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Open mike 22/11/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 22nd, 2015 - 182 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

182 comments on “Open mike 22/11/2015 ”

  1. Penny Bright 1

    In my view, the last thing Auckland wants is any ‘business person’ (or ‘pro-business person’), as Mayor of Auckland.

    Already, in my opinion, thanks to the ‘corrupt corporate coup’ that forced the Auckland amalgamation upon citizens and rate payers, the region is being run ‘like a business, by business, FOR business’.

    The mechanism for this effective corporate takeover – has been the Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) model, where 7 democratically elected Councils (warts and all), were replaced with 7 CCOs with undemocratically selected boards of business people.

    No Auckland CCO has ever been subject to a review for cost-effectiveness, transparency or democratic accountability.

    In my view, the only ones who have benefitted from Auckland being run in a more ‘business like’ manner, have been those businesses who have won the contracts with Auckland Council and CCOs.

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-privatisation/ anti-corruption Public Watchdog’

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • John Shears 1.1

      Spot on Penny and congratulations on keeping your comment short and to the point.

    • Nessalt 1.2

      So Auckland needs some person who “means well”, is “inclusive”, yada yada yada

      auckland would walk over a mayor like celia wade brown, who has been absolutely hopeless for wellington. the only reason she is still mayor is because she is from the right team for all the beige civil servants who reside there.

      from business, by business, for business is exactly what auckland needs. it’s business that’s making auckland great. it certainly isn’t the council

      • Tracey 1.2.1

        Since the Super City we already have that Nessalt. Open your eyes, or take off the blinkers. And no, I don’t support Penny as the alternative.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        No, it’s business that’s killing Auckland as they cost us more and more as they work to maintain high profits.

      • Foreign waka 1.2.3

        to Nassalt: I must have missed something because at no stage was Auckland being transferred to a plutocracy. Regardless of your opinion what the business world might want or not, a democracy works for ALL people and not just the few. I belief that with support of such dictatorial tendencies NZ becomes almost worst then the Russian federation, at least they don’t pretend to be something they are not.

      • RedBaronCV 1.2.4

        Celia hasn’t been absolutely hopeless for Wellington. (which looks like it’s one of the lines that is going to be taken against her) nor has her council.
        Most of the local right wingers seem to think that laying concrete on something=growth but instead we have a liveable city which is trying to treat it’s lower paid employees fairly (and the multinational’s resident here should stop trying to run up the ratepayers bills unnecessarily) and ttracting the high tech jobs we need.

      • Macro 1.2.5

        You have no idea of what democracy means do you Nosalt. What you describe is actually an Oligarchy. Democracy is government for the people not businesses; and by the people not businesses.
        So sorry what you want is simply not available under our present constitution.

    • mary_a 1.3

      Thanks Penny. Well put.

      You will be getting my vote.

    • Thinking Right 1.4

      The way things are going in Auckland, the best candidate for Mayor would be someone with liquidation/bankruptcy management experience.

      If Auckland doesn’t sort out its excessive borrowing and bloated staffing structures it won’t be long before they are forced to hock off assets to try and pay for their debt.

      $7 Billion in debt – what do they have to show for it?

      Len has already forced a 10%/annum hike in rates – I can’t see the next Mayor being able to squeeze the ratepayer for any more so where is the $$$ gona come from?

      If people ran their households like Len has run Auckland they would be dragged off to Bankruptcy court in no time.

      • tracey 1.4.1

        excessive borrowing? But he’s just following the Key/English plan

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.2

        It was John Banks that put Auckland into excessive debt by following right-wing policies – just like the current government is putting NZ into excessive debt by following right-wing policies.

        What Banks is less vocal about is that while he has phased out “water price-gouging” – his words – taking water profits from Metrowater for council spending, he has still benefited from profits of $23.1 million and $12.1 million in his first two budgets, inherited $90 million a year in extra income from the previous council and increased council debt from $322 million to $867 million.

        I’d say that you RWNJs haven’t got clue as to how to manage the economy but some of you do and they manage it to cause massive debt for the government and profits for their donors. The rest of you idiots actually believe them when they lie to you.

        • Thinking Right 1.4.2.1

          I’m not saying that you’re wrong, however you still have to face the fact that under Brown’s stewardship Auckland Council has more than doubled its debt to 7+ Billion, has pushed through multiple rates increases many times higher than the rate of inflation, and the Auckland Council Bureaucracy has increased significantly.

          Against these numbers any faults in Bank’s mayoralty from yesteryear pale into insignificance.

          It wouldn’t be so bad if you could see large infrastructure improvements from all the borrowing – but there isn’t.

          It wouldn’t be so bad if the whole Auckland Council ran a tight ship on budget/cost blowouts etc. but it doesn’t – huge swathes of staff on $100K plus a year, trips and junkets for all the flunkies, large increases in staff number with no increase in services offered, and to cut costs they drop berm grass cutting.

          Talk about penny wise pound foolish.

          • Sacha 1.4.2.1.1

            The government’s supercity legislation is where speedily-equalised rates and hence large increases for some came from, not any decision of council’s. Same with govt refusing to allow other ways of funding needed transport investment, leaving council only the option of a dedicated extra rate amount for that.

            Council may have some latitude to slow or stop the reduction of business rates relative to residential ones, however. Could be worth asking candidates about that. Also whether they are prepared to resist pressure from this government to privatise the region’s assets.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.4.2.1.2

            and to cut costs they drop berm grass cutting.

            Or the other option was that they rolled out berm mowing to all the other council areas that didn’t have it and push rates up by at least $1000 per year per house.

            Yeah, I think that covers all of what you said. You obviously haven’t got a friggen clue what you’re talking about which is true of most RWNJs.

