fun was it? For those few short months? Make you feel good? Like a big man?

    David Carter’s big puffed chest at the time was very short-lived. I wonder how he feels. In another 12 months Carter and his motley lot of thieves will be cast aside in short order, rejected by the people of New Zealand. The people see his lies and his threats to their political system and his thieving. They do not like it.

    It will be good to see the back of him. David Carter is an arsehole like Cameron Slater.

    • miravox 3.1

      I see Canterbury’s nirate in the water problem is increasing. Isn’t this related to the resource allocation consenting process issue that ECan got canned for?

      Environment Canterbury’s (ECan) 2012 groundwater survey, released this month, found nitrate levels had been increasing in about 30 per cent of tested wells – the main source of drinking water in rural areas – in the past 10 years…
      It’s a ticking time bomb.

      “Sooner or later, a mother will not be aware of her water supply and she might make up some formula and that might lead to a tragedy,” Humphrey said.

      The Ashburton water management zone committee needed to deal with the increasing nitrate levels as it would likely to take decades to reverse the upward trend, he said.

      “We know that clean farming is possible but clearly it is not happening.”

      ECan groundwater quality team leader Carl Hanson said the increased nitrate levels reflected the intensification of farming across the region.

      Surely people should be marching in the streets over this, but with what the region has been through they probably don’t have the energy.

      • vto 3.1.1

        My god.

        And Chris Allen, the local fed farmers rep can only say “we are taking the problem seriously and trying to identify it and find solutions”. What a dipshit arsehole. Farmers aren’t taking it seriously – they are doing the absolute minimum and don’t even consider the option that intensification should wait until they can work out a way of not shitting in people’s drinking water. They are not taking it seriously. They are charging full tit at intensification and everyone else be dammed. Cunts.

        Quite frankly, Federated Farmers are dirty disgusting despicable as well. Their approach indicates this. How can they morally go shitting in people’s drinking water, and plan to increase it substantially, with a straight face?

        How can the farmers do it?

        They live in fucking la la land, with their precious heads in the clouds, meantime ruining other people’s lives so they can turn their $10,000 per hectare paddocks into $40,000 per hectare paddocks. Greed, money, greed greed greed

        Arseholes all around this morning, and look at their origins.

        • greywarbler

          vto and Chooky
          Though females are involved in farming, it would reflect the larger number of males to use the p word than the c word. Is there a gender-free word of irritation trending to deep disdain and loathing? Or use an acronym – CAPS perhaps? They are a bunch of CAPs. Then it would be more precise to put the p’s first which gives the sound of ‘a pox on both your houses’ with perhaps a special group name for farmers, so – a squelch of POCS?

        • Ennui

          Mira / vto…the issue is not new: back in the early 80s a group of us opposing border dyke irrigation (using Rakaia and Waimak water) pointed out that Southbridge and Leeston already had heightened nitrates etc in their water supply. For farmers to cry foul is just nonsense, the buggers have been putting nitrates onto stony soil for several decades, most just gets leeched through into the aquifer.

          • Ennui

            Further on the topic the farmers would say “you want the production…we have to use this method..). Years ago it was pointed out by Lincoln experts that Canterbury needed multiple times the amount of shelter belts (which have since diminished greatly). The reason was that the topsoil blows away in the northwester along with the increased in grass / soil drying out. So the buggers then added fertilisers to make up for the wind erosion of soil, and added water where the shelter trees would save them more than leached soil fertility into the aquifer. dairy then added the watering systems which required the rest of the shelter belts gone.

            Result, Canterbury has to be the best example of a complete environmental disaster I can think of in NZ.

            • greywarbler

              I have in my mind a memory of an Environment Canterbury statement about the need to have less trees, pines I think, in the headwaters as they used up too much water needed downstream. It wasn’t expressed as protecting against the spread of wilding pines, I thought. There has now been erosion and silt washed down that would have been prevented by better runoff control by trees. Will that go into the irrigation channels and have to be dug out regularly to free the flow?

              And recently there was some talk about shelter belts, I think to actively remove them. I think it might have been so that water could flow through those areas, or to aid the setting up and mobility of irrigation systems.

              • Ennui

                Grey, the wilding pine thing is amusing….yes they take water but hell, most of that water probably would just run off and rush out to sea in floods….typical false flag argument to justify excesses elsewhere. A major bit of the problem in Canterbury water systems is that the swamps in hill country / high country areas have been drained, so consequently water flow down rivers is irregular, peak and trough. Swamps act like sponges, if they still existed water extraction would not be such an issue downstream. better than reservoirs.

                • weka

                  Pretty sure that research now shows that pines hold more water in the landscape than paddocks do.

                  • Peter

                    Not really. Pines soak up a lot of water from catchments, which is a real problem in headwater catchments that are needed for water yield. DOC did some research on this a few years ago (which I’m now trying to enact in my day job) which showed that a tussock catchment taken over by wilding pines will result in a 50/60% loss of water downstream. So that basically means dry Central Otago rivers, and turning off irrigation in the driest part of New Zealand isn’t ever going to be a goer.

                    Some places might make sense, flashy and well-watered catchments, but in dry parts of New Zealand, wildings need to go.

                    The loss of headwater wetlands is a major reason for reduced flows too, these need to be protected whereever possible

                    • NickS

                      Gah, I actually got the paper on that (I think), but it’s buried somewhere on my computer in layers of digital detritus from uni courses :/

                      But yeah, from memory you’re right, wilding pines and plantations reduce very significantly downstream water flows, as do crack willows.

                    • weka

                      ” Pines soak up a lot of water from catchments, which is a real problem in headwater catchments that are needed for water yield. DOC did some research on this a few years ago (which I’m now trying to enact in my day job) which showed that a tussock catchment taken over by wilding pines will result in a 50/60% loss of water downstream.”

                      I’ll have a look later, but pretty sure the research shows that tussock is best retainer of water, followed by pines, and pasture comes last.

                    • weka

                      “But yeah, from memory you’re right, wilding pines and plantations reduce very significantly downstream water flows, as do crack willows.”

                      That’s a bit misleading, with willows at least. Where you have sustainable land management practices that are designed to hold water in the landscape, the issue of stream flow changes. Having water flow through a landscape at a steady pace is preferable to narrow flows just down a creek bed. What we do is chop down all the trees, which speeds up water flow and increases erosion and soil loss in floods. It also dehydrates the surrounding landscape. When you do that, how much water your downstream neighbour gets is a big issue. If you don’t do that, and instead have adequate water spread throughout the landscape, then the value of water flow rates changes.

                      Peter Andrews’ work is best to look at for this. He’s in Australia and is doing cutting edge work on creating fertility on very degraded and eroded farmland. One of his main techniques is willow planting. Below is a list of the advantages of willow, but if you want a dramatic visual go to 5:50 on this video and see two properties side by side during a dought – one is conventional land use farming, the other is sustainable land management including the use of willow.


                      A few of the Willows positive effects include:

                      [*]modifying diurnal temperature via evapotranspiration….and absorbing radiant heat. 1 Willow is equivalent to 28 reverse cycle air conditioners
                      [*]reduce evaporation by shading the river
                      [*]reduced evapotranspiration because they are deciduous for 3-5 months
                      [*]prevent water losses to the system by slowing velocities and preventing both stream banks and instream erosion.
                      [*]willows replicate the role once played by reed bed wetlands and mimic and perform a similar role re-instating landscape function
                      [*]increased the fertility of the wetland system by capturing and storing Carbon, the leaf litter is nor toxic to native fish like some native species (red river gums)
                      [*]retaining sediment in the system
                      [*]retaining organic matter in the system
                      [*]refugia for fish, platypus, crustaceans etc
                      [*]filtering water and thereby
                      improving water quality
                      [*]acting as primary colonisers to stabilize and secure the stream bed and banks for the secondary colonisers….mainly natives inc Casuarinas etc.
                      [*]recycling the daily water cycle and preventing water losses from the system (the opposite to what your research shows)
                      [*]etc etc
                      [*]“However, if the net overall benefit of willow removal from creeks and streams is to be properly evaluated, the various other benefits and disadvantages of removal must also be understood and included in decision making,”

                      By removing willows we are causing the disruption of all of the above positive benefits.


                    • NickS

                      Unless you’re dealing with braided rivers and native swamps, in which case you don’t want willows anywhere near them. And in the case of Australia, willows are a lot more thirsty than native flora, resulting in greater loss of water generally. And frankly, you’re better off going in the literature, rather than making use of forum postings, where it’s far easier to leave out problematic evidence that gets in the way of ones narrative.

                      Also in the NZ context, we used to have extensive native wetland forests and forest cover over streams…

                    • weka

                      Funny, I thought when you talked about decrease stream flows you were referring to farmland.

                      I agree that native ecosystems should be kept free of willow where feasible. But many of the places in the South Island that get sprayed for willow have nothing to do with natives.

                      And don’t be a pretentious git. Go have a serious look at Peter Andrews’ work (including the science that has been done around it) and then come back and tell me what you think. At the moment you are just parroting a meme about willow that is simply incorrect.

