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Open mike 22/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 22nd, 2011 - 220 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

220 comments on “Open mike 22/12/2011 ”

  1. james111 1

    Great to see Shayne Jones stepping into the lime light between Labour and the business community . Was interesting to see him say.

    That Iwi would like to buy into the Assett sales now they were going ahead. Well thats a great surprise for all isnt it everyone knew apart from Labour that many groups including superannuation funds wanted to buy into the Assetts.

    May be Shayne with a common sense approach can bridge the huge divide between business people ,and Labour. Every one knows that without employers you dont have employees Labour really struggles to come to grips with this matter.

    Havent heard David Shearer say he wil lbuy back Assets as he knows it is a winning model just like Air New Zealand.

    • Gawd the ranks of Crosby Textor clones with a vestige of talent seems to be getting thin.

      What a silly view you have James that Employers are all important. The last time I checked without employees firms would fail.

      Your view confirms conclusively that Tories think they are born to rule.

      And the biggest superannuation provider already owns the assets. Sell them and the ability to maintain current superannuation entitlements will decline.

      And a small but important bit of information for you, Air New Zealand failed under private ownership.

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        And without firms employment would fail. Neither are ‘all important’, they are both reliant on each other, there are mutual reliances and mutual benefits.

        Of course any employee is free to resign and set up their own firm. And groups of employees are free to set up their own co-operatives. Why don’t they all do this?

        Perhaps it’s easier, less stressful and far less risky to be an employee, and to rely on firms.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          “Of course any employee is free to resign and set up their own firm. ”

          Skill-sets don’t come into it eh Pete. Nor assets and connections to be able to do that. Or education and knowledge. Or inheriting the firm from daddy or grand-daddy.

          You might as well postulate that ” of course any employer is able to dispense with the employees and do the work themselves.”

          That would make me laugh just as much.

          Both statements are as looney as the other.

          No doubt the kid with Downs Syndrome down the road will be happy to know that he can be an airline pilot. He’s always wanted to be one. All he has to do is try harder and get off his butt.

          • Gosman

            So which part of our education system is failing people that they don’t have the skills start up businesses on their own. Surely this is what you need to target rather than bemoan how bad employers generally are.

            • aerobubble

              When you consider that so many NZ do it themselves (badly), then start up a business doing it for real (badly), then hire their relatives and have no trouble making a buck.
              and why, because government makes it far too easy for business with lapse regulation
              (changing because insurers need professional building standards) and little tax incentives (capital gains) to buckup and do the job right, and then they can just shut up shop and start under a new name!.

              The problem with the NZ economy is its done on the cheap without government stressing and reinvigorating the economy. When they whine overseas about big government they mean it, government is too big, it does invade, and after three decades of deregulation is it any wonder that governments have gotten out of hand. Nobody knows what a good government, what the correct size should be, governments overseas use the dogma of big government to shift private debt onto the government books. It didn’t take National-ACT very long to do that, they immediately weaken the market impact by lowering taxes on businesses and on rich individuals, and then they raised GST and borrowed to pay for it.

              Governments are too big, take too much taxes because they privatize private debt and provide far too much business welfare.

            • millsy

              So you think it is OK for bosses to treat their workers like dirt?

              • Gosman

                That is a value judgement.It would be like me asking you is it okay for Workers to demand more than they deserve.

                • Ari

                  No, those dirty CEOs should be forced to pay back the wages they did not deserve.

                  Oh, wait, you meant regular workers? They don’t get more than they deserve, so it’s not an issue.

                • McFlock

                  “is it okay for Workers to demand more than they deserve.”
                  Um – surely how much they “deserve” is the equilibrium price between their demands for remuneration and the value of their labour? If they “demand” too much then there is no work, so they will negotiate closer to the equilibrium. Or are you not working within a market paradigm?

                • Colonial Viper

                  That is a value judgement.It would be like me asking you is it okay for Workers to demand more than they deserve.

                  Seeing that labour is the superior of capital, and no new capital can be created without the application of labour, what workers “deserve” is 100% of the economic value of their labour created surplus.

            • Bored

              Good question Gos, so for this employers eye viewpoint….we have lost sight of the difference between actual hands on doing that produces tangible outputs (i.e you can see and touch them) and the ancillary tasks that require knowledge manipulation etc (sales, law accounts etc) that don’t actually make things.

              As an employer I need people who can actually produce the end item. Years back they had tech training and had an NZCE or some other trades cert done at a Technical College or they had been apprentices. Now they all have a “degree” and are generally of little use….most have got commercial and legal degrees which they hope to get a job with. Its pathetic really, too many aspirational graduates with degrees that the factory turns out if you pay the dosh and do the assignments….low value.

              Until employers like me tell the graduates to get a real and useful qualification, until we pay enough tax to pay for the training gratis, we will get the wrong people.

              • Gosman

                Well this is where and I will have to diverge on our agreement. In my world the role of the State is to enable the people to get the basic skills to make decisions about what they want to do for themselves and then have an ability to decide if they want to spend their own money to train in a paricular specialised area for their own benefit. In my opinion it is not the role of the state to direct people down a particlar career path. Certainly not one that is subsidised 100% by the State. In short, give people a quality basic education subsidised by the general population but then they should contribute to their own economic well being via future training or businesses should pick up the slack.

                • KJT

                  NZ business on the whole has been extremely successful in transferring the costs of training back on taxpayers, the employees and/or overseas taxpayers.

                  And they still so bad at growing business that they want to pinch ours.

                  Where is the incentive to train New Zealanders, or pay them competitive wages, when you can just bleat to the immigration department.

                  • Gosman

                    From what I can tell from your statement is that the problem is with NZ business not being willing to fund the training. In which case policies should be put in place to encourage this rather than simply allowing business off the hook by the State taking up the slack. Governments tend not to be very good at deciding what areas people should be trained in. They might get lucky now and then but if there is no business willing to take up the graduates then all you have is a bunch of highly educated unemployed people. Again I return to Zimbabwe as an example. It was comendable that the Zanu-PF government post independence spent a huge amount on education. However their higher education policy meant they ended up with an awful lot of graduates which due to their left wing economic policies there were no jobs for. Essentially you waste your investment if your productive sector cannot provide jobs for your educated young people.

                    • KJT

                      I agree there. Business should be able to pay for the levels of skills training they require.

                      Tax payer funded training tends to help large corporates. SME’s tend to train their staff on the job.

                    • Ari

                      It would be pretty awesome if we instituted a tertiary education levy on high-earning businesses, but asked them to apportion roughly what type of graduates they’d be interested in employing to direct the subsidies. Viola, market-driven education subsidies. There’d be a delay, but it would be much better than the current system which pumps out business degrees, excess lawyers, and IT generalists who’re stuck fixing computers.

            • KJT

              The new NZ curriculum, which NACT is basically dumping in favour of narrow 3R’s only training, includes enterprise studies.

        • Uturn

          Here you consider the beginnings of a socialist concept, then a few posts down you express fear of socialism. Either you are ignorant of what you are doing, scared of becoming one or the other, or simply a troll.

          One vote here to have you removed permanently. There are better inducements for commenters to express their perspectives than being toyed with by a troll.

          • Pete George

            It’s possible to have a mix of the best socialist policiesand practices and the best capitalist policies and practices. It doesn’t have to be exclusively one or the other.

            Equalising all incomes is failed ideology, even if it could be done it wouldn’t work.

            Equal opportunity to be an employer or an employee does work far better than the alternative

            • Uturn

              It’s possible to pop pop weeze have a mix or contradiction of the best crank weeze socialist policies and pop pop practices and the best groan waddle capitalist policies and pop pop practices. It doesn’t have to creak groan be oink oink exclusively one or braap.

              Equalising waffle waffle all incomes pop pop is failed dribble dribble, even if it could be troll troll done it wouldn’t troll.

              Equal trolling opportunity to be a pop pop weeze popper employer or an elephant fart turd does work far better than honk honk weeze.

            • KJT

              Yes it is, but you are propping up a NACT government that is heading even further away from what we know to be a better mix.

              Using the worst of both.

              We do not have equal opportunity. Most of us can only finance a business from a mortgage. Which means ordinary people can only have one go in a lifetime. Wealthy people can have many goes.

              Ordinary people also risk bankruptcy a losing everything they own, just as they risk the same if their employer goes under.

              Wealthy people, when their business goes under can afford to hide in trusts and overseas so that when they fail only their suppliers and employees suffer. If they are a finance company the taxpayer bails them out as well, while they head for Australia with the loot.

              Which means that wealth accumulates in fewer and fewer hands. This, as we all know is economically and socially dysfunctional.
              The best way we know to remove this dysfunction is progressive taxation.

              Giving the already wealthy more money to take out of our economy and spend on overseas sourced luxuries is neither economically or socially effective.

              The myth that if they were allowed to keep more they would reinvest in New Zealand has been long exploded.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Of course any employee is free to resign and set up their own firm. And groups of employees are free to set up their own co-operatives. Why don’t they all do this?

          Because the present system is designed to prevent it.

        • Jasper

          You should just piss off PG. Nothing you say has any relevance to New Zealand society but then again what positive contribution does the viewpoint of a 60+ add to New Zealand society? Absolutely nothing.

          Your generation stole from ours. Now you expect my generation to pay for what you raped, pillaged and took for granted.

          Not on at all. Not at all.

      • Gosman 1.1.2

        “What a silly view you have James that Employers are all important. The last time I checked without employees firms would fail.”

        Quite untrue. There are a large numbers of firms where there are no employees just a business owner who takes no direct salary or wage.