          • Ad 1.4.2.1.3

            The debt to asset ratio is the figure to attribute any meaning to.

            It’s now got about the same scale of assets of Fonterra.
            Since it started in 2010, Auckland’s grown by several hundred thousand people. With that comes roads, parks, water, etc.
            So you need staff. It’s not a game for amateurs.

            I’ll leave evaluating the benefits of Brown’s two terms to later in next year.

            • Jilly Bee 1.4.2.1.3.1

              Agree Ad – a family member used to work for the City Council and mentioned the Fonterra comparison. This same family member stressed on several occasions that salaries were carefully benchmarked against the private sector and then were usually marked down. He is now working in the private sector and can earn the same dollars per week in three days and anything over and above that is extra. He also worked on average 60 hours per week at the Council.

    • left for deadshark 1.5

      Have some fun while campaigning Penny, good luck

  2. Tory 2

    In my opinion the last thing Auckland City wants is a rates bludger who wants and uses services but won’t pay for them.

    • les 2.1

      my understanding is such a person has no problem paying rates so long as what they are allocated to is detailed in a transparent manner….nothing to hide ,nothing to…fear’!as the saying goes.

      • Nessalt 2.1.1

        no, the allocation must be as penny wants it to be, not just transparent. we can’t decide how our taxes are spent. otherwise welfare would be slashed to the ground.

        • les 2.1.1.1

          ‘he London contract ends in September, and Mr Brown says he expects to be told about what tangible benefits it has brought to Auckland.’…any updates?…’
          ‘It was revealed at the weekend that Auckland Council has sent one of its staff to London at a cost of $230,000 a year, after his English-born wife became homesick. Another of its staff was sent to San Francisco.’

          what a farce…good work’…if you can get it!

          [lprent: I am deeply suspicious of that quote. But we can’t tell can we? You haven’t sourced it.

          Offhand, it just sounds like Cameron Slater or his stupid handpuppets at laudafinem deliberately lying again. Probably by omission.

          Link your quotations as I have pointed out to you before. This is your warning, and since I see you have been a persistent offender, I will give you a years holiday from the site to learn how to do it (personally I think that is how long you will need to learn this simple technique).

          You are in autospam until I see an acknowledgement there that you have read and understand this note. Which means that you have to restate what you are required to do, and link to this comment. THis is a basic test of your competency to comment here.

          I am flying for the next couple of days. If you don’t do it by the time I hit Auckland then I will just add you to permanent bans by default. Reading your comments, I don’t think that you add too much to the site. ]

          • Naturesong 2.1.1.1.1

            There’s not enough information there for form an opinion one way or the other.

            Was the employees wife being homesick the reason he wanted the job, or the reason the job was created? (was there corruption/favours? Or even an appearance of such)
            Were these employees doing work that could be done anywhere? (were they excellent employees that ACC wanted to retain even after they indicated they were leaving NZ?)
            What job/task were these people doing for ACC? (is it valid work, and do the workers need to be on location?)
            Will their findings be made public? (we are after all, paying for it)
            How long is their stay overseas? (so we can assess total cost of project/contract)
            What part of the figure is salary and what part is living support? (to help assess value for money for both parts)

            It may well be that the money is a complete waste.
            Or, it might be money well spent.
            But without enough information to assign value to the spend, we have no way of knowing.

            And honestly, if you want to criticise ACC and Len Brown, there’s no shortage of policy and leadership failures.
            You could start with why Tony Gibson still has a job.

            Flinging ignorance around like a demented chimp does faeces makes you look hysterical and it’s difficult to take you seriously.

      • Tracey 2.1.2

        You guys would have a point if you were also focused on the deteriorating transparency under our current government and their increased abuse of OIA’s. BUT making it as though only Penny is abusing the system is just laughable.

    • Tracey 2.2

      That eliminates anyone with a net worth of over about ten million bucks then…

  3. Claire Trevett has been briefed by Robertson’s camp to rubbish Carmel Sepuloni in an article on the upcoming reshuffle.

    What’s that about? Sepuloni has been an excellent performer. Does sleezy Grant see Sepuloni as a threat?

    • weka 3.1

      “Claire Trevett has been briefed by Robertson’s camp to rubbish Carmel Sepuloni in an article on the upcoming reshuffle.”

      How do you know that?

        • ankerawshark 3.1.1.1

          Can’t see any evidence that Trevett has been briefed to rubbish Carmel in that article. All Trevett says is Carmel has failed to fire………there is some evidence of that.

          BIll Dress you have to do better than that.

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            Agreed. It was quite a good article, but nothing even hinting at dissent and dirty tricks in the ranks.

            • Bill Drees 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Trevett was briefed by a senior source in the Labour Office.
              Someone is trying to influence Little’s reshuffle.
              Little has already back tracked on replacing King, the godmother to the ABC faction that has undermined the party for seven years.
              Little was elected over Robertson to bring an end to this shit.

              Who briefed Trevett?

              It was clearly not Sepuloni, Mahuta or Cunliffe who briefed Trevett.

              Grants back on form pulling the strings and ensuring Labour do as well Nationally as they did in Wellington central.

              Wake up and smell the coffee. The same arses who fucked thinks up are now running the shop. And they have Lusk’s friend Nash helping them.

              Labour are not doing well in the polls.
              If we leave Robetson in charge of the shop we will continue to loose.

              • weka

                Nice theories, and I can’t say that that would surprise me if it were true. Problem is, there doesn’t appear to be any reason to believe you other than that you say we should.

              • Karen

                Nobody “briefed Trevett” because there would be no reason to do so even if your half- baked conspiracy theory of a Robertson plot had any basis apart from in your head.