                      “And in the case of Australia, willows are a lot more thirsty than native flora, resulting in greater loss of water generally.”

                      No, you are wrong. I’ve provided some initial evidence that you obviously haven’t bothered looking at. The work that Peters is doing is on farmland, and it’s harder to establish natives there. Instead he uses willow to increase fertility and restore badly eroded and desertifying land.

                      Honestly dude, all you have to do is look at the marker in the video I posted, and then come back and tell me how he did it.

                • greywarbler

                  And I suppose the swamps drained into the aquifers.

                  Fiddling round with swamps caused the worst part of Katrina flooding I read. So fiddle with care.

                  • NickS

                    Drained? not really, unless your’re talking about swamps along the foothills, sited on top of alluvial sediments. Bloody good at providing steady flows though in the mountains though.

                    In Canterbury, from memory, recharge comes from rainfall seeping down + the effect of braided rivers. Thus why having dairying on the thin, inland soils, where the aquifer layer is fairly close to the surface and not sealed off by a clay layer is causing nitrogen pollution into the Canterbury aquifer.

                    If something isn’t done about it, even Christchurch will have to treat it’s spring water and ECAN has been saying that for quite some time…

              • Ron

                Interesting article on Wikipedia where it seems to be saying “wilding conifers are considered to be a threat to biodiversity, farm productivity and to landscape values.”

                In other words Farmers can make more money if we get rid of the pines.
                Also states
                “In its 2005 Pest Management Strategy the Canterbury Regional Council (Ecan) has the objective of eradicating all self-sown wilding conifers in ecologically sensitive areas in its jurisdiction. To do this a range of measures are used, including carrying out wilding conifer control operations, encouraging reporting of the presence of wilding conifers, encouraging the removal of seed sources and advocating changes to the district plans of the territorial authorities to prevent or control the planting of inappropriate conifers.”


                • ianmac

                  In the Sounds area many of us have been poisoning Wilding Pines. The landscape is starting to look “right.” We drill a series of holes around each trunk then squirt Roundup down the hole. Tree starts to die within a month. Tree killers!

                • Peter

                  Yep, that’s about right. Wildings are one of the few areas of easy agreement between farmers and conservationists in the high country. There are clashes though, often the people who put them in are now the ones pulling them out (NZFS sprayed pine seed around the high country to control erosion, and the same workers, now much older, are now running the programmes to remove them). Some places like them for landscape value though, Alexandra is one, possibly Hanmer.

                  • weka

                    I can see the rationale for wilding pine control on some conservation estate. But in a world facing AGW and peak resources, poisoning trees for landscape values in a place like Alex is criminal. We should be utilising wilding pines as a resource, and learning how to cultivate it to make useful. In 30 yrs time we will be judged very badly for the decisions we are making now, when people realise that they could have had a forest and instead have a desert.

                    • Tat Loo

                      So you let the wilding pines replace indigenous bush?

                    • weka

                      There’s bugger all native bush round Alex 😉 And in general, afaik pines won’t take over mature native forest. The reason that wilding pines are a problem is because they’re filling a niche left by farm practices that degrade land (ditto gorse, broom etc). Short grazed paddocks are a very un-natural phenomenon, it’s no wonder that nature does whatever to remedy the situation (or take advantage of it).

                      The other thing to remember is that ‘iconic’ landscapes like around Alex are very modified landscapes. They’ve been burnt and over-grazed for more than a century (that’s without even getting to what was going on pre-colonisation). They didn’t have pines on them originally, but they didn’t have sheep and rabbits either. Nor thyme (thyme is ok, but pines aren’t? How come?).

                      The sheer idiocy of poisoning wilding pines instead of utilising them is matched by all our other stupidities I guess (rabbit pie anyone?).

                    • Tat Loo

                      So this is a policy you want implemented only around Alex?

                      From a quick survey around the web, wilding pines are almost universally regarded as a weed species which damages the existing environment and makes water management around the year more difficult, not easier.

                      when people realise that they could have had a forest and instead have a desert.

                      where is this desertification a problem?

                      in areas where you do want a forest why would you not plant indigenous trees instead? Why is a wild exotic pine forest what we want?

                      The sheer idiocy of poisoning wilding pines instead of utilising them is matched by all our other stupidities I guess (rabbit pie anyone?).

                      What are the uses of wilding pines? They are no good for quality wood, and they don’t seem to do good things for moisture management of the land.

                    • NickS

                      Actually, wilding conifers can take over native bush quite easily.

                      1) Douglas Fir is shade resistant, and can invade nothofagus forests very easily.

                      2) Nothofagus cover recovers slower than wilding conifers can grow, leading to invasion via slips, wind-throw and burnings,

                      It’s easier to recognise if using short geological time scales + land matrix thinking, as humans are poo otherwise at recognising what will happen if wilding pines are left alone.

                      As for the land around Alexandria, before the early Maori set fires for flushing out moa, most of inland Otago and the MacKenzie Basin was covered in dry nothofagus forest up to 1100-1200m level. But as nothofagus is a very poor disperser it hasn’t been able to re-establish in the region from the few remnant stands and forests in the mountains. And as the region gets enough moisture to support forest cover, the lack of forest cover makes it very, very easy for another tree species to invade, especially for conifers given their fast growth rates and good wind dispersal.

                      Carbon sink wise, establish native forest is actually pretty good, and has higher biodiversity than wilding pine forests, along with much lower impacts on water runoff than wilding conifer forests. Although well managed pasture (i.e. not grazed to the base of the gass…) can store quite a bit of carbon in the soil.

                      Also, in terms of wood quality, the wilding pines are usually poo, as they grow far to close together, though not sure of the specifics since when looking at this stuff for course work I was more focused on ecological factors 😛

                      Then there’s the increased fire risk from dropped needles, which decay very, very slowly and so create a large fuel bank…


                      Might have to dig up the paper dump I have on this actually and upload the relevant papers. But basically – wilding conifers are a major pain in the arse for conservation and if not controlled or eradicated will invade native forest and tussock land

                    • weka

                      “So this is a policy you want implemented only around Alex?”

                      Lots of places could be managing wilding pines as a resource instead spraying them. Like I said, I can see the rationale for control on some conservation estate, but not for scenic values in places like Alex.

                      “From a quick survey around the web, wilding pines are almost universally regarded as a weed species which damages the existing environment and makes water management around the year more difficult, not easier.”

                      If we stick with Alex (but this is true in most places I can think of) the wilding pines I am thinking of are growing on farmland, not high country tussock. So we have sheep over-grazing land that is also rabbit stressed in a seriously dry climate. Peter compared pines to tussocks (and he is right about tussock being better). But I’m comparing pine forest to paddock (and paddocks are worse for water retention). And by paddock, I don’t mean lots of green grass 😉

                      I think the research Peter was referring to was done in the hills that feed the water catchment for Dunedin City, and much of that was based on the effect of various plants catching water from fog. I’m not sure how valid that research is to somewhere like Aled (Peter?).

                      “when people realise that they could have had a forest and instead have a desert.”

                      “where is this desertification a problem?”

                      Seriously? You’ve been to Alex right? Have a look at the photo in this article.


                      That’s a desert, and it’s man-made. In that instance, the reason for controlling wilding pines is to prevent contamination of DOC land, and so people can take photos of the rocks without trees in the way. FFS, AGW and peak resources!

                      Also, consider that a forest there, even a pine forest, is going to change water issues for the better compared to what is there now (where water just runs off and takes bits of soil with it). Have a read of my comment about willow above. The issues are different for pines, but it illustrates how what we do with the land is important in deciding whether pines are good or bad. Conventional wisdom has wilding pines as always bad, but that’s just not true.

                      “in areas where you do want a forest why would you not plant indigenous trees instead? Why is a wild exotic pine forest what we want?”

                      Myself, I would prefer to see the South Island restored to native forests and other native ecosystems as much as possible. But this is not going to happen, for many reasons including cost. What we have with wilding pines is a species that will do most of the work for us. It’s plant that thrives in a degraded landscape and grows fast. Natives are very hard to establish there (although I think if we stopped spraying all the broom and gorse they would have an easier time). Natives also grow slower. You might be able to get the wilding pines establish themselves and then establish native bush after that.

                      Bear in mind that managed well (as opposed to just being left) you would get a mixed species forest, not a mono-crop like we have with pine forestry in NZ.

                      Am talking in generalities there along with the Alex specifics. It really depends on the particular place.

                      “What are the uses of wilding pines? They are no good for quality wood, and they don’t seem to do good things for moisture management of the land.”

                      Shelter. Landscape renewal. Firewood (Central Otago is very short of trees). Probably some uses for pine oils etc too. Hadn’t thought about this before, but once forests start establishing themselves, you could probably introduce other compatible species. Pine nuts?


                    • weka

                      Damn, just went into moderation. I guess my reply will have to wait until the morning 🙂 (or later in the morning).