        • KJT

          In most cases they do no better than an employee because our present system is biased to support big corporates.

          • Gosman

            So that is an argument for policies which support the small business community via such things as making it easier to do business. Do the parties on the left have policies that make things easier for small businesses to do what they want to do? From what I saw at the last election the answer was no.

            • KJT

              Actually yes. Labour started making compliance with regulation easier for small business.
              My business did noticeably well under Labour because customers disposable incomes were increasing. Not to mention assistance with developing export markets and research.

              The continuance of most of the Neo-liberal mantra of “free trade” and globalisation did NZ SME’s no favours though.

              Pending extra power prices, lower incomes for customers and other “benefits” of NACT being in power caused me to go back to working for wages.

              • Gosman

                So essentially you got subsidised by the state. If you think getting subsidies to do what you decided to do voluntarily is making it easier that is your right. Of course then you get stuck in the trap that if the Government removes the subsidies it is making it harder. So therefore the Government has to give you more and more subsidies just to keep you happy.

                • KJT

                  What subsidies are you talking about.?

                  Using facilities that I have paid tax for!

                  You already know I am not one of those people who object to paying taxes.

                  All NZ export industries get export assistance, access to development assistance and overseas trade shows.

                  Unfortunately you need very high local earnings to be able to afford branching into export. Unless you already have unlimited capital.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Unless you already have unlimited capital.

                    I hear European banks just got access to the Fed funds window at near 0% interest pa.

                    What do the people of southern Europe get? Crushed. The rich get richer and everyone else is sucked dry.

    • Carol 1.2

      Shane Jones is on dodgy grounds in relation to Labour policies, by talking about possible support for extractive mining in rural areas.

      Shearer didn’t mention buying back assets, but Winston did:


      “This government did not get a mandate either on election day or after it to sell valuable state assets to their mates,” Mr Peters said.

      “We intend to remind New Zealanders every day for the next three years what three of the four parties who make up this Government actually campaigned on.

      “We intend to tell people who conspire against New Zealand’s interests that theirs will be a short-term investment and that after 2014 – or earlier – we’ll have a mandate to take these assets back.”

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Shearer didn’t mention asset sales? Is this part of a more “pro-business” Labour that the right wing commentators are happy to give the stamp of approval to?

        • Carol

          Shearer mentioned opposing asset sales quite a bit in his speech.


          But he did not mention Labour buying assets back, unlike Cunliffe in his leadership campaign or Winston in his reply speech yesterday.

          • The Voice of Reason

            I suspect Shearer is being cautious about committing to buying the assets back because there may not be enough money in the kitty to do it in three years time. Given the Nat’s excessive current borrowing, we’re going to be broke by then.
            Of course, if we took them back without compensation, that wouldn’t be a problem!

            • aerobubble

              There is the reason that so close on the election, and with parliament not returning until Feb and everyone on holiday, its unlikely to be worth starting the fightback in any detail.
              Key however made the mistake of advising Labour to drop CGT, under the false opinion that voters said no to a CGT. Key ran a non-campaign campaign avoiding the issues so its hard to fathom why anyone would believe voters said anything but they were turned off.

            • Ari

              This is why he should just re-nationalise them. I see no reason why a few should be allowed to profit off firesales of state assets that rightly belong to us all and that the public opposed selling.

          • just saying

            Saw that too Carol. Thank goodness we now have decent opposition on some issues.

            One thing that’s starting to bug me is the buzz-meme that Labour isn’t going to “whine” as it opposes, instead its going to be “positive” and work towards more collaboration with the government and concentrate its opposition in ‘key’ areas instead. Does this kind of thing send a shiver down anyone else’s spine?

            Seems to me we’re not supposed to notice that there are plenty of other alternatives to whining in opposition. ‘Positive’ may be popular with the focus groups and the commentariat, but NZ needed a strong oppostion last term and got sfa. Labour lost the election and decided that the main problem was that it was too negative – not too weak and wishy and standing for bugger-all, note.

            Could be wrong, but I’m getting a bad feeling about this.

            Maybe the caucus could stop listening to their communications advisors and start watching tapes of Winston, and have workshops for memeber to learn how to oppose without whining.

            • Carol

              Yes I liked this bit from Winston:


              We spoke to New Zealanders from the deep South to the far North.

              We learned their fears, their hopes and their dreams of what they want as the future of their country.

              New Zealand First did not rely on focus groups, opinion polls, surveys and profiling to find out what the people were thinking.

              We simply went and visited them and listened to them.

              That’s why New Zealand First is back here to provide a voice for New Zealanders who believe in the concept of a fair go for everyone.

              Didn’t like Winston’s one-law-for-all attacks on the Ministry of apartheid, but did like the clear and simple line about a fair go for everyone. I prefer that to the slick, corporate-style slogan of clean, green and clever

      • Gosman 1.2.2

        What did National get a mandate for then?

        Do left wingers believe that right wing parties ever have a mandate to implement right leaning policies or does democracy only count if it involves people electing left leaning parties into power?

        • mikesh

          Given that National, ACT and United Future scored only 48.98% percent of the party votes between them I doubt they have a mandate for anything.

          • dv

            And only about 35% of eligible voters.

            • Gosman

              So when was the last time Labour party got a mandate then for their policies?

              A far as I am aware they haven’t got over 50% of the total electorate much if at all. Certainly they never got it in 2005 yet had no problem implementing their policy platform.

              Why do some left wing people here hate democracy so much?

              • McFlock

                Um – national and its coalition partners failed to get 50% of the actual vote.

                First time since MMP began. 
                One can get into an argument about “if you don’t vote, you can’t complain” and so on, but I would suggest that a failure to vote does not count as contributing to “support” or a “mandate”. Or are you suggesting that a failure or refusal to participate in the electoral process is a clear indication of support?

                • Gosman

                  Ummmm… from what I remember about the 1999 election, the Labour party led formal coalition was a minority one (i.e. had less than 50% of the vote). Even in 2005 Labour required United Future to have over 50% of the vote as a Government and this is the same party many people give Pete George shite for all the time. So why was it okay for Labour to claim a mandate in 2005 with United Future but not National in 2011?

                  • Jasper

                    And you keep going on about Peter Dunne aka UF being the best thing for NZ since sliced bread don’t you? Or is that PG? You two seem so alike, it’s like you’re almost twins.

                    Pull your head out. UF will quite happily sell NZ down the river. Personally, I think that the vocal minority of New Zealanders are pretty thick and wouldnt really understand society if it came up and smacked them in the face.

                    Then again, neither would Shearer. One of the reasons I Left Labour.

                    “Society cannot exist without the individual. The Individual cannot exist without society”

                    Gosman, you need to get out of your bubble. The last 4 years on here, you’ve shown you’ve got no aptitude for far sightedness, but that’s an attribute that can be applied to many kiwis so you’re in good company.

                    Politics in this country has turned to shit. My niece learns nothing about NZ in high school, but she knows plenty about Europe, England, Russia and the USA. Her response to the TOW? “Oh, that’s a maori holiday document isn’t it”

                    Absolute shit. Charter schools will make it worse. National governments screw this country multiple times over. Its been proven. 1984 – 1990 was an ACT government, that I firmly believe.

                    Labour lost its roots long ago. Under MALLARD they’re still stuck in FPP. Trevor needs to go, as he’s an antiquated relic thats long past his sell by date but what organisation is going to hire him given he’s got a criminal record for assualting Tau Henare.

                    Labour have lost every election from now. The only clear direction is for Labour to scrap those that lick arse (Jordan Carter) and go back to those that care about NEW ZEALAND and not themselves. Unfortunately, many of the politically inclined members fall into the ego category. Cunliffe has an ego, but I truly believe he had the best interests of NZ at heart.

                    Just 50 years ago (under labour) this country was at its peak. It can get there. Our carbon outputs are far less than other developed countries and we need to realise that our forests are our salvation. Scrap the ETS, and look at getting a credit on every tree we have. Get Kerry Prenderghastly to start counting our trees. 1 car puts out the same amount that a sapling breathes in. Over 4 years.

                    So gosman, read some books. Read “The Politics of Hope”. Understand that politics in this country is dictated by the media and has been for some time. Think about whether you care for your fellow countryman, or do you care for yourself?

                    Some things to get this country back on track

                    1: Understand the ETS. Recognise our trees are our saviours. Get people planting trees and give them credits for them.
                    2: Give people on the benefit who get work a three month leeway to earn whatever they earn before declaring to WINZ.
                    3: Scrap our education system and move to a NZ focused historical knowledge context.
                    4: Move to a flat tax system but dependent on what you earn i.e. 70K is taxed at 20%, 150K is taxed at 25%, 500,000+ taxed at 30%. Every dollar taxed at a low rate.

                    I probably shouldn’t be saying these things. I said long ago that Labour should vote on the leader. Dickheads like Jordan Carter who poo poo that idea then, and turn around and promote it at debates should be laughed out.

                    the Labour Party is on the way out. Bye Labour. See you never!

                • Akldnut

                  This is a good line McFlock – one that should be asked in the house and make Key or English answer it.
                  Mr Speaker I would like to offer into the house these statements of Blah blah blah of Mr Key & Mr English pronoucing mandate for Asset Sales.
                  Q. (Primary)
                  ahem….. After all his statements of having “mandate” does the PM believe that all registered voters who failed to cast a vote are contributing as “support” or a “mandate” to implement asset sales.
                  A. Blah, blah, blah (we know they won’t say Yes or No, which is a Yes through the absence of a straight answer)
                  Q. (Secondary)
                  Is the PM saying that a failure or refusal to participate in the electoral process is a clear indication of support?