                The cabinet shuffle will be decided by Little based on the performance of his MPs, just as the deputy leadership was. He said the deputy job would be reviewed in a year – it was and King is doing a good job in that role so she is staying.

                Little is quite capable of assessing who should get each role without advice from Trevett or Robertson. To suggest otherwise is laughable. Little is pragmatic, a good manager of people and he has managed to get the various factions within the caucus working well together for the first time since Helen left.

      • Sabine 3.1.2

        He was hiding under Grant Robertson’s bed and listened to the phone calls made to Claire Trevett?

    • Anne 3.2

      If you have evidence/information Bill Drees then spit it out. Otherwise I will regard it as yet another attempt to discredit Labour and treat it with the contempt it deserves.

    • Karen 3.3

      Troll alert!!! Bit of an agenda here it seems.

      RWNJs desperately trying to stir up division with no actual evidence of anything. Trevett is a right leaning political journalist who is quite capable of making her own assessments of who she thinks should be in the shadow cabinet without needing a “leak”. We need better RWNJs – the ones we have are too transparent

      • Bill Drees 3.3.1

        Robertson is the troll in this situation. He is arranging briefings against colleagues to undermine them and to elevate his own supporters.
        Robertson is trying to shape Little’s reshuffle.

        • Sabine 3.3.1.1

          Can you provide any evidence to support this statement? Anything other than your own opinion?

          No? Than what you are doing her is a bit like mental masturbation, wanting it to be true, but nothing to base it on, but it gives you ten seconds of pleasure and relieve.

          Ahhh, whats a lonely man to do on a rainy sunday morning.

        • tracey 3.3.1.2

          Bill Drees, when we click on your name it goes to an unavailable webpage. Can you please unlink your name to save people the bother.

          I say this as an author here at TS

        • Chris 3.3.1.3

          He did the same thing in student politics all the time. I don’t think he’s a good human.

      • Olwyn 3.3.2

        I think you have hit the nub of the issue, Karen. Even if Bill Drees is right in his assessment, and I am in no position to make a judgement on that, anyone tempted to leak to media friends in order to weight things in this or that direction should be aware by now that this method has passed its use-by date. One only has to look at the downhill slide of TV3 since the demise of Campbell Live to see how things have changed. Right wing approval of Labour people has always raised the suspicions of many Standard commentators, but that suspicion is becoming much more widespread. The old “x is so good that even right wing journalists admire them” or “y is so bad that even right wing journalists have noticed” no longer washes much with anyone.

  4. b waghorn 4

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11549222
    National wants to more than double the fine for littering ,two thoughts pop into mind one is do they actually ever fine people for it and two can you imagine the howls of outrage if labour suggested it.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      1. I’ve never known it to happen
      2. If Labour suggested it the right-wing would be calling it ‘revenue gathering’ as they do with speed cameras this despite the fact that they always call for harsher penalties on crims (They just don’t want harsher penalties for when they break the law)

  5. Penny Bright 5

    I have put my freehold home on the line to defend my (and all citizens and ratepayers) LAWFUL rights to ‘open, transparent and democratically-accountable’ local government.

    OPEN THE BOOKS!

    Make the following information about awarded contracts, available for public scrutiny:

    The NAME of the consultant/ contractor.

    The SCOPE of the contract.

    The TERM of the contract.

    The VALUE of the contract.

    Whether the contract was awarded through a public tender process.

    If the statutory ‘third party Public Watchdogs’ had done their job, and ensured that Auckland Council was held accountable to the RULE OF LAW – regarding citizens and ratepayers’ LAWFUL rights to ‘open, transparent and democratically-accountable’ local government – then – as an ordinary person, I would not be making this ‘extraordinary’ stand?

    Penny Bright

    CITIZEN not SLAVE!

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Tracey 5.1

      You are lucky they didnt come for you, unlike that poor woman who was duped and has her house sold out from under her…

    • Ad 5.2

      As Mayor, other than be an amateur forensic accountant, what do you want to achieve for Auckland?

      • alwyn 5.2.1

        @Ad.
        Not quite relevant to Penny but certainly to the mayoralty.
        I have added a comment later in this post you may be interested in.
        It is comment 14.

      • Tracey 5.2.2

        Please be specific in your responses Penny. Tearing things down is only ohe part of a plan.

        • Penny Bright 5.2.2.1

          errr…. how on earth is ‘OPENING THE BOOKS’ – so that citizens and ratepayers can find out exactly where their public monies are being spent (invested and borrowed) ‘tearing things down’?

          Nothing to hide – nothing to fear – (sort of thing)?

          Penny Bright

          2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

          • Tracey 5.2.2.1.1

            That is your whole plan for Auckland?

            Open mike 22/11/2015

          • Ad 5.2.2.1.2

            You can then stand atop Mount Eden and shout every line item down to 49 cents, by heart, for days, and then what?

            What will you build in three years? What will you spend on transport for example?

            Or would you like to continue your line-by-line recitation of the accounts before something useful actually starts?

    • Sacha 5.3

      How would publishing the details you have specified help ratepayers assess the relative value of spending on contractors vs staff?

      Which trusted agency would be continually pulling together the required contextual information, including comparisons with other councils, state organisations and businesses? Who would pay for that work to be done, and how would you go about ensuring it is enacted?

      • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1

        How would publishing the details you have specified help ratepayers assess the relative value of spending on contractors vs staff?

        Because they’d actually have the information necessary to make the comparison themselves.

        • Sacha 5.3.1.1

          I meant the value (cost/benefit), not the dollar amounts. You really think the public have the other details needed to make sense of those figures?