                    • weka

                      Nick, I’m not disputing most of that. But you’re missing the point. If someone is intending to reforest Central with beech forest, have at it. But afaik no-one is. So we are wasting time and resources spraying wilding pines when we could be utilising them. As stated, I’m not talking about conservation estate.

                      When you talking about the value of say wilding pine forest as a carbon sink and compare it to a beech forest, it’s complete red herring. There is no beech forest there. The correct comparison isn’t even with tussock high country. It’s with rocky soil that barely grows anything – from what I remember it’s mostly things like thyme, and shrubs like kanuka and matagouri. There must be some grass in there somewhere because there are still viable sheep farms, but we’re talking about a landscape that is highly modified by humans. If anyone were serious about native ecosystems, they would let the broom and gorse take over for 20 years, and then seed in natives. But that won’t happen because people are more concerned about how the place looks than the actual ecology, or issues like AGW/PO.

                      Do you have any examples in that climate and geography of mature beech forest being taken over by wilding pines?

                    • Peter

                      In the right places yes. Alex may be one of those, because they aren’t replacing any other value. In other places, where they compete with tussock, it’s best to take them out entirely. I know of a school in the Mackenzie Country that heats itself off wilding pines harvested from pastoral lease properties nearby.

                    • weka

                      That’s good to hear. I suspect that many places like Alex are tricky because there are so many competing needs and desires as well as overlapping land uses. Do you know how big a buffer needs to be between pine forest and DOC land to prevent seeding?

      • greywarbler 3.1.2

        Ashburton seems to be the centre of the masked gala farming and financing lobby. Masked because its sort of undercover, somehow escaping general public awareness, and gala because they are all having a jolly good time down there, getting great rewards for their endeavours as they go their own way and living, thinking, and breathing Right.

        • vto

          add to your personal business by taking from the public estate

          dump the waste from your personal business in the public estate

          to such an extent that pregnant women and babies are at risk from the pollution from that waste

          then keep the VERY SUBSTANTIAL wealth increase all to yourself tax-and-everything-else free

          it would be funny if it were not so serious

          it really is something quite


          • MrSmith

            Yes some of the most profitable businesses are the ones that don’t have to retain and treat there waste Salmon farming, Dairy farming, Oil industry. Dump your shit and CO2 into our environment for free and the tax payer will clean it up later.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Yep but there’s a truth that the farmers and other polluters have forgotten:

              When the state has to come in and clean up after you, you don’t get to ask for compensation.

              Need the politicians to remember that as well.

          • Draco T Bastard


  4. Sanctuary 4

    A parable of our modern times:

    I purchased a new electric bicycle (way to go on right wing stereotypes). Easy purchase, fabulous piece of kit, fast delivery until… it got to Fastway Couriers. Fastway are effectively a racket. They only deliver at an indeterminate time between 7am-5pm, and close at 10.30am on Saturdays. So you have to take a day off work, or like me ring them and have a good boss who lets you nip home early two days in a row to wait for a courier who is also a ninja, in that he comes to your house and leaves a calling card in your letter box with a stealth worthy of our Japanese friends. If they come twice, they refuse – REFUSE to re-deliver, telling you you have to go to their depot in the arse end of Onehunga. So they are a racket – they only deliver when you are not there, unless you take a day off work to wait for them and then you might as well just go and pick things up in an extended lunch hour.

    So why is this a parable of our modern times? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the neo-liberal New Zealand business model: a busines apparently in the delivery game, that has so driven down the fee it pays it’s drivers that it can no longer actually deliver a parcel in any reasonable time frame for it’s customers. It order to deliver for it’s shareholders, it pays a pittance to it’s contractors, Can no longer properly do what is supposed to be it’s core business, holds it’s customers to ransom, and when you complain basically ignores you, because it probably gets a million complaints a year.

    • vto 4.1


      The exact same model has resulted in human labour being treated as a commodity and been driven down down down in price.

      The free-market-neoliberal-competition-individualistic-greed-is-good model has done this to such an extent that the price of labour now fails society. The model has failed society.

      And that is without even starting on Pike River men killed by the same model. Or finance company debacle stripping people of their life savings in their old age.

      The neoliberal model pushed by this National government (and others before) has failed society. The evidence is in, the results clear.

      • Tat Loo 4.1.1

        Yep, a courier company which takes payment but can’t actually deliver. A coal mine which can’t produce coal but takes lives. Banks and financial institutions which destroy savings and wealth, not protects them. Governments which represent the 0.1% and not their own citizens.

        What a world we have created.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      CourierPost let you redirect a delivery to a different address.

      Also, get things sent to your work, much easier.

      • Sanctuary 4.2.1

        Unfortunately, I work on a 60+ hectare site so delivered to work was not an option.

      • weka 4.2.2

        “CourierPost let you redirect a delivery to a different address.”

        Yes, but when getting something couriered to me I don’t usually have a choice about which courier company the sender uses. Most businesses have accounts with one courier company and using another is prohibitive cost wise and in terms of the extra time needed to organise.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.3

        Yep, so does Fastway.

        I’ve never had any major problems with Fastway and I’ve had several items delivered by them. The only problem I did have was a package that the courier actually tried to deliver to the wrong address. I found out that the courier had tried to deliver it because I checked tracking and rung them and got it delivered to where I was during the day. The next day they rang to ask if I got the right package which is how I found out that the first courier had tried to deliver to the wrong address.

        None of this contradicts the fact that NZ business is crap as it tries to compete on price.

    • muzza 4.3

      Fastway – Same mode of operation in the UK.

      Anytime I order something, I check which courier company they use, and if it’s Fastway, I do not order, and go elsewhere.

      Fastway was set up as a racket, no surprise it reached NZ shores!

    • Murray Olsen 4.4

      Courier Post in Brisbane don’t even seem to bother ringing most customers’ doorbells. They throw a card in the letterbox and leave. I complained, with the result that they now leave stuff for the guy in the other half of the house, whether anyone is home or not. These courier companies seem to be a total rort and the only advantage this one has is that there are depots at various places.

      Neoliberalism is such a wonderful thing. I spit on the memory of Roger Douglas.

  5. bad12 5

    ”This is basically saying to the group there is only upside potential and no downside risk”, unquote Slippery the Prime Minister speaking to Winston Peters and NZFirst’s plans to have a Government backed ‘Kiwi-saver’ which guaranteed peoples retirement savings,

    Please tell us all more Mr Prime Minister about these downside ‘risks’ to the current Kiwi-saver plans, and does not the presence of this ‘downside risk’ provide every reason for NZFirst to be seeking a Government guaranteed Kiwi-saver…

  6. “Brazilian security forces and protesters have clashed in Barra da Tijuca, near Rio de Janeiro, where the Brazilian government is auctioning off exploration rights for a huge oilfield on Monday.”


    Simon Bridges isn’t here to defend the oil companies. 😆

    • tc 7.1

      wonder if the wc 2014 will have such movements ushered out of the public eye in case they tarnish that clean, pure and above board brand FIFA.

      • The Al1en 7.1.1

        Sepp Blatter thanks you for your concern… As long as it comes in a plain brown envelope, hidden inside a rolled up copy of the financial times.

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.2

        They’re being ushered out of the public eye already. People have died, including Amarildo:


        The state government has been cracking down heavily of protests by teachers, and allying itself with Petrobras to get rid of the craft fishing organisation AHOMAR, led by Alexandre Anderson:


        These are the people and one of the companies that Banks and Bridges want in Aotearoa. If Petrobras establishes itself on the East Cape, I fully expect deaths, whether at the hands of rogue unrestrained New Zealand police or private mercenaries. That is how they operate and a NAct government would not insist they change before they operate down here. Sadly, some in Labour would also seem to welcome them.

    • greywarbler 7.2

      Rio de Janeiro? On the beach?

      • Murray Olsen 7.2.1

        Barra is a disgusting area full of the nouveau riche of Rio and foreigners in guarded compounds. It’s to the west of Rio and has a shopping centre with a huge fake Statue of Liberty outside it. It makes the Gold Coast look tasteful.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      That’s what happens when you go round eating all the fish that prey on jellyfish.

      • NickS 8.1.1

        Yeah, strip-mining out the keystone predators/herbivores does tend to cause that sort of thing…

        • vto

          Like protecting white pointers and seals

          While everything below gets eaten by white pointers and seals and humans.


          • NickS


            Except for the fact that seals etc were historically heavily harvested, resulting in quite low modern populations, while sharks are presently quite heavily harvested for shark-fins or hit by bycatch. Note – jellyfish swarms are rare in NZ due to fishing quotas/laws protecting keystone predators.

            Also: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1848433/the-ocean-is-broken/?cs=12

          • Draco T Bastard

            The world is at the point where it actually has to stop fishing for a generation or two. That might, just might, allow the seas to return to balance.

            Not going to happen though as far too many people make for too much money strip mining the seas.

            • Tat Loo

              A lot of people will suffer without that fish, and pressure will shift to other sources of protein.

              Bottom line is that world population is already well over the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. By billions.