                  • Gosman

                    It may be a good line until you realise it applies to pretty much every Government that gets elected in NZ.

                    • KJT

                      Yep. Time for a real democracy.

                    • Ari

                      Participatory grassroots democracy FTW.

                    • McFlock

                      No. On strict proportionality grounds, this government is a minority government with no mandate to do anything. This is a seperate argument to mind-reading those people who did not vote.

                    • Gosman

                      Okay you guy’s push for that and try and get support for a change. Until that time you have to work within the system we have. Remember if you argue that Right leaning policies have no mandate then you also have to accept Left leaning policies implemented under the same system also don’t have a mandate.

                    • KJT

                      Actually agree with you there Gosman.

                      No Government in NZ has ever had a mandate. They are just a bunch of interchangeable dictators that graciously allow us to change the chairs on the Titanic every three years.

                      Only with a system that allows democratic oversight of Government decisions, like the Swiss, can there be a real mandate.

                    • McFlock

                      don’t lump us all together – I’m still not sure where I stand on what to do about the lack of participation. My only point is that, from a proportionality window, the minority government can’t claim a mandate from the votes. The simple reason is that it received less than a majority of the votes cast and manages to rule solely due to the electorates of tweedledum and tweedledumber.

                    • Ari

                      I should also point out that I do actually believe that campaigning on a big issue and winning the government benches gives you a mandate to execute on policy… IF the majority of the public don’t oppose it.

                      The majority of the public clearly opposed asset sales, but not enough of them decided to vote on the day, or voted based on other issues. National has a legal basis to implement whatever they want based on that, but calling it a mandate is just batty. It’s impossible to get a mandate for something the public opposes, it just highlights that people vote based on reasons other than flagship policies.

              • mikesh

                I don’t think they ever claimed one. They didn’t really need to. The current National lot seem to be doing a lot of mandate claiming however, particularly in respect of asset sales. The problem is these alleged mandates don’t exist.

                • Gosman

                  What do you mean they didn’t need to? Surely you believe Elections bestow a mandate on the Government to implement policy don’t you or is every policy just pushed through via force of will? If so what is the point of democratic elections again?

                  • KJT

                    Electing “representatives” is not democracy.

                    Especially when the “representatives” can get away with almost half the vote by misrepresenting their real agenda.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Aided and abetted by a compliant corporate media.

                      What the hell is on the teapot tapes.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Electing representatives is only part of the picture and they (the executive) only have the power to introduce legislation.

                      There is a separation of duties with Parliament – not the executive having the responsibility for debating and passing legislation.

                      There are processes such as select committees to gather information and submissions and to consider the wider aspects of legislation.

                      Democracy requires that minorities are considered and protected – you are elected to represent all people not just those who voted for you.

                      As government you have access to much more information than you might have had previously and you need to utilise that information and those resources.

                      You are responsible to more than your own voters.

                      So yeah you can push your agenda but a mandate to do anything, you do not have.

                      To suggest so is an abrogation of democratic responsibility.

                      That should have been one of the lessons of the Labour government that was neo-liberal – it’s one of the reasons voters wanted a different voting system – to temper the power of the executive.

                      The last National government did not believe in democracy and bypassed many of the normal processes – I’m in no doubt we will see more non-urgent urgency used and we’ll possibly see more powers extended that sit outside of parliament.

                      I’m just as critical of Labour misusing urgency as well – particularly in the last part of their last term.

                      If you are going to make a stand for democracy at least insist that the proper democratic principles and procedures are followed by all parties.

                      The power sits with parliament and not the executive for good reason.

      • Fotran 1.2.3

        Who is this bloke “Mr Peters” ? How is he relevant to the argument ?. Surely Shearer is leading the charge ?

    • Descendant Of Smith 1.3

      You think iwi giving their hard fought and deserved money from Treaty settlements back to the government who wronged them in return for assets they already own as the taxpayer is a good thing because……….

      We giveth with one hand and take with the other.

      • Gosman 1.3.1

        Unlike taxation, partial asset sales does not involve compulsion. If you don’t want to have direct ownership via shares then don’t buy them.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Taxation doesn’t involve compulsion either. If you don’t want to pay them you’re free to leave.

          I already have ownership so why would I want to buy the assets from myself?

          • Gosman

            Actually you aren’t necessarily free to leave. In NZ we are lucky that we have a pretty open door immigration policy with Australia but if other countries decide to shut the doors where would someone go if they didn’t agree with Taxation?

            • Draco T Bastard

              What, you missed the obvious? All other countries tax.

              Taxes represent your responsibility to the society that you’re in. They are there to cover the expense of having a civilised society. A government running a deficit isn’t taxing enough.

            • lprent

              Begs the reply. I believe that Somalia is wide open.

              • Gosman

                Why do you think there is no compulsion in Somalia? Last time I checked what was happening in that country there was an awful lot of it. It was just explicitly via the barrel of a gun rather than the implied threat via the legal system.

                • Colonial Viper

                  And which would you prefer? Because if you want to live in a civilised society, you better have the structures, supports and rules of society present to back it up.

                  • Gosman

                    I have never argued that you don’t. So you have created a Strawman that I am happy for you to knock down but which I don’t give a jot about.

                    • Ari

                      So what are you arguing then? That some sort of libertarian utopia is possible but nobody’s tried it yet? You’d think with the number of politicians in the USA espousing libertarian ideals that they’d have implemented it by now if it were actually possible or desirable to do so.

                    • Gosman

                      Your argument is equally valid if applied to posters such as Colonial Viper and Draco T Bastard and rephrased to “If your left wing utopia was possible surely someone in the world would have tried it by now”. However it falls down on my front because I have never argued that a purely libertarian world is possible or even preferable.

                    • McFlock

                      lol – 
                      CommenterA’s argument against CommenterB is hypocritical/weak/false because it could also apply to CommenterC?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Your argument is equally valid if applied to posters such as Colonial Viper and Draco T Bastard and rephrased to “If your left wing utopia was possible surely someone in the world would have tried it by now”.

                      No it wouldn’t as all the politicians, Labour included, have been working from the capitalist PoV. All they’ve done is tweak the capitalist rules but not implement a social democracy. The majority of the politicians in the US actually do, apparently, support a libertarian ideal and yet they fail to implement it and what they have implemented has benefited a very small percentage of the population.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A social democracy is only the first step. Its still foundationally redistributive capitalist with an emphasis placed on social outcomes.

                      What we need to get to is a democratic socialism with significant worker ownership of the economy.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Ah, someone’s been reading Ayn Rand again. The trouble with Atlas Shrugged aside from the hideous prose style, is it really is fiction. One recalls the planet Golgafrincham in Douglas Adams’ Restaurant at the End of the Universe who rid themselves of an entire useless third of their population including the hairdressers and telephone sanitisers. The other two-thirds stayed firmly at home and lived full, rich and happy lives until they were all suddenly wiped out by a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone…

                    • Ari

                      @Gosman: Yes, it is, because I believe Marx was wrong about a utopian communism. I severely doubt we will in the next few hundred years achieve the excess resources he believed we’d eventually end up with that would make capital ownership useless. I swung into left-wing politics through left-libertarianism, found marxism fascinating academically but inapplicable to the world as it is now, and landed in Green social democracy from the assumption that we’ve about hit the resource cap on the most critical resources, and now that you can’t just make more by trying harder, what’s left deserves to be shared equally, and reward the labour of those who live nearby and ought to be stakeholders in the use of their community’s resources.

                      Now, unlike libertarian utopias, Marx’s theory on the historical inevitability of communism had simple antecedants that were easy to check up on- do we have an incredible excess of resources right now? No? Then marxism doesn’t function now and a revolution is unlikely to happen, easy to suppress, and liable to be captured by authoritarians even if it did happen.

                      Whether we ever will get to a place where Marxism works is hard to accurately guess for obvious reasons, but I suspect it would be quite hard to hit the sweet spot in terms of population that would allow us to achieve the stipulations of marxism on just a single planet.

                  • Gosman

                    Also Somalia is a very rules based system. For one thing it is very much based on Clans. It is not this libertarian anarchist fantasy that some on the left try to make out it is.

                    • felix

                      Oh lol, Gosman thinks his libertarianz fantasy wouldn’t be based on clans.

                      You’re so precious. Bless.

                    • Ari

                      I’m trying hard not to snicker and quote Jennifer Government, which, by the buy, is a great example of why corporate anarchy or libertarianism would naturally involve clans.

                • KJT

                  Yeah. Those who can afford the mercenaries have the power. The Neo-Liberal ideal!

                  • Gosman

                    Where is that stated in any neo-liberal policy prescription?

                    Is this similar to me trying to claim that left wingers would round up everyone and send them to re-education camps if they dared disagree in public?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The neoliberal policy description is obvious. NZers have been living in a neoliberal “re-education” camp for 30 years.

                    • Ari

                      Re-education is favoured by all types of authoritarians, so that’s a bad example.

                      In fact, if you take the most extreme left-wing ideas imaginable they are really very moderate:

                      Hey, we should stop eating animals!
                      Let’s not fight wars!
                      Why don’t we all get high?
                      Maybe racism is a bad thing!
                      Let’s let queer people have some rights!
                      How about the government and corporations fight each other instead of us?

                      Oooooooh, SCARY. I’m quaking here. If we started listing right-wing ideas, we’d all be slaves or dead within five lines.