          The only outcome would be the Taxpayers Onion and other neolib nutjobs trumpeting that any public spending is bad and rates should be reduced immediately. That’s exactly how Auckland ended up with broken sewers after decades of penny-pinching from C&R.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1.1

            You really think the public have the other details needed to make sense of those figures?

            The idea is to make all of the information available.

            • Sacha 5.3.1.1.1.1

              And I’ve asked Penny how she intends to make that happen, given the limited powers of the office she is seeking.

      • Penny Bright 5.3.2

        How can you ‘follow the dollar’ – if you don’t know where exactly the ‘dollar’ is being spent in the first place?

        How can you do any form of ‘cost-benefit’ analysis, if you don’t first know where exactly the ‘costs’ fall?

        Are you aware Sacha, that there is no such thing as ‘Public’ transport in the Auckland region?

        It is privately-provided ‘passenger transport’.

        Also, Auckland Transport are refusing to reveal exactly how much has been spent on public subsidies of private passenger transport providers since 1 November 2010, on the basis that information is ‘contractually sensitive’?

        Yet Auckland Council has introduced a ‘Transport Levy’, without enforcing the disclosure on monies spent on public subsidies of private passenger transport providers?

        You ok with that?

        I’m not.

        I think it STINKS.

        FYI – here is the information I provided to the Auckland Council Governing Body meeting of 25 June 2015, attached to the minutes:

        http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2015/06/GB_20150625_MAT_5792.PDF

        Penny Bright

        2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

        • Penny Bright 5.3.2.1

          Not being one to just bleat on blogs – FYI – here’s the ‘live-streaming’ on my presentation to the Auckland Council Governing Body meeting on 25 June 2015, just before the vote was taken on Auckland rates and the ‘Transport Levy’.

          http://councillive.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/video/250615-governing-body-items-7-part-2-11

          (Scroll through to 7.30 minutes for the start.)

          Anyone else asking these HARD questions about transparency and democratic accountability, when it comes to the spending of public monies on private passenger transport services in the Auckland region?

          Penny Bright

          2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

          • Ad 5.3.2.1.1

            Questions are for critics. Mayors should have answers.

            So seriously, once you’ve finished doing what a 6th tier Council or CCO accountant does every day doing line by line forensics drafting new draft Annual Plans like the Act Party’s butler, what will Mayor Bright do to improve Auckland?

        • Sacha 5.3.2.2

          Transport provision like so many other things is determined by government legislation not the whim of local councillors.

          Council’s regular financial statements and plans seem to show what money is spent on to the satisfaction of most citizens. Not clear exactly what you think you will uncover by demanding line item accounting but I’m convinced there are better causes for you to pursue for the benefit of our city and our country.

  6. ankerawshark 6

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11549204

    Maybe Audrey has had a change of heart about Mr Key?

    • Tracey 6.1

      “Key climbs aboard the Boeing 757-200, kissing the cheeks of familiar Air Force cabin crew who have fed and watered him over thousands of air miles on other trips.”

      And yet he claimed he didn’t remember the chap being detained in Aussie?

    • Tracey 6.2

      How do you get a change of heart out of that? She paints him as both statesman-like and an ordinary bloke?

      • ankerawshark 6.2.1

        Tracey…..just an opinion re Audrey and John Key. She talked about his bloody mindedness and no apology. I thought the underlying tone showed a little bit of cynicism, but maybe that just how I read it.

        • Ergo Robertina 6.2.1.1

          Young’s world view is similar to that of John Armstrong – they’re old school conservatives occasionally discomforted by the way Key operates.
          Just why this engenders excited comment on the Standard is beyond me.

    • Karen 6.3

      I think when John Key displays his true attitude to women, Audrey Young gets uncomfortable. She was critical of the pony tail episode as well.

      However, she is also true to her roots. Her father, Vern Young, was a National Party cabinet minister and her brother Simon is a current National Party MP and I have seen footage of Audrey with John Key that indicated a very chummy relationship with him.

  7. joe90 7

    At the local pak-n-slave last night I saw an immigrant who felt the need to advertise the fact the she wasn’t a Muslim by wearing a fucking big cross.

    sigh..

  8. Tracey 8

    I am sure all these country boundary changes have nothing to do with any of the problems in the world today.

    • Ergo Robertina 8.1

      Not sure what you mean by your comment, but that was an interesting link.
      I guess boundary changes reflect the ”problems” (i.e that humans are rather horrible and rapacious) rather than those changes in themselves being the cause.
      That graphic could give an illusion of progress given the relative stability of borders in the last century, compared with earlier centuries.

      • tracey 8.1.1

        Having a sense of belonging is important to people. When boundaries constantly change so does what they thought they belonged to…

        • Ergo Robertina 8.1.1.1

          But the graphic would make it seem as if the world’s becoming a more stable place.
          Geographic conquest was largely replaced by other forms (such as economic) of imperialism.
          I also wonder what the concept of ”belonging” means in the context of those earlier empires.

  9. Penny Bright 9

    So Tracey – you think that Auckland Council should not be held accountable to the RULE OF LAW?

    You think that citizens and ratepayers should just tug their forelocks and ‘do as they’re told’ – irrespective of whether Auckland Council has complied with its statutory duties arising from the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, the Local Government Act 2002, and the Public Records Act 2005?

    (For starters ….)

    I might be many things – but ‘gutless’ is not one of them.

    How can you have transparency, or democratic accountability – without proper written records available for public scrutiny?

    Don’t you agree Tracey, that citizens and ratepayers have a LAWFUL right to know exactly where public monies are being spent?

    How can you check for cost savings or ‘cost-effectiveness’ – if you don’t know exactly where the ‘costs’ fall?

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • tracey 9.1

      Why is it so hard for you to use the reply button? See how my comment is attached to yours? That is what the reply button is for.