  7. Tautoko Viper 9

    I have just had a brochure put in my letterbox from onelaw4all, a new political party wanting donations and members. An Ayn Rand quote is used to support the ideas on what racism is. There is a website but no names given on the brochure. Anyone got any clues. This is an abolish the race-based seats in central and local govt, withdraw NZ from the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and make English the only official language of NZ. There is an interesting rewrite of Taranaki history on their website. I want to know WHO is funding these pamphlets as there are no names authorising these only the Secretary and a PO Box no at Orewa.

    • Rogue Trooper 9.1

      yes, they are a clever slip of propaganda

    • RJL 9.2

      There is a website but no names given on the brochure.

      See [People] on the website.

      A bunch of old fools and debris that have had passing assoications with ACT and the like in the past.

      • weka 9.2.1

        There is nothing under [People] on the website. Probably just as well.

      • greywarbler 9.2.2

        We have more people living longer which is an extra cost on society if they can’t or won’t put anything back into society. To add insult to injury of those who don’t pull their weight in the community, we have to put up with extra years of bigotry and prejudice, as they cling nostalgically to yesterday’s amoral beliefs. It was old white guys at the meeting about the Constitution Conversation I went to who wanted to overthrow the long fought for agreements about Maori reparations.

    • Te Reo Putake 9.3

      I haven’t seen the brochure, but somebody mentioned it in a meeting I was at today when we were talking about the coming Labour/Green government. To be fair, I was a bit dismissive (“they’d need every racist in NZ to vote their way to even get close to 5 %”), but, actually, I reckon it’s a good thing. Like the Conservatives, they’ll syphon off votes from National and ACT and make the margin of victory even bigger.

      edit: they’re not too flash on their lefty history: “but many more are what Karl Marx so correctly but so contemptuously called “useful fools””

    • emergency mike 9.4

      Ugh. Flashbacks to Don Brash circa 2004.

    • Murray Olsen 9.5

      I believe John Ansell is involved. They are not racist because they are willing to let Maori stay in New Zealand as long as they reject the Treaty and any notion that they have any sort of special place as indigenous people and the Celts were here for thousands of years first anyway because some idiot found some stones in a pine forest and taonga means something that I stole off you after sticking a spear in you and there was a Spanish helmet in the Kaipara and seig heil. Oops, I mean one law for all.

      They are very, very sad people and appeal to the most stupid among us. A bit like WhaleSpew without the sexual scandals, I suppose.

    • Morrissey 9.6

      They’re ACT halfwits. Challenge them verbally if you can—they never can explain themselves coherently.

  8. You may not be aware but in Timaru a joint US NZ army exercise will take place for the next THREE weeks.

    The scenario: How to remove a Prime minister who doesn’t want to leave after an election and is supported by a militia.

    For those of you who don’t know; there was another US NZ exercise last year on the North Island.

    The scenario: How to crush an insurrection supported by the local population.

    I suggest to you that if you believe those scenarios are meant for far away places filled with brown people you are deluded.

    But then again, conspiracies never happen in the upper echelons of power. Not our government, no Sir, no way!

    • Rogue Trooper 10.1

      big appetites those Globemasters

        • greywarbler

          I see that USA is being taken to task over menacing civilians in Pakistan with drone strikes. Talk about flying by the seat of my pants or whatever. It sounds as if a group of people anywhere in the target country could become a target for firepower no matter who they are. Probably there is a target target. So many shots fired in anger or not doesn’t matter, fire at someone and show you have been working and not just watching Grimm. China is being taken to ask by the UN. It’s time it looked at this menace of the USA.

          And travellerev what terrible scenarios for maneouvres in NZ. The USA took over Grenada for a short time to straighten them out, Australia would join them in joint maneouvres against us if we stuck our head up at the wrong time. And USA will be calling on more of our armed forces for people and we will have returned ‘vets’ who commit suicide or are lost in intermittent misery for life. Besides costing us probably everything we have.

          From the Herald piece –
          In the scenario, Mainlandiar has held an election with the ousted prime minister refusing to go, supported by a militia….

          the three-week exercise will involve the defence forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Tonga and New Zealand.
          The exercise will involve the naval ships Canterbury, Wellington, and a French-supplied frigate. The French will also contribute aircraft.
          VIPs, including American and French generals, will visit….
          A coalition of New Zealand and the nine other nations has formed the International Stability Mission for Mainlandiar (Instamm).

          (Or InStability.)

          From tv3 piece –
          The Kiwi soldiers were joined by the Canadian, US and British armies and the US Marine Corps to “enact a common conflict scenario of insurgents trying to overthrow a government”.
          The exercise involved live firing drills, pre-deployment training and field exercises, which aimed to ensure New Zealand’s soldiers keep their skills “sharp and relevant” for contemporary operations.

          So Operation 8 was an apprenticeship run for the more advanced course.
          There are other internationals involved, notably from the English speakers club – USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia.

    • muzza 10.2

      The opposition is centred in Waimate “with a small enclave of bad people in Cave”, Commander Kempster said.

      Bad people in caves, you go Commando Kempser – Arnold would approve.

      VIPs, including American and French generals, will visit.

      The Globemasters!

    • Pascal's bookie 10.3

      I suggest to you that if you believe those scenarios are meant for far away places filled with brown people you are deluded

      Why would you suggest that?

      • McFlock 10.3.1

        lack of abstract thought in transferring lessons learned into real life assymetric conflicts?

      • travellerev 10.3.2

        Why would I suggest what? Bad people in caves and all that?

        • Pascal's bookie

          Why would you suggest:

          “that if you believe those scenarios are meant for far away places filled with brown people you are deluded”

          What do you think it is about instead, and why is it deluded to think otherwise?

          • travellerev

            Yeah you’re right! Why didn’t I think of that? Of course our NZ troops are going to be sent to far away places to help free brown people from their evil dictators now that we are members of NATO. Duh!

            Our dear leaders would never allow our army to be taught to quell uprisings and remove leaders by force in their own country. Never happened before and never will! Not to us anyway, we’re the good guys after all!

            • Pascal's bookie

              You posted some rules about debating yesterday.

              I’m not even debating you, just trying to work out what it is you are implying, and what reasons you have to think this excerxcise is aimed domestically.

              Do those rules you posted not apply to you?

              • Tat Loo

                That military and paramilitary training exercises using scenarios against civilian populations has become overly common.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Insurgents aren’t civilians for one thing, and for another, look about the world, and look at what is happening and what, (even under UN authorisation), we most likely to be doing.

                  Seriously, any implication that this exercise is *really* about training for counter insurgency in NZ needs some sort of evidence.

                  It’s pretty odd that they are telling everyone about for starters, doubly odd that they are doing it here.

                  • Tat Loo

                    Insurgents aren’t civilians for one thing

                    Indeed. They are “unlawful combatants” not afforded the protection of the Geneva Convention.

                    This is the all too familiar “war against terror” languaging.

                    and look at what is happening and what, (even under UN authorisation), we most likely to be doing.

                    Peace keeping and involvement in ‘low grade conflicts’. But we better make damn sure what we get involved with in the future, and why. Open ended conflicts with no realistic exit plan and which go on for years and years are a bad idea for everyone.

                • McFlock

                  That military and paramilitary training exercises using scenarios against civilian populations has become overly common.


                  A massive change from, say, the 80s, when exercises usually dealt with large-scale force-on-force engagements (often with emphasis on testing the ability of suddenly-degraded C3I infrastructure to last long enough to execute any one of a number of predetermined plans).

                  Guess why – take your time…

    • marty mars 10.4

      Good stuff ev. It’s ominous when they don’t even bother trying to hide anymore.

      • McFlock 10.4.1

        ever hear of Operation Golden Fleece in the late ’80s?

      • greywarbler 10.4.2

        Yes the exercises over so long a period, and the almost factual scenarios! There is some message that can expand to the size of that Globemaster. And they have already run around Taranaki in their combat gear. Sort of spooky.

        And French combatants back in NZ. Quelle horreur! They didn’t approve of us last time they visited and attacked us over our desire to stop nuclear escalation and destruction. What is their purpose now?

        And a number of ex British-involved countries, Malaysia, Singapore. Papua New Guinea through Australian influence no doubt. (Oh come on PNG you’ll like it, it will be good for you to get out a bit and stop fighting each other.) We’re all being rounded up by the great sheepdog in the sky. And where is our trading friend and great hope China. Are we to wrap ourselves in electric fencing which only sparks when the Chinese touch it? How can this be good for the people of NZ.

        I feel sick at the sight. It would be doubled if I was in Timaru and heard constant helicopters and flight and transport movements. There are civilians being killed in Pakistan by long distance operated drone planes. It suits the USA. They don’t have any moral or idealistic constraints any more. Armed forces easily subvert governments. Syria, Egypt, Chile, Greece I think are relevant examples. Fiji learned how to do this after some UN service. There are probably text books or CDs on how to do it. Governments are not so easily changed by concerned citizens.