            • Colonial Viper

              People who choose where and how they live primarily on the basis of taxation policy make me laugh.

        • mikesh

          So taxation involves compulsion. Wow, who would have known that.

        • Ari

          Beg to differ. As a taxpayer, I own a part of state assets, yet I am being compelled to sell them, and compelled to spend the proceeds on a charter school system with fundamental flaws in its process.

          The difference between asset sales and taxation is that our tax system actually makes some degree of sense.

      • Gosman 1.3.2

        On the point of compulsion, I don’t believe I was consulted via an election on whether I wanted the Government to nationalise NZ Rail and Air New Zealand. Why is this not an abuse of democracy? Or is it okay to not submit decisions to the NZ public if it involves increasing the involvement of the State in the Commercial sector but you have to do so if you reduce it?

        • Ari

          You’re the one arguing compulsion is a bad thing all the time, not us. We disagree with asset sales for a variety of reasons, one of which is that it’s being pushed through on the justification of it being “mandated”, which is complete rubbish after you’ve polled the public and they think it’s a bad idea. I’d likewise criticise a labour government that tried that BS justification for a likewise unpopular policy.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      You haven’t read this article have you?

    • mik e 1.5

      J turd Air New ZEAland was rescued from bankruptcy by Michael Cullen you Idiot Just about every privatized asset in the past has been a rip off or gone bust.

  2. A letter to the editor highlights problems with the issue of Poor Parents and Poverty Palaver.

    Poor can parent

    Hone Harawira and Metirea Turei will achieve nothing by claiming that these things are caused by a poverty of income. The level of income is not the cause. We can all see for ourselves that the children of the vast majority of low-income families are not beaten or neglected.

    It should be obvious that being poor doesn’t mean you are a bad parent. For some, however, it is politically useful to equate low income to child abuse.

    Politicians and lobbyists choose to measure ‘Relative Poverty’ using the OECD method and other ones use the Gini index. These methods are so flawed that they take no account of living costs nor any measure of standard of living.

    Is the forced levelling of incomes really aimed at addressing ‘poverty’, or is it an excuse for promoting a socialist ideology?

    I’m sure part at least is well intentioned, but the real problems of abuse and poor nutrition are not financial poverty. We need to find ways of addressing more, like poverty of education and poverty of morals.

    • Help, help, I have read two of Peteys comments twice and my brain is hurting.

      There is no “forced leveling of incomes”.  The relative levels have changed significantly since the 1980s.  I will now use one and two syllable words so Petey hopefully gets it.

      The problem is the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.  And there is no socialist (oops three syllables) ideology (oops five).  There has not been one since the early 1930s in New Zealand.

      Poverty of education?  Tax the rich more and make schools better.

      Poverty of morals?  Tell that to Wall Street and too many wealthy businessmen. 

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        “… and the poor are getting poorer”

        On what basis to you claim that the poor are getting poorer?

        Are we stating that the average person in the lowest quartile income group has less than they would have had 30 years ago?

        In what ways exactly because as far as I can tell even the lowest income groups have technologies that were unheard of for most people 30 years ago.

        I have been in beneficiary houses where they have TV’s, DVD players, Mobile phones, Microwaves, DVD’s, Toy’s galore. All stuff that I dreamed of getting as a kid.

        In the past people did without an awful lot we now take for granted.

        • McFlock

          In the past people did without an awful lot we now take for granted.

          And vice versa – like milk, cheese or lunch.

          • Gosman

            That is the point Mcflock. If more people are unable to get enough via whatever source for the basics of life then I would agree poverty is increasing. So what are the figures around this? Can we say with any certainty that people in NZ are unable to manage their finances no matter what they do that they can’t get enough food and shelter in the first instance? How has this absolute definition of poverty changed rather than the less definitive comparative view of it?

            • McFlock

              Well, children in particular are still dying of poverty-related conditions and things like financially-delayed medical treatment. So that “absolute” poverty measure is pretty constant across time periods.
              Unless you are arguing that we can all relax because we have a perfectly acceptable number of children dying each year?

        • felix

          “I have been in beneficiary houses where they have TV’s, DVD players, Mobile phones, Microwaves, DVD’s, Toy’s galore.”


          I’ve been in beneficiary houses where they don’t.

          Which leaves us back at square one with this problem of people in a wealthy 1st world country who can’t afford to pay the rent & bills and buy food for their family.

          • Colonial Viper

            Gosman thinks that as long as the poorhouses aren’t as bad as in Dicken’s London, the serfs should be grateful.

            • felix

              Even then he’d say they’re lucky to have a poorhouse.

              And if they were turfed out on the street he’d say they were lucky not to be in jail.

              And if they were in jail he’d say they’re lucky not to be ground up for pet food.



        • lprent

          Spurious argument about the toys in the household. Households don’t receive benefits – individuals do.

          When I was a student and receiving student allowances, I was in a flat with two people who worked. It had toys galore. They weren’t mine.

          That happens a lot because if you have a house but no income, one of the best ways to reduce your outgoings is to have a boarder who does have income. That was the reason I lived with my sister for a number of years when she was on the DPB with two young kids after her marriage broke up.

          Basically you’re just dog-whistling – stupidly.

      • Gosman 2.1.2

        “…Tax the rich more and make schools better.”

        and that is the fundamental issue right leaning people have with left policies. The solutions all involve spending more of your money without your direct input and without much reference to doing more with the same amount of money.

        It is why eventually the UK budget blew out as they just kept spending more and more on the NHS and other social areas without trying to see if they were getting better outcomes from that tax money.

        • McFlock

          and that is the fundamental issue right leaning people have with left policies. The solutions all involve spending more of your money without your direct input and without much reference to doing more with the same amount of money

          Well, unlike the typical tory, most left leaning people are prepared to admit that they might not know as much about running schools as the ministry of education. And if they do, they might not know as much about efficiently funding lifesaving medication as pharmac. And if they mastered both of those, then they might not know as much about helping low income families as the ministry for social development. Or as much about funding advanced/blue skies research as the Marsden fund. and if the average lefty realistically believed they could do all that (and more), better than the government specialists, then they wouldn’t have the temerity to assume that they knew what was best to prioritise for other people’s lives – that’s what democracy is for.
          Tories just go “Big government keep out! I think I will donate my nominal sum towards fluffy bunny sanctuaries, or a nice children’s hospital for kids who are ill but not in a disgusting pus-oozing way – more a cute little cough cough Tiny Tim way. I think that’s much better for humanity than funding long term homecare support for special needs adolescents.”

          • Gosman

            And unlike the ‘typical’ leftist, (whatever that means) I happen to think that perhaps individual people and communities might have a better way of teaching their own kids rather than relying on faceless civil servants in far away places. That is not to state that bureacrats aren’t helpful or might even be able to provide some better solutions. However I would prefer a mix rather than place my faith in the power of the State to solve all.

            • McFlock

              They might have a better way. But they need someone to objectively test that claim, and (if it is true) share the new method with other communities. And it’s not just education – your argument can equally apply to any other individual government functions, but collectively you’re arguing that the local community knows best each and every time, in each and every functional area. This, as we both know, is bunk. So we need objective “bureaucrats” to assess whether the local community is doing things better, or are a bunch of kooks permanently holding back their children’s or community economic or social development. 
              And as soon as you open that door, we’re closer to e.g. a national education system, rather than vouchers.

              • Gosman

                “…you’re arguing that the local community knows best each and every time, in each and every functional area.”

                Nope. Never argued that at all. I have never stated there is no need for a centralised co-ordinating body for various societal level activities like education. I just don’t place as much faith in this centralised body as you do obviously.

                • McFlock

                  So if there’s no place for centralised coordination, and the local community doesn’t know best all the time, surely this means that the model you advocate will result in dumb decisions at a community level with no third-party mechanism to correct the error?

            • KJT

              The State is, or should be, all of us. AND I would rather all of us decide how to educate our children than a corporation, ignorant neo-liberal politicians or some strange religious cult.

              • Gosman

                The trouble is all of those concepts you bemoan are actually made up of groups of individuals. These people should have as much right to be involved with the education of our future citizens as you do.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The individuals, yes, not the corporations. Also, it should be the same amount of involvement and not some special involvement because someone happens to be rich.

                • KJT

                  Yes they should have as much right to participate in democratic decisions about education as I do.

        • Ari

          You ought to have direct input in education, I agree. But that input shouldn’t be in the form of “I don’t want to pay for it.”

    • you can mock – that is about the level of your thought processes – low.

      Mana have said that poverty is an issue to address and all you can think about is ‘the socialist menace’ – the real problems? you can’t handle the real problems pete, you wouldn’t have a clue – what a fucken disgrace of a dunedinite you are. I’ve come to the conclusion that you and your incessant inane commenting reveal a major malfunction – Stick with the selling of our assets, and leave the poor and disadvantaged out of your deliberate baiting and point scoring (comma optional) arsehole.

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        I’m sure he would be ameniable to that if you agreed to stop bashing the wealth creators.

        So what do you say – You stop harrassing the wealthy and he will lay off the poverty stuff?

        • marty mars

          gossie you must learn to argue otherwise you won’t be taken seriously – which you aren’t, cos you don’t. I’m sure pete can leave the poor alone just for the reasons of decency and fairness – if not, so be it.

          • Gosman

            You mean argue like you once tried to argue that non-whites could never be racist because of some power imbalance BS? Yeah you are really the master of argument there Marty.

            • marty mars

              yes we’ve both got good memories but I do thank you for the compliment – I still have a laugh everytime I think of ev’s comments about meeting you gossie – cowboyhat oh dear lol.