      You realise you have received preferential treatment by Auckland City don’t you? Otherwise YOUR house would have been forceably sold, like that other poor woman.

      Why put “gutless” in quotations. I didn’t call yout hat.

      I have commented before on here, to you, about how you and Grace Haden don’t care if you are right or wrong, and who gets hurt amongst your conspiracy theories.

      You have some valid points but you are also patently wrong at other times.

      Yeah Penny, I am just a head-nodder, you are the only person fighting the good fight 🙄

      I have never criticised this government, or challenged their lack of transparency. YOU are the only hero out there.

      I won’t vote for you because you will destroy innocent folks along with the deserving, believing everyone of them was guilty.

      • Karen 9.1.1

        There are several reasons I wouldn’t vote for Penny but a big one is that she evidently doesn’t believe in man made climate change:

        http://localelections.generationzero.org.nz/auckland/mayor/penny-bright

      • stigie 9.1.2

        Penny Bright lacks accountability and transparency for all to see.
        She will never ever answer any questions put to her about her public affairs.
        After all, she is running to be Mayor of Auckland council ?

      • Penny Bright 9.1.3

        Tracey, I am now accessing ‘The Standard’ from my computer, and am now able to use the ‘reply’ option, which appears to be unavailable to me when I post from my iphone.

        [lprent: That is because I have never had the time to add and test the code required to make that happen on the mobile version (I have tried to do it 4 times thus far and got interrupted mid-stream after 2-3 days all 4 times).

        Flip from Mobile to Desktop using a page from the menu on the top right. ]

        A couple of points:

        First – I request that you provide EVIDENCE of where I have ever stated, on any matter, anything that has been FACTUALLY inaccurate?

        Second – I most definitely DO care, if I am wrong, which is why I am asking you to prove where I have been ‘wrong’?

        Third – please be advised that I WILL defend my reputation as an ‘investigative activist’, who actually spends a considerable amount of time and effort, in carefully researching issues, in order to make sure that I am factually accurate in what I am stating.

        (Currently, I have proceedings on foot in the High Court, against Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town for alleged defamation.)

        Penny Bright

        • Tracey 9.1.3.1

          Anytime you agreed with grace hayden in wells v haden you were supporting a wrong. You thinking you are right is not the same as being right. Several judges have told you where you have been factually wrong in the past but you decided the judges were corrupt. I am not playing your games anymore

          • Penny Bright 9.1.3.1.1

            How is asking for YOU to please provide evidence of where I have ever MADE ANY STATEMENT about anything – that was FACTUALLY inaccurate ‘a game’?

            I respectfully suggest that you ‘quit while you’re behind’ Tracey?

            Defamation proceedings in the High Court are definitely NOT a game …..

            Penny Bright.

            • James 9.1.3.1.1.1

              Do you think you would have better luck than you did with John Banks?

            • James 9.1.3.1.1.2

              Whilst they are NOT a game – do you think that would be esier to “win” if you were able to turn up for the court cases?

              Do while it may be factual when you say “(Currently, I have proceedings on foot in the High Court, against Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town for alleged defamation.)”

              It might be more HONEST to say Currently, I have proceedings on foot in the High Court, against Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town for alleged defamation, but my case is looking shit and will probably be thrown out.?

              http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/73705000/auckland-rates-protester-penny-bright-fails-to-show-up-for-defamation-case

            • stigie 9.1.3.1.1.3

              Seems a game to you Penny, you never turned up to court for the last defamation proceedings ?

            • Tracey 9.1.3.1.1.4

              Wow Penny… threatening people with defamation to shut down criticism. Classy for a Mayoral.aspirant.

              I quoted you a case where you were wrong. The judgment is EVIDENCE
              You sat with grace hayden in court whispering in her ear and every one of her defences was shot down By the Judge. Haden refused to pay costs and judgment. Are you saying you thouht her defences to that claim were wrong?

              ” 15. It is not necessary to refer in detail to the Judgment other than perhaps to note the Judge’s conclusion that it was necessary to grant relief against the defendants, referring to the dispute as a “sorry saga” (paragraph 143) and in relation to certain pleaded acts of defamation that Mrs. Haden had “made mountains out of a molehill” and that Mrs. Haden and her company Verisure had engaged in conduct that was “remarkable for their plain vindictiveness”. ”

              https://dnc.org.nz/sites/default/files/content/399.html

              • Tracey

                Haden v Wells DC Auckland CIV-2012-004-696, 10 May 2013 at [14] and [16]. This finding was upheld on appeal: Haden v Wells [2013] NZHC 2753 at [25]-[26].

        • The Fairy Godmother 9.1.3.2

          You can put your phone in desk top mode. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see the options. Then you can click reply.

          • lprent 9.1.3.2.1

            It is easiest not to do it from the front page. That has infinite scrolling. Nothing quite as irritating as trying to hit the Mobile->Desktop transition and finding you have just selected a posts author as the infinite scroll loaded more posts.

  10. Ad 10

    OK people, in honour of The Phantom Menace being released within weeks, Stephanie Rodgers is watching the entire series, in sequence, and is live-tweeting it blow by blow.

    https://storify.com/bootstheory/stephanie-watches-the-phantom-menace-2015

    If any person in New Zealand thinks they can out-nerd Stephanie on this subject, then join the hashtags, but I warn you now children, The Force Is Strong In This One.

    • As Winston Churchill might have said “Jaw jaw is better than Jar jar”.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Oh dear, that got me reading this:

      Many of you probably know DM of the Rings. If not, and you are familiar with Lord of the Rings or roleplaying games, you might enjoy it. If you are familiar with both, you will enjoy it.