        What happens overseas can happen to dissidents here. Our forces don’t hold back when there is a stoush of the grunts against the thinkers. Springbok 1981, a rugby tour for goodness sake. A good strategy against the vicious apartheid regime, but no respect for a right move requiring sacrifice from the pleasure seekers. Operation 8, a trumped up piece of chicanery against unpredictable, different others.

        McFlock – You’re a teaser. You know that most of us won’t remember Operation Golden Fleece so give us a link and a small spiel.

    • Populuxe1 10.5

      So to be clear, the scenario is to remove someone who is *no longer* the Prime Minister because they have *lost* a *democratic election* and has thus overturned *constitutional law* by instituting an *illegal coup* against the wishes of the citizenry. I should bloody well hope that’s what our military would so here – that’s their bloody job.

      • vto 10.5.1

        and that dear folks is the entire problem with assumption in all its backwards glory


        what is their job Pop?

        • Populuxe1

          Defending the realm. I doubt the police would have the fire power to take on a militia

          • vto

            Well yes that’s what I thought too – that their job is protecting the realm. But the realm aint the people is it.

            I think you captured it in one there Pop.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Here’s the oath:

              ““I, [name], solemnly promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to our Sovereign Lady the Queen, Her heirs and successors, and that I will faithfully serve in the New Zealand Naval Forces/the New Zealand Army/the Royal New Zealand Air Force [Delete the Services that are not appropriate], and that I will loyally observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, Her heirs and successors, and of the officers set over me, until I shall be lawfully discharged. So help me God.””

              • McFlock

                putting a boot to the “realm vs people” argument is another reason to become a republic.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  It’s always tricky.

                  In a republic they generally swear to obey the President.

                  The problem with having them swear loyalty to the people rather than the constitutionally appointed leader, is coups whenever they don’t like the current civilians in charge.

                  Looking at history what i see working best, is pretty much what we have.

                  A professional volunteer military that follows the democratically elected civilian leadership’s orders.

                  When the govt gives the military orders they don’t like, they can follow them, or resign. But the power to remove the civilian political leadership remains with voters.

                  Should that break down, and I see absolutely no reason to fear that in NZ, and you have an unconstitutional govt, then the Gov General and ultimately the Queen, is CinC.

                  But I’d like to hear, from anyone, of an example of that situation happening with the institutions we have.

                  • vto

                    worthy of further thought as always p’s b

                  • Tat Loo

                    Looking at history what i see working best, is pretty much what we have.


                  • McFlock

                    well, there was the embarrassing case of the Falklands War, where it turned out we’d had some troops wander over without, er, bothering to tell the government. Apparently we only found out about it five years later via diplomatic chitchat over drinks.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    “Other People’s Wars” by Nicky Hager gives some good examples of where your system has broken down. The military have many times disobeyed orders, especially when we have a Labour government. One of my nephews graduated from Duntroon and told me stories of RNZAF officers giving lectures full of sedition there. They didn’t like their orders, but they didn’t resign. Maybe they were still given secret joyrides in an F15, or allowed to steer a drone or something, but their loyalty was not to our legally constituted authority.

                    The police are another story altogether. They are extremely resistant to any political moves to require them to follow the law.

                  • No in America they swear loyalty to the constitution and to uphold the law of the land and to defend the Nation against enemies foreign and domestic. Not ever to the president. Big difference!

              • Yep and there you have it. They are not our army. They are the queen’s army. And the queen and her financial elite have not use for us anymore and damn if we want to become a republic and elect a prime minister who wants that to!

                Last years military exercise was about fighting an insurgency which had the support of the local population. Hmmmm!

    • vto 10.6

      travellerev, I think the problem is that there is just so much assumption that a “nations” military would not be used against its own citizens. Especially in the land of milk and honey…

      And that assumption just bears no relation to reality anywhere on the planet or anywhere in history. It is just a brainless assumption.

      Militaries are always used against their own people.

      Aren’t they.

      Aren’t they? Someone please prove it otherwise…..

      • vto 10.6.1

        When the military in aotearoa has been used against its own people how many of our people have been killed?

        Whose side is the military on?

      • Rogue Trooper 10.6.2

        oh no, not in places like Northern Ireland, Canada, the US, Germany, the former USSR…

      • Populuxe1 10.6.3

        Yes, but typically it doesn’t happen until the system breaks down, and in fact a civil war would be the more likely result

      • McFlock 10.6.4

        I don’t mind armed forces being used against their own people. The idea of an arbitrary “we’re allowed to use this to kill people in other countries, but not our own” is high-order NIMBYism, and the assumption that we might not have need of it is naive.

        It’s whether that force is proportional or just that causes me concern.If it’s not both, then it shouldn’t be used here or overseas.

        • vto

          dunno mr mcflock, that all sounds a bit confused.

          for example, who is the ‘we’? you sound like the bloody queen ffs – which is who the armed forces are there for in reality, not us.

          think think think

          • McFlock

            The “we” is “whomever has an army, in this case NZ”.

            As for the entire “NZ army served the UK royalty” debate, like I said elsewhere – easy resolution is to become a republic.

  9. Rogue Trooper 11

    RNZ Midday Report: Crown Law opinion on Sky City deal- “a future government could walk away from the deal”
    Key- “Labour have indicated they won’t”.
    Cunliffe- “no guarantee has been given to Sky City- right reserved to make changes (around problem gambling).”

    • chrissy 11.1

      Key also said ,when asked how he knew they wouldn’t (walk away),” that SOMEBODY had told him”. Talking to unicorns again!!

      • Rogue Trooper 11.1.1

        surprised he doesn’t get poked in the eye. 😀

        • McFlock

          nah, his pinocchio nose has grown so long that nobody can get close enough to poke him in the eye.

      • miravox 11.1.2


        Mr Cunliffe had not had any discussions about the issue with the casino company, “and we’ve made no commitments whatsoever to SkyCity despite what the Prime Minister might say.

        “I believe he’s making it up again.”

        • Nicolas

          Yeah, but at the same time, Cunliffe was NOT emphatic like the Greens. They have made it clear, contrary to Labour, that they will repeal this toxic piece of legislation if given the chance.

          Cunliffe, on the other hand, claimed he won’t be “incinerating the SkyCity contract” but rather, he will seek to preserve “the sovereign right of every Parliament to make sovereign legislation as required”.

          To be honest, I think Key might be right here. Cunliffe’s lack of strength in his statement, added to the senior Labour MPs who were so welcomed at the SkyCity VIP box earlier this year (and who still retain senior positions), tell me Labour won’t do much about the deal. If anything, it will be a pretty conservative response.

          • Bill

            How many ways are there to skin a cat? Maybe Cunliffe has something in mind that will be as effective…even more advantageous?…than reneging on the deal. No guarantees being given to Sky City kind of points at some such.

            It’s like the electricity companies. Why nationalise them off the bat when you can play them in such a way that they beg to be taken over at some future date at a far lower price than would be the case immediately post election?

            • Nicolas

              Sorry mate, but I think you’re giving Labour waaaay too much credit. Labour’s previous rhetoric seemed to have indicated they would have followed down the line the Greens chose. A “no guarantees” stance, in light of all the passionate speeches in Parliament as the bill was going through, points to no “master plan” in Cunliffe’s mind.

              And again, the conduct of Cosgrove, King and friends also goes against Labour’s rhetoric. Honestly, sometimes it seem like National is actually more trustworthy. At least it’s easier to see their true intentions; it’s a bit harder to know what some Labour MPs really want…

              • Yeah ‘casino capitalism’. What better example of ‘crony capitalism’ to tilt at?
                Parasites sucking on poor workers. Or leeching on ‘tourists’.
                Instead we get a vague threat that these cronies better watch out or we will take away some of their games.
                Are we still stuck with the Labourlite Party?

              • Tat Loo

                Labour is not going to be rescinding contracts, revoking agreements and expropriating private property as an off the bat, opening negotiating gambit. Get serious.

                • Labour needs to get as real as the Greens for a start.
                  Why is Labour worried about a contract signed between the NACTs and Skycity. Its been exposed as a crony contract where the NACTs sold Skycity a generation of misery of 1000s of compulsive gamblers driven to gambling by successive neo-liberal governments in exchange for a free casino.
                  If Cunliffe claims to be left and against crony capitalism, not to repudiate this deal outright is gutless. Its not a matter of strategy or tactics but principles or ‘values’ as Labour now likes to spin.
                  Lack of principles and values is Len Brown’s position not Cunliffe’s.
                  Who among the non-casino capitalists in NZ and elsewhere would fear this as a precedent for their contracts being broken unless they were also lining up for similar crony deals.
                  And Labour’s lost heartland will rise up and cheer.

                  • Tat Loo

                    If Cunliffe claims to be left and against crony capitalism, not to repudiate this deal outright is gutless.

                    I really appreciate the sentiment.

                    But running full speed into an oncoming hook is a totally rookie move. And for what? Because you want Cunliffe and Labour to use up a whole lot of newly won political capital in a show of bravado. Simply to return to the SkyCity gambling status quo of 2012?

                    As if going back to that wonderful, positive status quo would be such a great ‘win’ for the compulsive gamblers that you care so much about?