            • Ari

              To be fair, people who aren’t white can’t be racist in the same WAY that people who are white can, because they live in a wider context of racism against them, the same way that so-called “feminists” (or better known as straw-feminists, as those who exist are very isolated cases) who don’t actually believe in equality and actually want to flip the power balance aren’t sexist in the same way as misogynist men are.

        • RobM

          Nice conflation of the wealthy with wealth creators.

          I think you mean amenable.

    • Jackal 2.3

      Pete George

      I’m sure part at least is well intentioned, but the real problems of abuse and poor nutrition are not financial poverty. We need to find ways of addressing more, like poverty of education and poverty of morals.

      You’re clearly commenting on something you know nothing about again Pete George. Abuse is often directly related to financial circumstances. Abuse is three times more common and neglect is seven times more common in impoverished families. If it is not their poverty causing higher rates of abuse, what is it?

      The last time I looked, good food costs more than crap food, so again your comment regarding poor nutrition is idiotic! You need more money to have good nutrition.

      Here’s what the Faculty of Education, University of Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria recent study found out about the Relationship between Poverty and Child Abuse among Secondary School Students (PDF):

      In this study, about one-third of all respondents agreed with the statement that “there were always a lot of worries about shortage of money” in their families when they were children, but this proportion rose to 65 percent among those who had experienced serious physical abuse or serious neglect, and 71 percent of those who had experienced emotional maltreatment- no social class trends were identified for emotional maltreatment using other indicators. This study confirmed the association between socio-economic status, financial problems in the family and parental child abuse, though it is much stronger with physical and emotional abuse and absence of physical care than with either sexual abuse outside the family or absence of supervision (Cawson[5]).

      The findings also showed that compared to young professional respondents, young people working in semi-skilled or unskilled jobs were three times more likely to have suffered serious physical abuse, and ten times more likely to have experienced a serious absence of care in childhood; compared to respondents in higher education, they were twice as likely to have experienced such neglect (Hopper et al [12]).

      The issue of poverty in New Zealand should transcend any socialist/capitalist ideology… it should transcend political barriers whereby all those who are in positions of power work together to find solutions.

      I was very impressed with Shearer offering to work with National on this issue… and equally disappointed when John Key dismissed the idea. It appears that National is willing to allow inequality and all it’s associated dysfunction to continue unchecked… and for that they should feel ashamed.

      It is only through such bigoted people like yourself Pete George that poverty exists at all… you should blame yourself for the abuse directly attributable to poverty that any sane person would find repugnant.

      • Pete George 2.3.1

        … you should blame yourself for the abuse directly attributable to poverty that any sane person would find repugnant.

        Wow, all of it? Or just in New Zealand?

        If ‘poverty’ causes abuse why do many low income families not abuse their children?

        Abuse is three times more common and neglect is seven times more common in impoverished families. If it is not their poverty causing higher rates of abuse, what is it?

        Perhaps abusive parents are more likely to be ‘impoverished’ – and more likely to be drug, alcohol or tobacco addicts, and possibly less able at budgeting and controlling spending on things that aren’t essential.

        It’s a complex issue with many possible contributory causes.

        Most bad parenting is generational, learnt off bad parents.

        • Jackal

          Pete George

          Wow, all of it? Or just in New Zealand?

          There are two components… one is the personal decision to abuse and the other is the environmental situation that leads to abuse. The mentality you have often expressed that is often shared by many on the right is partly to blame for the impoverished situation many people find themselves in.

          If ‘poverty’ causes abuse why do many low income families not abuse their children?

          I think you’ve partly answered your own question:

          Most bad parenting is generational, learnt off bad parents.

          Most good parenting is generational, it’s learnt off good parents. You’re not only separated from reality Pete George, but also separated in your own mind.

        • Ari

          Poverty doesn’t CAUSE abuse, it correlates with abuse, and that indicates that it DRIVES abuse, by causing other factors, like extreme emotional and situational stress, lack of education regarding positive social values, lack of good nutrition, (a surprisingly key factor in making good decisions) and of course, poverty correlates highly with generational poverty, so it makes it far more likely that people in poverty will also experience generational abuse, as their parents are also more likely to have been abused and thus more likely to become abusers themselves when exposed to other drivers of abuse.

          You don’t have to be a statistician to work that out, and quite frankly, I’m disgusted you’d actually argue that fighting poverty won’t help abuse. You don’t have to like the solution to a problem to admit it’s a problem- for instance, I admit that an unstable family environment is a problem*, even though I don’t like the fact that the usually presented solution to that is keeping nuclear straight families at all costs.

          Also, we don’t have to “flatten” wealth to solve poverty. We can normalise it somewhat, lowering both the peaks and troughs, while still keeping some variance. In fact, SOME variance is healthy- just so long as the variance helps everyone else, and not just the people who experience it and perhaps a few close friends. And if we solved poverty everywhere, the resultant population decline would probably solve a bunch of other problems, and quite naturally make the next generation far wealthier than us. I don’t see how there’s anything to dislike about eliminating poverty.

          * Of course, I dodge that quite legitimately by claiming that concealing an unstable family environment is worse than having it out in the open, and that the high rates of divorce are just a symptom of the fact that we’ve acknowledged a problem exists and need to find a better solution- like for instance, more serial monogamy than we accepted in the past so that people can be better educated about what they really want out of a relationship.

    • millsy 2.4

      “poverty of morals”

      Yea we dont want those loose brown women breeding do we?

    • millsy 2.5

      Peter, do you think benefits and wages are too high?

      • Pete George 2.5.1

        For some people – yes. For other people they are too low. There will always be uneven application of money.

        Benefits are governed by what the country can afford, if they go too high the country may go broke.

        Wages are governed by what the employers can afford/justify (amongst other things), otherwise the company may go broke or stop employing people.

        • KJT

          Wages and benefits are too low.

          That is why we see shops shutting all over the place. A repeat of the 90’s.

          Wage earners and beneficiaries are New Zealands SME customers.

          The rich spend their dollars in Hawaii.

        • Draco T Bastard

          CEO’s Wages are governed by what the country can afford, if they go too high the country may go broke.

          Oh, wait…

        • Ari

          Please give us examples of each case- for instance, are CEO wages too high? Whose wages do you think are too low?

          Ironically, to some degree raising wages and benefits DICTATES what the country can afford. Managing an economy is not like a household where you run out of money after you spend it, because spending money wisely (ie. on things with a cost-benefit ratio greater than 1) in an economy makes it grow.

    • mik e 2.6

      purile git before free market reforms poverty was virtually non-existent

  3. tc 3

    I do hope the new food bill will be getting some focus by the opposition to ensure small and local produce growers don’t get monsanto’d and forced to grow what the powers that be deem suitable……GE based low nutritional value crops.

    Biodiversity and heirloom varieties are at stake (food security people) and wilkinson is far from trustworthy and interested in good outcomes for every kiwi with others hands up her back being the puppet she is.

    • Carol 3.1

      Mojo Mathers and Stefan Browning are picking this issue up for the Green Party:


      This is why I am looking to get feedback from those who grow and sell food regarding their thoughts on the Food Bill. I will collate your concerns and in the new parliament will look to join with those that work in seed exchanges, community gardens and grow good food to push the Government into amending the Food Bill.

      My Green Party colleague Steffan Browning who has the agriculture portfolio is also keen to get feedback and over summer will be visiting small growers, organic producers and those running farmers markets talking about pitfalls in the new law.

    • “Monsanto’d”, that is an interesting verb that deserves to be part of the vernacular.

      • tc 3.2.1

        Aye Mickey, you should see some of the tactics they’ve used in the states to run farmers out of their livelihoods and bully others.

        Here’s 2: The tactic that all seeds must be theirs and going onto farms who have had plants sprout from wind blown seeds off neighbouring frams (mother nature at work) and demanding payment as it’s their trademark registered crop.

        tactic 2, get everyone growing a particular strain then via Gene technology switch off it’s propogation properties so it can’t be grown from forcing you to buy seed stock annually.

        looking medium long term it gives NZ a competitive edge and allows us to be a quality food supplier to the world if we don’t get monsanto’d.

      • Ari 3.2.2

        Like all proper verbs it should be spelled “monsantoed”. You’re not allowed to drop the ‘e’.

  4. dv 4

    Interesting takes on the child abuse.
    An Auckland mother found guilty of horrific child abuse went to jail saying she is “not really a bad mother”.
    Bennett I am not really a bad Minister. (My interpretation).

  5. Descendant Of Smith 5

    Poverty of morals:

    “That of course includes the lack of morality in not paying people a decent wage, not paying tax in order to have a functioning society, not having affordable housing, removing night classes so people can’t learn as easily etc.”

    1. Much abuse is as a result of the person themselves having been abused when they were young. Inevitably this has different impacts on different people (and their brains) but it does seem quite obvious when you talk to abusers that this is almost a truism.

    2. Much of this is inter-generational going back to well before I was born. Abuse has always happened and while not only in poor families – partly because of 1 above – it is more likely here because of the stress of managing from day to day. Anyone who has done any work with husbands who abuse their wives for instance will know how much of that behavior is a learned behaviour that comes out under stress. Financial stress is one of those. Remember until the 70’s you could still rape your wife – and many did night after night after night.

    3. Comparisons to third world countries as an indicator are simply nonsense. Are you really saying we don’t have poverty unless people are living in the middle of some war-torn African continent like Somalia? Do you not care enough for New Zealander’s that you would expect that all our citizens should have a reasonable standard of living, that they shouldn’t have to struggle from day to day, that our “unwell and our infirm and our feeble-minded” shouldn’t have enough to live on? That most of their income shouldn’t go in rent for crappy accommodation.