      Basically, Shamus Young, the creator, has treated Lord of the Rings as the fantasy campaign of a long-suffering Dungeon Master saddled with all too typical players, and illustrated it in the form of a comic using screencaps from the movies. Brilliant idea, and very well done. And I constantly boggle that (a) nobody did it before, and that (b) nobody has copied him yet.

      Alas, DM of the Rings has recently come to an end, having told the story to the ending. Shamus has moved on to a new comic project, which involves a collaboration with an artist. So no more movie screencap comics from Shamus. This has led to a call from his legion of fans for someone, anyone, to fill the void:

      Shamus:
      Which reminds me: This comic is popular enough that I’m surprised nobody else has done something similar. Harry Potter? Aliens? Spider-Man? X-Men? Star Trek? Star Wars? The Matrix? There are tons of movies which are well known and take themselves very seriously, which are the two main ingredients for good satire. I keep expecting another movie comic to appear someplace, but it hasn’t happened yet.

      Adam Bloom:
      I think it’s because the kind of person who thinks, “It would be funny to make a comic that spoofs Star Wars” is the kind of person who would read the amount of work you put into each comic and say, “OMFG WAT???”

      Whereas the kind of person who thinks, “I want to spend time and effort to make a high-quality webcomic” is not the kind of person who says, “It would be funny to spoof Star Wars.”

      You are the rare, and wonderful, exception.

      [from http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1226%5D

      I smells me a challenge…

      It helps if you’ve played pen and pencil RPG games and watched Star Wars.

      • Ad 10.2.1

        I like to think of Jacinda as a slightly older Padme, but that’s just me.

        And if it had better mood lighting, Parliament would pass well as a half-buried Death Star.

  11. Paul 12

    Another sky scraper on fire that did not collapse.
    So still the only ones that ever have collapsed are the 3 that did so on 9/11
    What an amazing coincidence.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/74280403/chicagos-john-hancock-centre-fire-on-50th-floor

  12. whateva next? 13

    This is the most powerful, most beautiful response to the Paris terrorist attacks I have seen:

  13. alwyn 14

    For the benefit of Ad.
    A few days ago I offered a wager that Goff would not resign from Parliament if he chose to run for Mayor. You assured me that

    “Yes I am willing to bet on that statement.
    I would expect the resignation within 48 hours after his actual announcement of candidacy this weekend.
    I’ve been wrong before, but he’s experienced enough to know you can only be one thing at a time. The campaign will be all-consuming. ”

    This was in http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-fundraising/#comment-1096991

    Phil has now announced and he says, according to The Herald, that

    “Mr Goff said that if elected Mayor next October, he would immediately resign as an MP.
    “I was elected MP for Mt Roskill for three years and I would resign that role and force a by-election with reluctance. I intend taking a leave of absence from Parliament once I embark on intensive campaigning next year. Until then, just as I balanced being a Cabinet Minister and MP for many years, I will continue serving my constituents full-time as their MP as I have done for more than 30 years.””

    I fear that I will not be eating humble pie as I said I would if your prediction came true.
    Never get between a pig and a trough. You should remember that in the future.

    • Ad 14.1

      Humbly, I’m ready to start chewing.

      • alwyn 14.1.1

        And a very gracious response.
        I am probably a great deal more cynical about politicians, all politicians, than you are.
        I find that they are, with only a few exceptions, dedicated to eating their fill at the trough. They seem to be worst if they enter Parliament at a young age and stay for a long time. Goff qualifies on both counts. Apart from anything else most of these ones are basically unemployable
        The least greedy are those who enter at an older age and have been successful in some other occupation. Clarkson, who beat Winston in Tauranga, is a prize example. He couldn’t get our quick enough at the end of one term. It probably helped that he could say that he was wasting his time there and could make more money in a week outside Parliament than he did in a year as an MP.

        ps. I wonder what “humble” pie really is?

        • lprent 14.1.1.1

          Google and Wikipedia is your friend
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humble_pie

          The expression derives from umble pie, which was a pie filled with the chopped or minced parts of a beast’s ‘pluck’ – the heart, liver, lungs or ‘lights’ and kidneys, especially of deer but often other meats. Umble evolved from numble, (after the French nomble) meaning ‘deer’s innards’.[1][2]

          It has occasionally been suggested that ‘umbles’ were considered inferior food and that in medieval times, the pie was often served to lower-class people, possibly following speculation in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable but there is little evidence for this.[citation needed] Early references in cookbooks such as Liber Cure Cocorum present a grand dish with exotic spices.

          • alwyn 14.1.1.1.1

            I am now in two minds. Should I wish I had lost the wager?
            It actually sounds pretty good and eating humble pie doesn’t sound like something to be avoided. I am a fan of heart, liver and kidneys, although generally lamb or beef rather than deer which I haven’t tried, so most of it appears to be rather tasty.

    • b waghorn 14.2

      He needs to stand down now ! Hes just handing the nats a club to beat labour with.

    • b waghorn 14.3

      I might be wrong about the nats using it against labour but I guess this below from key could be the start of a classic bit of two track DP!
      http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11549402
      “”Mr Key did not believe the big commitment needed for the upcoming campaign meant Mr Goff should resign as an MP.

      “The history is not of people resigning … he won’t be in the House as much, I don’t know what his schedule will be, but in terms of his constituency, which is Mt Roskill, that is sort of the heart of Auckland, I think he will argue pretty strongly he will continue to serve his constituents.”

      Even if Mr Goff was successful, Mr Key said there was precedent for him to remain in Parliament until the next election, as long as he didn’t take both salaries.

      Such a move could avoid the expense of a byelection, Mr Key said.