                    It’s going to take a little more than that, IMO.

                    • Tat if you want to close down Skycity which I certainly do, the way to start is to reject not only its crooked deal with the NACTs and return to the status quo, but challenge its right to exist as a parasitic excrescence on our society. That’s a principle, a value, man, not a tactic.
                      Very similar to the the GSCB Act and TICS. Repeal them not to return to status quo ante, but to put spying under the democratic control of the people with full accountability and checks and balances.
                      In neither of these cases are there state secrets, let alone commercial sensitivity, involved, just the sovereignty of the NZ people. And I think Labour need to have the courage of its convictions. Stand for or fall with the people!
                      But of course that is a principle, a value.

                  • Draco T Bastard


                    Time to put some morality and principles back into governance neither of which we will ever get from a National government.

          • the pigman

            Cunliffe’s lack of strength in his statement, added to the senior Labour MPs who were so welcomed at the SkyCity VIP box earlier this year (and who still retain senior positions), tell me Labour won’t do much about the deal.

            Yeah, Cunliffe is completely beholden to Cosgrove, I bet. Cosgrove, Mallard and Goff, all pulling the strings in the background. Is this really a credible narrative of the state of the NZLP?

  10. NickS 12

    Oh joy, I have to reapply for my “jobseeker” support by the 8th and take the new assessment test despite the fact I’m planning to jump into fulltime work before the 18th of November* otherwise I’ll get my payments cut. And despite having significant fun with my depression they’ve also dropped me from work support into the general population…


    Like I wasn’t already dealing with enough anxiety as it is.

    Now I get to deal with bureaucratic stupidity, put in place by an idiot excuse for a minister as to claim they were doing “something”, which really just makes more paper work and doesn’t do a damn thing to deal with issues preventing people, particularly sickness beneficiaries, from getting back into work. Which in my case, is mainly lack of a license + references, stuff that a smarter system would have picked up on, recognised the barriers depression creates and done something, instead of engaging in the false economy of nothing.

    Then again Bennett’s a complete idiot who can’t deal with empirical research that contradicts her beliefs…


    *should be okay, in theory, main issue is sleep debt, suicidal ideation is mostly gone thanks to halving my nortriptyline dosage, which also removed the heat fatigue issues

    • greywarbler 12.1

      I don’t think Poorer Benefit has beliefs. She is just a big sponge soaking up whatever useful stuff that is poured on her. And useful is defined as whether it will advance her position, satisfy expectations of her targets from the Rulers, also her income and goodies in life.

    • Tat Loo 12.2

      Good luck mate; that bureaucracy has got to be seriously sorted out.

      • NickS 12.2.1

        Thanks gov’

      • millsy 12.2.2

        It all started back to when the old DSW was merged with the DoL’s job seeking service. You wont get anywhere while public support for those who cannot work is lumped in with services for those who are looking for work. I would even argue that an ACC-on-steroids should taken on the sickness and invalid beneficaries — ie you can get ACC for sickness as well.

    • weka 12.3

      Nick, do you live somewhere were you can get a beneficiary advocate involved? Most of the shit that WINZ does is not supportable once you get advocates involved.

      • NickS 12.3.1

        I’d rather fight that battle for my mum, and I don’t have the strength to deal with this unless there’s no other option 🙁 Too high a risk of triggering a depressive episode and going into shutdown-mode, putting my recovery back months.

        I’ll find out fully next week if I can score some work via an employment agency, but so far via hill walks and the casual work I had (stuffed up, should have explained things to the boss instead of letting it slide) things are looking pretty good. Stamina’s not great, but as long as I’ve got caffeine, sugars and food it’s good enough to do an 8hr day, need to improve upper body strength a bit more, but can lift 20kg+ stuff easily.

  11. Curtis 13

    Tau Henare just tweeted this

    “Demo outside parliament. Dunno wha its about,100 or so people with ballons #99LuftBalloons banging on drums, going back to work now.”

    Does he even bother listening to people’s concerns at all!?

    • Te Reo Putake 13.1

      It’s the going back to work bit that made me laugh. Tau hasn’t been required to do anything harder than vote the right way for 5 years and even then he’s managed to do that in a way that has left him no mates in caucus.

      Waste of space.

  12. captain hook 14

    dont make me fall off the floor.
    toe henry has never done a days work in his bloody life.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      For some strange reason the slideshow at the bottom of that HuffPost article about the “most used drugs” doesn’t mention alcohol at all.

  13. greywarbler 16

    Who da guy? Uruguay!

  14. phil 18

    I was saying to the missus yesterday, driving in the car “how long before we get news of pollution from the dairy-faecation of the Canterbury plains? It was the next day! Just wait for those huge irrigating mobile machines to get pumping! Latte anyone?

  15. NickS 19

    In just over a decade in the US, renewable energy sources will be more cost effective, without subsidies, than fossil fuels, cue oil and coal companies whining about the “free-market” despite their own massive subsidies: https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/ill-wind/68ab497e5b6be15de227748ea06e40af00bee7d9/

    Available for 47hours from time of posting.

  16. bad12 20

    This morning on RadioNZ National’s nine to noon program the ultimate in schemes,(scams), to clip the ticket of Kiwisaver’s retirement funds was unveiled,

    What’s on offer is ‘the management’ of peoples Kiwisaver funds ‘after’ they have been payed out from the scheme,

    Where there is money or an asset these people just cannot help themselves falling all over each other finding new and novel ways to part you from your hard earned coin,

    The scheme as outlined works like this: you sign all your Kiwisaver funds over to this little firm and they ‘manage’ it for you giving you a guaranteed cash sum every year, for the privilege, everytime they so much as fart in your direction they extract a ‘management’ fee,

    The ‘deal’ so the spokesperson for this little firm said is made all the sweeter by ‘you’ being allowed to withdraw 20% of the total on deposit for that special occasion or overseas trip,

    When you snuff it of course this little firm of ticket clippers proposes that ‘they’ get to keep the remainder of ‘your’ money,

    Lolz, what could be fairer, robbery with a gun is just so old fashioned, get a suit and tie the returns are far greater…

    • McFlock 20.1

      heh – I’m put in mind of Jeanne Calment:

      In 1965, aged 90 years and with no heirs, Calment signed a deal to sell her former apartment to lawyer André-François Raffray, on a contingency contract. Raffray, then aged 47 years, agreed to pay her a monthly sum of 2,500 francs until she died. Raffray ended up paying Calment the equivalent of more than $180,000, which was more than double the apartment’s value. After Raffray’s death from cancer at the age of 77, in 1995, his widow continued the payments until Calment’s death.[2] During all these years, Calment used to say to them that she “competed with Methuselah”.[9]

  17. NickS 21


    The corporate and “philanthropist” assault on US public education – 47hrs till it’s locked

    Something we’ll likely see here if the Charter Schools gain traction due to capitalists seeing education as a “growth area”.

  18. Morrissey 22

    No. 29: John Banks

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    “…I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. And never, ever would I ever knowingly sign a false electoral return. Never ever would I ever. And I want you to know, and mark my words, that at the end of the day these matters will be behind us and I will be exonerated. Why? Because I have done absolutely nothing wrong.”

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    —-ACT leader JOHN BANKS, 22 October 2013

    See also….
    No. 28 John Kerry: “…we are especially sensitive, Chuck and I, to never again asking any member of Congress to take a vote on faulty intelligence.”
    No. 27 Lyse Doucet: “I am there for those without a voice.”
    No. 26 Sam Wallace: “So here we are—Otahuhu. It’s just a great place to be, really.”
No. 25 Margaret Thatcher: “…no British government involvement of any kind…with Khmer Rouge…”

    No. 24 John Key: “…at the end of the day I, like most New Zealanders, value the role of the fourth estate…”

    No. 23 Jay Carney: “…expel Mr Snowden back to the U.S. to face justice…”

No. 22 Mike Bush: “Bruce Hutton had integrity beyond reproach.”

    No. 21 Tim Groser: “I think the relationship is genuinely in outstanding form.”

    No. 20 John Key: “But if the question is do we use the United States or one of our other partners to circumvent New Zealand law then the answer is categorically no.”

    No. 19 Matthew Hooton: “It is ridiculous to say that unions deliver higher wages! They DON’T!”

    No. 18 Ant Strachan: “The All Blacks won the RWC 2011 because of outstanding defence!”

    No. 17 Stephen Franks: “Peter has been such a level-headed, safe pair of hands.”

No. 16 Phil Kafcaloudes: “Tony Abbott…hasn’t made any mistakes over the past eighteen months.”

    No. 15 Donald Rumsfeld: “I did not lie… Colin Powell did not lie.”

    No. 14 Colin Powell: “a post-9/11 nexus between Iraq and terrorist organizations…connections are now emerging…”
    No. 13 Barack Obama: “Simply put, these strikes have saved lives.”


No. 12 U.K. Ministry of Defence: “Protecting the Afghan civilian population is one of ISAF and the UK’s top priorities.”

    No. 11 Brendan O’Connor: “Australia’s approach to refugees is compassionate and generous.”