    4. Do you really think that in the old days people didn’t have sex outside of marriage – that they really went off to the country for a holiday, that kids weren’t routinely taken off single mothers at birth, and so on. Do you think that no-one got abused and mistreated in the foster homes or the orphanages or the institutions that they were put in to. Do you not think that fathers did not beat the shit out of their kids?

    It pisses me off when people like you with their holier than thou attitude make this seem like it is a new problem and some-how this generation is different from previous generations – it is not. People have not changed – evolution doesn’t move that quickly.

    So what has changed in the time that you look nostalgically back on – when we were much higher in the rankings, when we so treated our people and our children better.

    (Of course that begs the question did we really and when was that time?)

    That’s right the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer, 60% of GDP used to be wages, 60% is now profit. We can’t find money for helping the poorest but we can bail out the wealthy. We’ve had population growth and much more urbanisation – two things which in their own right will lead to more cases.

  6. AAMC 6

    Yep… I can definitely see where you’re coming from Pete & Gos, stalled….. all these Occupations around the globe lend real weight to your argument.


    • Gosman 6.1

      Yeah and I can see the Occupied movement in NZ making a huge difference as well. The Aotea Square protest is just getting bigger and bigger and is not divided at all.

      By the way whatever happened to Anonymous moving on to Stage 2 of the great global revolution in early December? Perhaps they got caught up in Xmas shopping?

  7. james111 7

    Poverty of Morals
    Can also be caused by years and years of welfare dependency. Which creates a feeling of low esteem ,and feeling you are worth nothing!. People were not created to do nothing with their lives day in ,and day out.
    Welfare was only ever meant to be a safety net at the bottom of the cliff. Labour has created an all encompassing blanket that has suffocated people,

    There is no incentive for them to work why should they when they can earn more on the DPB than a working man. A girl can have five or six different babies to different fathers without ever naming a father, and receive a very nice DPB package. All of this creates a ticking time bomb for the future.

    Bill Clinton did absolutely the right thing when he brought in the Law that the State will only help with one child which could be an honest mistake. If you have another you are your own.

    • Uturn 7.1

      Yeah like wow man that is so deep. I once saw this girl and she was like, a girl, and I thought wow, like she must have, like, a uterus or something, which means she can have kids and make money off of it. She could, like, sell them really really expensive like or the gubmint could pay her because that’s what they do. And I was thinking, like, really deep now, that if we just locked up all the girls we could farm them and decide all their decisions for them and it’d be choice. One day I will be president of the united states, which’d be like, so cool, because then I can do stuff like wars.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      And welfare dependency is a direct result of capitalism as it needs poverty so as to be able to exploit people.

    • Colonial Viper 7.3

      Only a sociopathic RWNJ can believe that you incentivise the rich to work by paying them more and giving them big tax cuts, while you incentivise the poor to work by paying them less and making them suffer more.


    • Descendant Of Smith 7.4

      We’ve been down the road before of disproving that you can get more on benefit than working:

      Children in poverty

      We’ve also been down the road of showing that there are not that many long term beneficiaries – most go on and off quite quickly. It’s well less than 1%.

      For most the benefit system does what it’s intended to do – help people short to medium term when they need it.

      The maths is quite simple – getting the figures is a bit more difficult. If you take say 10 years DPB then divide the number of 10 year + people by the number of people who have been on DPB in that 10 years.

      You find the number is quite miniscule.

      If you then take out of that group the number that have had further children on the DPB it’s even smaller.

      If you then take the number that have had seven children to seven fathers bullshit then we’re making policy for a majority based on a very, very small sample.

      Even if you take that figure as a percentage of the current numbers ( which is a quite flawed calculation as it totally ignores all those who have not stayed on) the number is low.

      Of course the facts don’t support your (right-wing) argument.

      The sad thing is is that all the rhetoric and bullshit from the right won’t make a hell of a lot of difference to the actual numbers because of that exact reason – the numbers are too small too make a substantial difference and most people will go on unaffected.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.4.1

        Found the last lot of numbers I hunted down last time the topic of long term on benefit came up. Feel free to go and pull the data for DPB and try and prove your case.

        Getting data is difficult because the main data provided is current numbers and duration on benefit e.g. most recent year available
        MSD Website

        Length of current spell to the end of June

        Working-age clients receiving an unemployment-associated benefit
        2009 Number
        Under 6 months 40,938
        6 months–2 years 14,554
        2–4 years 1,742
        Over 4 years 1,227
        Total 58,461

        A percentage based on a fixed point in time gives too simplistic a figure but even then it is only 2% who had been on for more than four years. Many of these are likely to live in rural areas with low employment opportunities and will include 64 year old ladies working part-time at a supermarket and getting $30-00 to $40-00 to top up their low wages.

        If you were able to tell how many people had been on benefit in total that year (lets guess at 5 for everyone on at the above point in time throughout a year) then this figure would drop to 1,227 / 292,305 = 0.41%

        As most right-wingers like to focus on the over 10 year people you can see that if the fours are this low the 10′s must be even lower.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Come on James where’s your evidence that you can get more on the DPB than working?

          You seem typical of the right-wing people who post here and when challenged on a factual basis don’t respond but just spout another lot of crap.

          I guess the point of 111 in your name is that you need to ring an emergency number to try and get a better argument.

          You said to examine the stats – well go for it – they don’t tell the story you want to tell.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.5

      James, guess what! When your opinions are based on false information that makes you a tool. Who’s tool are you, James? Don’t want to be a tool at all? Don’t be like Mrs. Tolley, learn some basic fact checking skills. The other responses to “your” opinion offer clues, and the prize is you get a clearer understanding of how our resources are being plundered and wasted.

  8. Ianupnorth 8

    The brighter future…. is in Australia it would seem
    1000 moving per week, well done John a new record!!

    • james111 8.1

      Still believe that Helens army holds the record for New Zealanders leaving for Australia over a 3 year period whilst she was in office. What is interesting they were leaving in supposedly good economic times under Helens governance. Really makes you wonder while they all departed then doesnt it. Was it all the PC BS going on or to much Nanny State do you think?

      • grumpy 8.1.1

        Also, australia’s net migration is also at all time high levels.

      • Ianupnorth 8.1.2

        Show us the figures? I think 36K was the highest ever yearly average and that was during 2010!

      • mik e 8.1.3

        James the Turd facts wrong again it was after 9 years of National rationalizing everything to death that kiwis left for Australia after only one year in office that figure improved beyond your govts widlst dreams at no point in recent history has national performed better than labour both on the economic or employment front goign right back to the 1930s ! Not one term of parliament have National outperformed labour Fact.

        • Colonial Viper

          The problem is that Labour don’t know how to keep that power and don’t know how to convince the electorate that it is consistently a better choice than National.

  9. james111 9

    Wow like man a cloud of dope hangs around the dope.
    You think its a great place to brought up in a home with 5 different kids from different fathers ? Very interesting if you examine the stats like man.

    That the child beaters are often the Step father they often beat kids that arent their own. Like man we should just encourage this man like you are such a deep thnker. Uturn is a great name for a person that has the innability to think straight like wow man!!

    • Ianupnorth 9.1

      learn how to reply! You really have no idea; how about dealing with the tax fiddlers and then use that money to provide educational opportunities?

      • james111 9.1.1

        Ian I have more than a few ideas they just dont agree with you .Personal accountability isnt a big factor in your thinking. How did Labour go dealing with the Tax Fidllers Ian?.

        Believe its much harder now Ian. National has stopped the Rental Investor Tax Fiddlers Ian Labour was keen to let that run while they were in control.

        Have a great Christmas up there. Did you think the Highway should have been axed for Len Browns rail loop? Great Labour party policy Lol

        • Ianupnorth

          My user name does not necessarily correlate with my abode.
          And yes I do think the rail loop is a better investment than any holiday highway. Glad to see you have found the reply button.

        • Colonial Viper

          Believe its much harder now Ian. National has stopped the Rental Investor Tax Fiddlers Ian Labour was keen to let that run while they were in control.

          Funny thing is, the tax that the rich pay just keep going down and down and down under National.

    • logie97 9.2

      Wow james111. Like the DPB is for the mother? No it isn’t – it is for the children. It’s attitudes like yours that would consign the subsequent offspring to greater destitution. Why don’t you pop back over to your friends in the sewer.

    • Uturn 9.3

      Yeah totally dude, like what we need dude is to totally lock them up. The whole families in the joint. That would like totally give me a hard on. It’d make me feel like my Dad, he was like so totally total, man, he never took any lip from no woman or child.

  10. james111 10

    Like its really helping the Children at the moment have the Beating Stats gone down since we had it dont believe so. Great intention for it to be for the Children who spends the money in the first place. Sadly for many young single girls who leave school far to early because its an option has become an occupation.

    Just need to wake up smell the roses ,and be a little pragmatic. Personal Accountability is where its at where does that fit inyour equation Loggie. Naaa lets just rely on the guvernment they can pay its all their fault yea right.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Personal Accountability is where its at where does that fit inyour equation

      Where does it fit in yours? Because, so far, I haven’t seen any. In fact, so far, all I’ve seen from you is a denial of your responsibility to society.

    • prism 10.2

      james11111 (why stop at three?)

      Sadly for many young single girls who leave school far to early because its an option has become an occupation.