      Asked if Mt Roskill was unwinnable from National’s perspective, he said no incumbent Government had ever won a byelection for a seat it did not hold.

      “I don’t think we would be claiming we were the frontrunners. But, in the end, if there is a byelection, we are happy to fight it…I’m just simply saying we are not trying to railroad him out of their””

      • Karen 14.3.1

        I suspect he will be shifted to the backbench but really, I think he should resign as an MP when the campaign proper starts.

        • b waghorn 14.3.1.1

          So do I key himself says an incumbent government has never taken a seat that wasn’t theirs in a by election and it would give a new labour mp time to get out into the comunity pre 2017.

        • Anne 14.3.1.2

          If it’s all looking good for him I think he will resign when the official campaign starts. He’s hedging his bets at this stage in case it all turns topsy turvy. I guess you can’t blame him for that.

    • Tracey 14.4

      I was with you alwyn. he will suck on the taxpayer teat until he cans uck on the ratepayer teat. That’s how much Goff cares about the vulnerable of NZ, he will take every last dollar from them.

  14. Chooky 15

    From CLEANGREEN (on the Daily Blog)

    Are our Auckland housing bubble caught up in this corruption charges coming out of arrests of criminal Chinese investors laundering illegal bank money here now?

    https://www.rt.com/business/322822-china-illegal-bank-crackdown/

    “China busts biggest “underground Bank”

    Beijing has announced a crackdown on the country’s biggest “underground bank” which handled $64 billion (410 billion yuan) of illegal foreign-exchange transactions. China is currently boosting efforts to curb capital outflows and fight corruption.
    The bank transferred money overseas using non-resident accounts, exploiting regulatory loopholes and bypassing oversight, according to the government.
    More than 370 people have been arrested, some face lawsuits or criminal charges, the People’s Daily reports citing police officials.

    “Chinese authorities started raiding underground banks in April. Since then they have revealed over 170 cases of money laundering and illegal fund transfers totalling more than 800 billion yuan ($125.34 billion). Police have shut down 37 banks.”

    – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/11/22/the-daily-blog-open-mic-sunday-22nd-november-2015/#sthash.rpYQPH4y.dpuf

    ( The New Zealand Nact government must be aware of this…but the last time the Labour Party brought the housing crisis up in Auckland it was accused of “crude racial profiling” by both John Key and the Greens….!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/70186455/Greens-accuse-Labour-of-crude-racial-profiling-on-housing-sales

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/wall-of-chinese-capital-buying-up-australian-properties-20150628-ghztdf.html )

    • Rosie 15.1

      Chooky, I’m too sleep deprived to comprehend and discuss but thought you might be interested to know that Al Jazeera, (freeview chanel 16) had a news story about this issue last night. Quite fascinating, and I also wondered if the Ak property boom has been affected in part by the activities of these underground banks…………..

      You can probably find their story on their website. I think they will continue to investigate too.

  15. Penny Bright 16

    “Phil Twyford tweeted: Phil Goff is a legend: one of the hardest working, most capable and decent people in politics. @Forabetterakld ”

    Give me a break ….

    I first encountered Phil Goff in 1985, when Phil Goff was the Minister of Housing in the 1984-87 ‘Rogernomic$’ Labour Government, which lifted the rent freeze, making life tough for low-income renters.

    Please be reminded that for the 9 years under Helen Clark’s Labour Government, (in which Phil Goff was a Cabinet Minister) the underpinning legislation upon which the Rogernomic$ neo-liberal reforms were based, was left basically untouched.

    It was under a Labour Government, (lest we forget), that the process for the current Auckland ‘Supercity’ (for the 1%) was started.

    (5 September 2006, to be precise, the date of the ‘failed Mayoral coup’, where the four (then) Auckland City Council Mayors, wrote an ‘Open Letter’ to PM Helen Clark, calling for the abolition of the ARC, and its urgent replacement with an Auckland ‘Supercity’.)

    It was the Labour Government which appointed the ‘Royal Commissioners’ for Auckland Regional Governance, which recommended the mechanism for the effective corporate takeover of the Auckland region – the Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) model for Auckland major trading and infrastructure services.

    Please don’t ask Aucklanders to have a collective ‘frontal lobotomy’?

    In my considered opinion, Phil Goff will be a safe pair of hands for the business community, in whose interests the Auckland region is currently being run.

    In comparison, my Mayoral campaign will be a full, frontal assault on the neo-liberal ‘Rogernomic$’ model, of which citizens and ratepayers of the Auckland region, have now had TWO doses.

    Who has benefited?

    Follow the dollar …..

    Oh – that’s right.

    You CAN’T – because the ‘books’ are not open, and we the public cannot find out exactly where public monies have/ are being spent.

    How convenient …..

    Because I am openly attacking the ‘commercialise, corporatise, PRIVATISE’ agenda – I expect a lot more more effort will be made to ‘demonise’ and attack what I am saying and what I am doing.

    So be it.

    But as a proven ‘anti-privatisdation / anti-corruption Public Watchdog/ whistle-blower’ – where am I FACTUALLY INACCURATE in anything I am saying?

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Ad 16.1

      What experience in elected office do you have to propose running Auckland Council?

      Do you propose to reverse the amalgamated Auckland into some other structure?

      • Sacha 16.1.1

        What’s the point in asking someone about an action the role she is contending for has no power to make? Government sets the rules. If Ms Bright is genuinely concerned, that’s what she would be standing for or at least seeking to influence through other methods.

    • Visubversa 16.2

      As you well know Penny, the Royal Commission’s report was thrwn in the dustbin by Rodney Hide and the NACTS and the Super City legislation was what they wanted and not what the Commission recommended.