    No. 10 Boris Johnson: “Londoners have… the best police in the world to look after us and keep us safe.”

No. 9 NewstalkZB PR dept: “News you NEED! Fast, fair, accurate!”

No. 8 Simon Bridges: “I don’t mean to duck the question….”

No. 7 Nigel Morrison: “Quite frankly, they’ve been VERY tough.”

No. 6 Herald PR dept: “Congratulations—you’re reading New Zealand’s best newspaper.”

    No. 5 Rawdon Christie: “…a FORMIDABLE replacement, it seems, is Claudette Hauiti.”


No. 4 Willie and J.T.: “The X-Factor. Nah, nah, there’s some GREAT talent there!”

    No. 3 John Key: “Yeah we hold MPs to a higher standard.”

No. 2 Colin Craig: “Oh, I have a GREAT sense of humour.”

No. 1 Barack Obama: “Margaret Thatcher was one of the great champions of freedom and liberty.”

    • vto 22.1

      What John Banks doesn’t seem to realise (or perhaps of course does realise, but, you know, he can’t help himself in all that lovely jubbly hubris…. mmmm,, like a fluffy pillow in the storm…) is that that defence failed completely in the finance company debacles around prospectuses, and that Banks has, surely as an elected representative, a higher standard to meet than finance company directors.

    • Te Reo Putake 22.2

      Speaking of liars, have you grown a spine yet, Moz?

      • Morrissey 22.2.1

        Speaking of liars, have you grown a spine yet, Moz?

        Ha! This is like having my own personal Dershowitz to make me look good! Keep up the vaudeville act, my friend!

        • McFlock

          I don’t think TRP is your friend, either.

          • Morrissey

            Well, yes he is. He even posted something to that effect the other day. Just because we squabble and bitch like twelve-year-olds doesn’t mean that I don’t care for Te Reo, and presumably he feels the same about this writer, i.e., moi. In fact, if you check out Sunday’s Open Mike, you will see that Te Reo has paid me the very great compliment of attempting to parody my work. That’s really an act of love—in a strictly Teutonic way, of course.

            Hell, I’ve just taken the time to give the scallywag some composition tips. I wouldn’t do that for someone I did not rate.

            • McFlock

              Has to be a performance artist – they don’t let people that delusional have an internet connection, do they?

        • Te Reo Putake

          You’re a hypocrite and a liar, Moz. You’re far more worthy of scorn than those you attack so limply. But, I suppose self loathing is the nearest thing you get to emotional connection and the fear of being exposed as a coward is what drives you to malign others, so I guess I may as well stop hoping you’d do the right thing. No doubt you’ll carry on lying on teh webs, but you’ll never be able to look yourself in the mirror without knowing what a fraud you are.

          And you know we know it too.

          • McFlock

            nope. Definitely not a buddy, guy.

          • Morrissey

            I think you should ease up on the vitriolic flaming arrows, old buddy. It really does make you look foolish when they thud to earth and fizzle out like that one.

            Have you thought of editing your stuff before you post? Waiting for a few minutes? I almost always do that, just for quality control. I highly recommend the practice.

            I mean, we don’t want to come across as a spluttering incoherent fool, now, do we?

            Do we?

            • Te Reo Putake

              Is that it? Toothless insults are the best you can do? Disappointed, but then not unexpected.

              Just for the record, you’re not my friend. My friends don’t lie about me. They tell the truth, which is much more painful.

              • Morrissey

                They tell the truth, which is much more painful.

                That’s right. I tell the truth, which is what drives your comically incandescent displays of anger. That is because sometimes those awkward and painful truths have been about people you have invested your energy (perhaps unwisely) in supporting. Your disaffection with me came suddenly—when I held up Josie Pagani’s failure to stand up for herself against some crude bullies at NewstalkZB; in your zealous display of blind gallantry/party solidarity, you yelled that I was the bully—-not the people who were treating her with such contempt on the air.

                Not for the last time on this forum, you had a go at the messenger—to any fair-minded person that is repugnant behaviour. I note en passant that you have attacked far more important and—this is what makes your slanders so contemptible—-more vulnerable messengers than me.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  wibble wibble. You joined in the bullying of Pagani, which is what I pointed out at the time. If you ever do tell the truth, I suspect it’ll be by mistake.

                  You’re a sad, lonely misanthrope, Moz. Boo hoo for you.

                  • vto

                    Bullying is poor form in this day..

                  • Morrissey

                    wibble wibble.

                    Come on Te Reo. What are you trying to do? Maybe that was a little….childish?

                    You joined in the bullying of Pagani, which is what I pointed out at the time.

                    No I didn’t. She’s a particularly experienced Labour Party apparatchik, and more than capable of looking after herself. That she didn’t was a reflection on the lack of intellectual rigour and preparedness of the Labour Party at the time. As a busy Labour Party man yourself, you chose to pretend that I was bullying her. That’s nuts, as they say all the time on NewstalkZB.

                    If you ever do tell the truth, I suspect it’ll be by mistake. You’re a sad, lonely misanthrope, Moz. Boo hoo for you.

                    Again, that childish tactic of isolation is not going to work against anyone with an EQ and IQ above room temperature. Then again, I get the feeling that kind of personal denigration works well in the Central Districts…..

                  • the pigman

                    You’re a sad, lonely misanthrope, Moz. Boo hoo for you

                    Another day of TRP and McFlock having turns taking swings at Morrissey over… oh wait for it.. the accuracy of his critiques of Jim Mora.. yes! Will the other bully come in for a turn too.. yes.. yes.. let’s hope.

                    No-one cares! Why are you guys such enormous, unrelenting and persistent bullies about this? The fact that you feel comfortable from your atomised space behind your keyboard being so personally abusive over such a non-fucking issue speaks to what sad, lonely misanthropes you are.

                    And to what end? To defend the journalistic credibility of Jim Mora and his piece of shit panel?!? Surely not, right? I guess you just need your daily dose of treating another human being like shit on you shoe. Disgrace.

                    • Bill

                      Yup. Agree. Their behaviour in relation to Morrisey’s comments are a tedious pain in the arse.

                    • greywarbler

                      the pigman
                      You’re a little like Morrissey – you like talking things up with a bit of drama and emotion.

                      The thing about Morrisey is – he is as I’ve just said but likes to state that he is being actually factually. All anyone asks is that he will say it sounded like this to me. But no he does not accept that he is paraphrasing, putting his own spin on etc. Otherwise he does a wonderful job but truth does have to be close to precise. Not just near the target on the dartboard.

                    • the pigman

                      greywarbler – afraid your character assessment dart has missed the board. Nevertheless, I want to get the bullying logic straight:

                      a) Morrissey’s transcripts of Jim Mora’s show and accompanying critiques are inaccurate; therefore
                      b) It’s cool to try and tear him the shreds every single time he posts on open mic?

                      Nice. I’m not asking you and the others to behave like gentlemen, but how about behaving like normally socialised human beings rather than a frenzied pack of pig dogs day after day?

                    • Morrissey

                      + 1.

                    • McFlock

                      Because it buries the actual problems with vapid media commentary underneath great mounds of obvious lies.

                      As far as I’m concerned, he’s the Hooten of the vaguely left. And that disgraces the left just as much as Hooten disgraces the right.

                    • Ennui

                      What a wasted fekkin string this is. Te Reo stating speaking of liars was quite frankly just a bullying piece of provocation. And Moz, silly to give that kind of crap the grace of a response, hard though it is to turn the other cheek to idiots.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Pigman, you missed the point completely. Moz isn’t just wildly innacurate about Mora, he lied about me. I asked him to withdraw and apologise and he said he didn’t have time to do so. More lies.

                      So I took the opportunity to point out when he was calling other people liars that he was one himself. It’s not bullying, it’s a fair request for the retraction of a false statement made about me personally.

                      (btw, this goes back a few days, so I accept you may not know the context)

                      And, yes, I find the whole thing boring. But the answer is for Moz to grow up and admit he got his claim about me wrong. Simples.

                    • the pigman

                      Thanks for being patronising, but I’m afraid that you may have missed the point completely. I, and probably most others, have been keeping my mouth shut, out of respect for others (kind of hoping this would just die down).

                      The point is, you don’t harangue someone and shout them down day after day just because you feel you’ve been personally slighted, and then frame it in some sort of quest to establish objective truth.

                      What you’re engaging in isn’t adult behaviour, it is maladjusted bullying that belongs on WO rather than TS. Aren’t you supposed to be The Voice of Reason, after all?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Ho ho, that’s quite clever, Pigman! Claiming you want it all to stop after extending the discussion by another dozen comments. Have you considered writing for the television? Seven Sharp need someone with your talent.

            • Lanthanide


            • felix

              “Have you thought of editing your stuff before you post? Waiting for a few minutes? I almost always do that, just for quality control. I highly recommend the practice.”

              Good lord. Without a trace of frickin irony.