      It would be more to the point if you had rephrased that to read ‘leave school far too early because its an (the only) occupation’ (available) and they don’t have future-building options to aspire to.

  11. aerobubble 11

    In the rightwing news stream, some questions.

    How is it that a mum whose daughter was taken away, molested, and returned to her family was not able to get sufficent help – and now described by the Minister of Social Development as a master manipulator? How could the mainstream media make the Minister look like the victim? Was anyone sacked for placing this child in an unsafe environment. Look there’s a process when a wrong is discovered, the role of government is to find the initial breakdown, yes initially the family was under stress, what poor family in NZ isn’t? But after that, that’s a breakdown of the MSD and government policies, then the girl was molested in MSD care thats a second breakdown of government intervention policies, then the girl needed serious mental health care (and the mother ALSO!). And now the MSD minister is angry because she finds herself once again being blamed for the triple failure of her Ministry. Like she hasnt yet worked out that’s her job, her whole role is to take the shit that emerges from incompetant dehumanizing neo-liberals. You’d think people would realize croc tears aren’t limited to N.Korea, Bennett act was all theatre. Children are first neglected by their family, then by the duty bound bureaucrats, and then finally by the Minister who job it is to keep hold the bureaucrats to their duty.
    No humaility from the National Minister for Social Developement, no wonder we have so many social ills, all they need to do is to fake personal offense for the cameras. Media manipulative whores.

    Then the second question. What happen to the child? A large wad of millions fell into their hands so he took it and with the mother of his daughter ran for China. Well he is back now, and she’s been back for some time, but what about the child?
    We have a culture that fails children, once again shown up with passing the buck Bennett and MSM media ignoring the children in other stories, why have they not dealt with the fear for the child, is s/he safe?

    And what about the children’s future? Asset sales. Labour had nothing to say except repeating old slogans, where was the anger, taking the fight to National? The Greens hit the nail on the head, a referendum on asset sales, why Labour haven’t the backbone for risking their repretation for being boring I don’t know.

  12. aerobubble 12

    Is that slander? Bennett accuses a mother – who beat her child – of manipulating government so that it failed to stop her from beating her child. Is it possible to defame a odious person? Or is the possibility that a mother cryin for help from government needs to be silanced by a lazy government used to turning itself into the victim to avoid helping the victims. And its not like this was a once off, is bennett telling us that all these cases of horrendous child abuse is massive manipulaton by a group of thhugs who hate children, and its not government low wage policy, beat up on the bennies, government raise GST, force kiwis to move aboard, bail out the rich first and let trickle down save the poor, government?

    Sorry but if you want a modern version of Goebals Hitler propaganda then Bennett’s fake personal offense instead of rising above the fray, and acting Ministerial….

    Bennett’s paranoia? Believes people all over the country are master manipulators who want to beat their children, working in concert to make her look incompetent at her job!

  13. I haven’t been annoying people lately with 9/11 stuff so here goes:

    Here is an interview with Eliz Woodworth a Librarian specialised in Scientific research (second hour of the radio program) about the Consensus 9/11 project which uses the Delphi method to organise the best and most reliable (peer reviewed) research regarding the events of 9/11.

    • Gosman 13.1

      Hey travellerev perhaps you should push for this 9/11 conspiracy theory stuff to be taken up by the Occupied movements. I would love to see that happen.

      On a related note how is Richard Gage’s list of ‘notable’ Architects and Engineers coming along? Has he reached the targets he set for himself a few years back? Surely by now there is a big enough momentum to start pressuring the Governments of the world on this issue. No? Oh well there’s always next year, or the year after to get this support I suppose.

      • Ianupnorth 13.1.1

        Predictable response – why did we let you back in?

        [lprent: Because his time was up and he pretty much follows the guidelines of the site. He actually argues and defends his viewpoint and does it without sounding like a boring drone transporting words from one blog site to another. I find I routinely disagree with his ideas. But that describes virtually everyone who comments here. For that matter almost everyone I work with as well. Disagreement is the mother of creativity.

        • The Voice of Reason

          And Gossie’s right to take the piss out of the 9/11 truthers anyway, Ian, even if he doesn’t realise they come from the same part of the political spectrum as himself.
          Thankfully, after the Toronto flop, we are hearing less and less from these loons. The racist ‘birther’ klan are also on the retreat and an added bonus is that the Tea Party is fading away, too. Hopefully, the last of the climate change deniers will give it away soon, too.

          • Colonial Viper

            Open your eyes mate. The world doesn’t work like you assume it works.

          • Gosman

            Thanks VoR however I would argue that the mix is more like 60 – 40 wacky leftists versus RWNJ on the 9/11 conspiracy theory. Fox news for example would never counternance the Truther movement and even I wouldn’t regard Fox News as a reliable unbiased source of news.

            • The Voice of Reason

              The problem for Fox is that they are so wedded to the GOP that even if their instincts were to give the the ‘truthers’ a platform, the harm it could do to their political arm was obvious. This was under Bush’s watch after all.
              As for the numbers; there are few of the left that still take it seriously, mainly those that think the US is capable of anything, even pulling off astonishingly complex conspiracies against its own citizens live on TV. I’m not aware of any mainstream left party that has supported the truthers, though I suppose there may be some sects further to the left who do. But, at it’s heart, this is a right wing theory. Its driven by ‘states’ rights’ believers, who think Washington interferes too much in their lives, when actually, Washington doesn’t give a flying one as long as you pay your taxes.
              You will usually find that truthers overlap with birthers, who are states’ righters with banjos and climate change deniers, who appear to me to proof that Darwin was right, because evolution is going to roll right over them on the way to the future.

              • Colonial Viper

                I’m not aware of any mainstream left party that has supported the truthers, though I suppose there may be some sects further to the left who do.

                There aren’t any mainstream Left political parties in the US.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Indeed! I had a friend who referred to the choice between the Republicans and the Democrats as ‘the evil of two lessers’.

  14. Gosman 14

    Came across this on the internet and thought of you lot for some reason…

    • lprent 14.1

      Dictatorships all look the same. Have you checked out the works of the “free” Fiji? It frequently sounds to me like a mixture between Pete George and yourself with its exhortations for a new way and getting rid of the trouble makers – like unionists, meddling charities, questioning news reporters and opposition politicians.

      • Gosman 14.1.1

        I agree to a large extent. Hence why Labour’s and National’s policy on Fiji is pretty much identical. We all can see oppressive undemocratic regimes, well the ones of us with any brains at least.

        I also am a firm believer in the rights of workers to organise themselves for some sort of collective bargaining. I think it makes bargaining conditions more efficient as well as being consistent with ideas of freedom of association and along the lines of Capital grouping together under joint stock companies. Where I have a problem is where it become overtly political such as involving itself in affairs outside the immediate workplace. You might be comfortable with this and that is fine. I am not.

  15. randal 15

    hey how about the conspiracy of the ignorati.
    jane clifton accused david shearer of shouting in the house yesterday.
    not true.
    the only shouter was kweewee when he spent most of his speech, if you could call it that, poormouthing the opposition.
    clifton wants to get her mental inverter checked out.

  16. james111 16

    Can some one please explain to me what ” New Labour Means”? under David Shearer
    Does that mean from now on Labour wont be an open book for Trade unionists , and disaffected Teachers / Quasi accademics.
    Will they now try and bring in some candidates that have real commercial & business knowledge to gain the trust of the Business sector?. Practical pragmatic people to take on the theocrats & Technocrats in the Party

    I really want to know if there will be real changes or the Envelope is going to change from Red to a slighter shade of pink.

    Either way cant see the die hard unionists ,and the Fabian Socialists being very happy about this shift. Even though most of New Zealand realised it had to happen.

    You cant really see to much change happening though or the men in the Dark room will make their next decision the Barbeques will be fired up ,and David Shearer will be gone one year before the next election.

    • felix 16.1

      Yes James, the LABOUR party should forget about representing workers and start working for the interests of business owners.

      Better trolls please.

      • lprent 16.1.1

        I always leave them running for a while if they show signs of being able to adapt. You can’t blame someone for their upbringing. Being stuffed in a barrel and fed crap (like the sewer) doesn’t make it easy for such people to cope with the idea that they might have to actually argue rather than just asserting the “everyone knows” myths of their wee circle of boozy non-thinker ‘friends’.

        • vto

          Mr Prent, these types are dying out. They are becoming aware that the world is changing around them and that they are the dinosaurs (little wee ones). Successful capitalists and bloateds are amending their views. I see it. Or maybe that’s just from my office window.

          • lprent

            We’re certainly seeing fewer of them. And now you mention it, I’m seeing fewer of them around the net as well. It is probably sinking in that 4 years of “recession” probably means that it isn’t. Still haven’t seen too many signs of it in actions though – two classic examples in Helen Kelly’s video that are still irritating me.

      • james111 16.1.2

        Please explain what new Labour means still dont know. New values perhaps more pragmatism less, fringe politics ,and failed ideaology

    • Ianupnorth 16.2

      Is he Gosman is disguise? – not as classy as QSF or Chris73. Straight out og the Garth George mould.

      [lprent: Nope. ]

  17. Hmmm, Auckland Council has voted to go through with the eviction of the Occupy Auckland protesters. Only Cathy Casey and Sandra Coney had the mana to vote against this.

    This afternoon could be very interesting …

  18. Morrissey 18

    A Brief Comment on the Passing of Christopher Hitchens

    Even some of the critical commentary on Hitchens’s passing pays tribute to his robust atheism, which no doubt shocked readers of Vanity Fair.