      • Sacha 16.2.1

        Penny has also been told that the previous councils all had CCOs as well, but facts which do not suit her conspiracy-minded rants seem to go in one ear and out the other.

      • John Shears 16.2.2

        Thnks Visubversa took the words out of my mouth. Penny needs to read the history again.

  16. joe90 18

    Spend 5 watching artisans create.

    • ianmac 18.1

      And wow Joe! Having seen many examples of mosaics in mosques and other places it is just too easy to walk all over them without realising the craft and patience and commitment to create these works of art. Next time I am in a museum I will stop and look harder.
      And in the middle east a drone somewhere will destroy the mosaics and the artisans. Poof. A Crime!

    • weka 18.2

      Thanks joe, that’s the best thing I’ve seen all weekend.

      • Ad 18.2.1

        Sorry it looked like soul-sucking low-skilled OOS-inducing drudgery set to Trade Aid shop music.

        • fender 18.2.1.1

          Nothing low-skilled about the way those guys went about their work. Incredibly accurate without any wasted motion was all I saw.

          • weka 18.2.1.1.1

            +1. That guy with the hammer was incredibly skilled.

            Whether it’s drudgery or not will depend on how well they get paid and who they’re making them for.

        • joe90 18.2.1.2

          Sorry it looked like soul-sucking low-skilled OOS-inducing drudgery set to Trade Aid shop music.

          Spoken like someone who’s never handled ceramics.

          And should you ever find yourself in Morocco you’ll notice a distinct lack of manufacturing plant.

  17. Ad 19

    So far today on Open Mike we have had 9 posts from mayoral candidate Penny Bright.
    She has been asked:

    1. “That is your whole plan for Auckland?
    No response

    2. In a similar vein, different author: “What do you want to achieve for Auckland?”
    No response

    3. “What will you spend on transport for example?”
    No response

    4. “What will Mayor Bright do to improve Auckland?”
    No response

    5. “Do you propose to reverse the amalgamated Auckland into some other structure?”
    No response

    6. “Why is it so hard for you to use the reply button?”
    No response

    7. When confronted by her flat denial of human-caused climate change:
    No response

    8. “Do you think you would have better luck than with John Banks?”
    No response

    9. “Do you think it would be easier to win if you turned up for your court cases?
    No response

    10. When a specific legal case she lost was cited, she was asked, “Are you saying you thought her defenses to that claim were wrong?”
    No response

    This is today’s measure of Penny Bright as a candidate to be Mayor of Auckland.

    • sabine 19.1

      it looks like your regular day at “Question Time in Parliament” all you got to do is replace Penny Wrigth with Bill English, Pulyer Benefit, the Ponytail puller and the rest of the National Posse.

      In fact, i would suggest you should admire her for not revealing any policies before the election, its so National 2014 🙂

    • Karen 19.2

      Good summary Ad.

    • One Two 19.3

      Probably best to leave it up to the ‘experts’ and just keep whinging about the lack of change

  18. reason 20

    Seeing as open mike seems to have developed into a pick on Penny thread I would like to say she would make a far better mayor than that double dipping fair weather friend John Banks ever did.

    like many new zealanders who do not live in Auckland I think the place is poorly planned shit hole with an over abundance of rude show boating wankers …. rich white trash like Hosking and Key thrive there.

    But having got that out of the way that I do remember watching the mayoralty of John Banks from afar and thinking what the fuck is wrong with that place electing a horrible semi fascist authoritarian prick like that

    I remember watching John Banks using the police a lot at council meetings … they were like his own personal heavies ….. the red squad was in the chambers .

    At that when the police were acting as Johns Banks personal heavies one Clint Rickards was the Auckland districts police commander …..

    John Banks had a very high regard for Clint Richards and they worked really well together ………… they had this special understanding going on …..you could just see it at the council meetings.

    Penny has my admiration and although she may not be a practical choice for Aucklands Mayor ……. I think without people like her the mongrels like Banks/Hide etc would be even more blatant in their quest to privatize council services like water and generally loot ratepayers for the enrichment of the few.

    She believes in democracy and open government ……. Unlike your next Auckland Mayor to be.

    • weka 20.1

      It’s completely unconscionable to have a major city Mayor who is a climate change denier. Whether that’s Banks or Bright.

    • Tracey 20.2

      You have quite a distinctive writing style reason. If you read the objections to Ms Bright they are pretty well set out. She has no plan for Auckland, she is anti corruption BUT she and those in her group have a very particular view of corruption which is based on what they believe and damn the evidence and damn the innocent that they besmirch and whose reputations they wrongly demolish through mass emails to employers etc.

      So, no, I don’t think she would make a good Mayor. Do we need people on the sidelines shouting the odds about corruption and transparency. Yes, we do. She can use the Mayoral vehicle for that but to suggest she actually be mayor is, I think, even beyond her own expectations in running.

  19. Expat 21

    A recent definition from my dictionary, for the word capricious.

    “Capricious”

    (adj.) 1. determined by chance or impulse or whim rather than by necessity or reason; “Authoritarian rulers are frequently capricious”, impulsive, whimsical;
    2. Changeable:

    You know who this reminds me of!!!!!!!

  20. reason 23

    Are you talking about Rodney hide weka ???????

    Or bill english perhaps …………..

    Penny has a sub zero chance of being Mayor as everyone knows ….

    But she does keep certain democratic ideals like open government and transparency from being totally disregarded and buried.

    Personally I feel the Auckland disease is the biggest threat to New Zealand and its spreading …………..

    If Phil Goff is the answer your already fucked

    • Tracey 23.1

      Is Weka a Phil Goff supporter? I would need a link for that cos it seems very unlikely to me. (Weka not trying to put words in your typewriter)

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