  19. NickS 23

    Feel the Homomentum!:

    Now to potentially watch Abbott and the Liberal’s fuck up completely over this 👿

    *grabs popcorn*

  20. BLiP 24

    What’s happening here? David Cunliffe denies that Labour has told SkyCity that its convention centre deal will be left aone – should Labour win the next election – but John Key says the opposite. I’m aware that having won over its membership Labour is now starting to soften up its stance in order, apparently, to appeal to the “centre”. At this stage, I’m not sure whether to add another lie to John Key’s massive list or add another to Cunliffe’s much smaller list. Time will tell, of course, but for the moment I’ll add it John Key’s list on the basis that it fits with his pattern . . .

    John Key’s Lies About The SkyCity Scam

    the Sky City deal will provide 1000 construction jobs and 800 casino jobs

    all five bidders for the convention centre were treated equally

    my office has had no correspondence, no discussions, no involvement with the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (8)

    I can’t remember what was discussed at my meeting with the SkyCity Chief Executive on 14 May 2009

    I have no record of the 12 November 2009 email from Treasury advising that the SkyCity deal was dodgy and needed to be referred to the Auditor General

    there was nothing improper about the Sky City deal

    SkyCity will only get “a few more” pokie machines at the margins

    any changes to gambling regulations will be subject to a full public submission process

    Sky City has approached TVNZ about the purchase/use of government-owned land

    I did not mislead the House (9)

    this government has been very transparent about all its dealings with SkyCity

    I did not mislead the House (10)

    the Auditor General has fully vindicated National over the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (11)

    the Deputy Auditor General supports the view that there was nothing inappropriate about the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (12)

    I did not breach the confidentiality of the Auditor General’s Report into the Sky City deal

    the Labour Government did exactly the same sort of deal back in 2001

    Labour has promised to not revoke the Sky City legislation

  21. Morrissey 25

    “Some people in some situations can be coerced and bullied”
    Afternoons with Jim Mora, Radio NZ National, Tuesday 22 October 2013

    The week of deep moral seriousness continues. Yesterday, after interviewing Wendy Lower, author of Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, Jim Mora sighed pensively and said slowly and carefully, to underline how serious he was: “You know, if you were in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, to what extent would you have resisted if everybody around you was behaving abominably? I mean you’d like to think that you’d stand apart and be noble….”

    Today he interviewed Gina Perry, an Australian psychologist and author of Behind the Shock Machine: The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments. She had some very interesting things to say about the experiments, and their lack of academic rigor. But, as interesting as her talk was, long-time Panel listeners would have found something else even more interesting: yes, once again, Jim Mora was firing on all cylinders on the ethical cogitation front….

    JIM MORA: [slowly and thoughtfully] Some people in some situations can be coerced and bullied into doing things they don’t want to do. It happens in a situation where there is a power imbalance, doesn’t it. You don’t like it, but you feel obliged to continue….”

    Yes indeed. Long-time listeners would have remembered some or perhaps all of the following instances of people being coerced and bullied, but feeling obliged to continue….

    Chris Trotter and Jeremy Elwood….

    Open mike 13/03/2012

    Duncan Webb….

    Open mike 10/08/2012

    Josie Pagani….

    Open mike 27/02/2012

    John Pagani….

    Open mike 23/05/2011

    Tim Watkin….

    Open mike 31/03/2011

  22. MrSmith 26

    Key must be cringing every time Edward Snowden releases another document. Go you good thing.

    • Morrissey 26.1

      Key must be cringing…

      Sadly, I don’t think that is the case. John Key is a morality-free zone and utterly brazen in his behaviour, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.

  23. Morrissey 27


    No. 30: Alan Dershowitz

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    “I will give $10,000 to the PLO… if you can find a historical fact in my book that you can prove to be false.”

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    —-Harvard Law Professor ALAN DERSHOWITZ, MSNBC, September 8, 2003

    Dershowitz’s The Case for Israel was irrefutably shown by Professor Norman Finkelstein to be a “a collection of fraud, falsification, plagiarism and nonsense”…..

    See also….
    No. 29 John Banks: “I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. And never, ever would I ever knowingly sign a false electoral return. Never ever would I ever.”

    No. 28 John Kerry: “…we are especially sensitive, Chuck and I, to never again asking any member of Congress to take a vote on faulty intelligence.”
No. 27 Lyse Doucet: “I am there for those without a voice.”
No. 26 Sam Wallace: “So here we are—Otahuhu. It’s just a great place to be, really.”

    No. 25 Margaret Thatcher: “…no British government involvement of any kind…with Khmer Rouge…”

    No. 24 John Key: “…at the end of the day I, like most New Zealanders, value the role of the fourth estate…”

No. 23 Jay Carney: “…expel Mr Snowden back to the U.S. to face justice…”

No. 22 Mike Bush: “Bruce Hutton had integrity beyond reproach.”

No. 21 Tim Groser: “I think the relationship is genuinely in outstanding form.”

No. 20 John Key: “But if the question is do we use the United States or one of our other partners to circumvent New Zealand law then the answer is categorically no.”

No. 19 Matthew Hooton: “It is ridiculous to say that unions deliver higher wages! They DON’T!”

    No. 18 Ant Strachan: “The All Blacks won the RWC 2011 because of outstanding defence!”

    No. 17 Stephen Franks: “Peter has been such a level-headed, safe pair of hands.”

    No. 16 Phil Kafcaloudes: “Tony Abbott…hasn’t made any mistakes over the past eighteen months.”

    No. 15 Donald Rumsfeld: “I did not lie… Colin Powell did not lie.”

No. 14 Colin Powell: “a post-9/11 nexus between Iraq and terrorist organizations…connections are now emerging…”
No. 13 Barack Obama: “Simply put, these strikes have saved lives.”

No. 12 U.K. Ministry of Defence: “Protecting the Afghan civilian population is one of ISAF and the UK’s top priorities.”

No. 11 Brendan O’Connor: “Australia’s approach to refugees is compassionate and generous.”

    No. 10 Boris Johnson: “Londoners have… the best police in the world to look after us and keep us safe.”

No. 9 NewstalkZB PR dept: “News you NEED! Fast, fair, accurate!”

No. 8 Simon Bridges: “I don’t mean to duck the question….”

    No. 7 Nigel Morrison: “Quite frankly, they’ve been VERY tough.”

    No. 6 Herald PR dept: “Congratulations—you’re reading New Zealand’s best newspaper.”

    No. 5 Rawdon Christie: “…a FORMIDABLE replacement, it seems, is Claudette Hauiti.”

No. 4 Willie and J.T.: “The X-Factor. Nah, nah, there’s some GREAT talent there!”

No. 3 John Key: “Yeah we hold MPs to a higher standard.”

No. 2 Colin Craig: “Oh, I have a GREAT sense of humour.”

    No. 1 Barack Obama: “Margaret Thatcher was one of the great champions of freedom and liberty.”

    • Murray Olsen 27.1

      In the Middle East debate, as in global warming, facts no longer need to be factual. This is one thing that worries me more than anything else.

      • Morrissey 27.1.1

        Sadly, Murray, that has been the case for a long time. Dershowitz was protected and even abetted in his fraudulent work and in his malicious personal campaigns by the Dean of the Harvard Law School, a moral hero called Elena Kagan.

        Far from being disciplined for failing to control Dershowitz, she was promoted—-to the Supreme Court.

        Here’s Finkelstein talking about an encounter he had with her…..

  24. Draco T Bastard 28

    And it’s all Labour’s fault again:

    The Government’s also blaming the Opposition’s power policy for scaring investors off.
    “It frightened off a lot of family investors and I expect it will be the case with Meridian as well,” says Mr English.

    • richard 28.1

      Yep. Making you believe your own bullshit and grossly over-ordering prospectus printing sounds like a typical Labour trick to me.

  25. Draco T Bastard 29

    We Have a Right to Save Seeds. Right?

    Growing food should present no legal problems. You plant seeds, care for the plants, harvest the food, then save some seeds for the next year. Right?

    Not anymore. Big agribusinesses are enclosing the seed commons. Seed ownership has become complex, littered with regulation, copyright issues, forgery charges and corporate manipulation.

    It should not be possible to patent or copyright life but I suspect it will be a condition in the TPPA that it be possible.

  26. Rogue Trooper 30

    back to the sonic hedgebox;

    …rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others, In your relationships with one another have the same mind as Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant…

    (always use the manual) …and this I know ‘cos the manual tells me so.
    now, back to Parker , who has the motor running in many colours. 😀

  27. greywarbler 31

    This isn’t a farming journal. Keep your pig dog comparisons to yourself. We have higher standards than you obviously. If you don’t like them there are other blogs.

    • the pigman 31.1

      Oh yes, those higher standards are on display for all to see day after day.

      This has already gone on far too long, but hopefully people speaking up about it today will have given some pause for reflection and mean less of this behaviour down the line. Here’s the thing: most of you are often intelligent, thoughtful contributors. You demean yourselves by using any excuse to carry on stupid personal vendettas.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I have chooks to milk, cows to shear and, whatever other menial tasks your personal sniping is supposed to evoke, to do.

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