    But the ultimate irony seems to have gone over everyone’s head. When I first learned that Hitchens was diagnosed with an excruciating and terminal cancer, it caused me to doubt my atheism.

    Could it be merely chance? The news came just as Hitchens was about to go on a book tour for his long-awaited memoir. It was as if he was setting out on his victory lap when the adulating crowds were supposed to fawn over him and—wham!—his legs were lopped off at the kneecaps.

    Could it be the hidden hand of a Jehovah? If I still had doubts, the events of the past week dispelled them. First Hitchens passed. If that wasn’t burden enough to bear, the next day Vaclav Havel imploded. The deep thinkers among us were now beside themselves with grief. But then, on the third day, Kim Jong-il kicked the bucket.

    Was this a practical joke, and who was the joker? Biblical scholars report that divine interventions usually come in threes. Moe, Larry, Curly. Christopher, Vaclav, Kim.

    I cannot help but see in this otherwise improbable sequence a divine intelligence at play. The irony could not be more perfect: the god that the vindictive but witty Mr. Hitchens made a career scoffing at turns out to be…vindictive but witty.

    But I will leave the last word to a close buddy of Hitchens’ who is himself a true believer. When Saddam Hussein was executed, Tony Blair remarked: “I do not believe in capital punishment, but I think the world is a better place without him.” When I heard that Hitchens was dead, I took a deep breath. The air felt cleaner, as if after a 40-day and 40-night downpour.

    ***I get no satisfaction from Hitchens’s passing. Although he was the last to know it, every death is a tragedy, if only for the bereft child—or, as in the case of Cindy Sheehan, bereft parent—left behind. But, still, life is full of surprises. No one should be too smug in his certitudes. And if you’ve made a career of pissing on other people’s mostly innocuous beliefs, should it surprise that outside the tiny tent called Vanity Fair, your memory stinks of urine?


    • Descendant Of Smith 18.1

      It’s only right and proper to question religion.

      • Morrissey 18.1.1

        It’s only right and proper to question religion.

        Indeed it is. The problem with Hitchens was not his attacks on religion, but his murderous hypocrisy, his opportunism and his fawning after the likes of Blair, Bush and Netanyahu.

        Perhaps you need to do a bit more reading before you try to defend a moral imbecile like Hitchens.

    • Zorr 18.2

      The belief structures behind formalized religion are not innocuous and deserve some pissing on.

      This post confuses me in a lot of ways. Are you an accommodationist? Someone claiming an atheistic standpoint in order to validate your vindictive post against Hitchens? He was not a perfect person, noone ever is, and his stances on a few things were fairly abhorrent.

      In particular, this quote “Although he was the last to know it, every death is a tragedy, if only for the bereft child—or, as in the case of Cindy Sheehan, bereft parent—left behind” of yours sickens me. It is ultimately hypocritical in it’s vehemence towards Hitchen’s death.

      If you wish to claim moral high ground it is best not to jump straight in to the sewer…

      • Morrissey 18.2.1

        The belief structures behind formalized religion are not innocuous and deserve some pissing on.

        Finkelstein was concerned with Hitchens’ political hypocrisy, not his attacks on religion.

        This post confuses me in a lot of ways.

        You need to do some reading.

        If you wish to claim moral high ground it is best not to jump straight in to the sewer…

        Advice that you could usefully have proffered to Hitchens, pet attack dog of the Bush, Blair and Netanyahu regimes.

  19. james111 19

    How will David Shearer do this will the unions let the evil employers be profitable enough to pay their workers more

    This Labour Party will put growing the pie for all New Zealanders at the front of our agenda.

    We cannot be content dividing an ever shrinking pie. It means growing the nation’s wealth.

    Labour will grasp the mantle of economic leadership. We will look to expand opportunity for all New Zealanders, wherever they are born or whoever they are born to.

    • McFlock 19.1

      I think you’re looking for the blockquote tag, jimmy.
      But as an aside, evil employers should be driven out of business. Good employers are what we need in this country, along with some serious long term investment in education, research and infrastructure.

    • mik e 19.2

      company profitability has generally been higher under Labour govts in the Past and no doubt be in the future

  20. james111 20

    Totally agree McFlock do you think the Union recognises good employers or are they ones that just give into every Union demand.

    • McFlock 20.1

      in addition to the blockquote tag, I suggest you experiment with the use of the “reply” button.
      And I know unions (there is no single homogeneous entity called “Union”) recognise good employers. Indeed, unions and employers often work together collaboratively to boost productivity and make HR issues more fair – it’s better for workers if the company does well, and it’s better for all concerned if, in the eventuality that a worker needs to be dismissed, that the employer does it fairly first time around rather than going through the grievance process. And union demands aren’t bottomless – again, it is in the interest of the workers for the company to work efficiently, although this is balanced against the principle that those who produce the profits deserve to gain reward from them.
      But to build that sort of positive relationship employers need to get over the initial “I am dictator of my own company” mentality. Good employers do. Bad employers deserve pickets.

      • Descendant Of Smith 20.1.1

        Added to that unions are democratic with input from workers before lodging claims and voting by workers before anything is accepted.

        I’ve seen many union delegates persuade workers that their requests were unreasonable in order to get some meaningful improvements in working conditions and pay and equally I’ve seen many union delegates accused of selling out to the employer because they are trying to be sensible.

        As a union delegate myself I supported staff being dismissed when employers had followed good processes and the staff member had had every opportunity to perform, I’ve also supported staff who were being totally shafted by a useless manager.

        You portrayal of union bad is as nonsensical of anything else you’ve posted today.

        It’s like having a less intelligent, less articulate version of Jeremy back.

  21. Jum 21

    I believe the police are coming to take away the occupiers at Aotea Square. The occupiers need people to be there to witness their fair treatment and to recognise that the average citizen’s freedoms will always be controlled by the authority of the rich.

    This is someone’s urgent request, asking you to: “most important thing to do this week is stand with the occupy movement. Occupy Auckland has received a court order to vacate Aotea Square. It is important we go down there and stand with them to show that it is more than just a few dozen campers – that we Aucklanders support the global movement to end injustice, inequality and the dictatorship of the rich.

    This court order is a violation of our democratic rights as NZers and also a symptom of the corrupt system we are fighting!

    For specfics, see:

    You can also sign this petition to appeal the court’s decision:

    Thanks for all that you do. Hope to see you on Friday.”

    “Occupy Auckland protestors have been given 48 hours to leave their campsite at Aotea Square. (issued 21-12-2011)

    An Auckland District Court judge this morning (21/12/11) ordered the protestors to remove all their signs and banners and move out of the campsite by Friday 23 December 2011.

    The protestors have been camping in the city centre square since October 15 2011.

    Auckland Council said it welcomed the judge’s decision to grant its request for a permanent injunction on the occupation.”

    Apparently, according to information given to me it is the government pushing this eviction, not the Council. I hope that is the case. I figured Len Brown was someone who appreciated what it was like to be shat on by the government with its own greedy little agenda on squeezing out public transport needs for that of business profits.

    I also heard that it would be about 2pm maybe earlier. As many people as possible need to be there. Watch and learn how a police state operates. Remember John Banks the ex-police state minister in a previous Nat government?

  22. A Police state??????

    Oh please, its comments like that that doesnt help.

    I mean seriously?

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      Interesting how the US has now given itself powers to detain any citizen without charge, or any other citizen whether they have been found guilty or innocent by a jury, for an indefinite period of time without explanation, and to subject that citizen to extraordinary rendition if deemed necessary.

      The future is already here Brett.

  23. Colonial Viper 23

    No State Funeral for Baroness Thatcher, thank you


  24. felix 24

    So what was this report on S.O.E.s that I heard about on RadioNZ this evening?

    Something about how well they’re performing – in the top quartile of all comparable industries or some such, which sort of puts the lie to the idea that they’re being run inefficiently and that the private sector will be able to “magic away the waste”.

    Then Ryall was on saying they’ll still have to be sold, as long as it makes economic sense for the govt to do so, and then Parker was on explaining how it doesn’t really ‘cos of the rate of return heavily outweighs the cost of borrowing, and then Ryall was back on again saying they’re selling them anyway ‘cos, well just ‘cos, that’s why.

    Oh and hospitals too.

  25. Morrissey 25

    Why did they let this dodger on their programme today?
    Radio New Zealand National, Friday 23 December 2011

    Why did Morning Report let the Prime Minister pre-record a Christmas greeting to listeners and broadcast it this morning? Key refused to come onto the programme all year, along with most of his cabinet. Yet he unfailingly turned up on outlets where he knew he would not be challenged—on the government mouthpiece, NewstalkZB, and on Television One’s Breakfast programme.

    Yet, in spite of this orchestrated display of contempt for National Radio and its listeners, here he was again: “I just want to wish all New Zeeandahs a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…”

  26. Peter 26

    NZ Herald 24/12/11

    “Mark Binns, Fletcher infrastructure chief executive, has emphasised the importance of Government spending because without it “we’re in trouble because the private sector has no gas in the tank”.

    Despite Bill and Johns best efforts the private sector has no gas in the tank and the building sector is reliant on Government spending?!

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      There’s literally billions in private wealth sitting on the sidelines here in NZ, not investing in anything new in the real economy because the expected financial payback is too small and the risk profile too high.

      This marginal situation will worsen as oil depletion continues.

  27. Jackal 27

    Rena – a disaster waiting to happen

    This works like a perpetual warrant of fitness, whereby ships that are unfit to sail are allowed to continue indefinitely even when serious safety problems have been found…

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