Open mike 22/12/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 22nd, 2015 - 116 comments
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Step up to the mike …

116 comments on “Open mike 22/12/2015 ”

  1. Manuka AOR 1

    Happy Solstice everyone 🙂

    • mac1 2.1

      One unexpected benefit might be for pedestrians walking along the esplanade, and not have unheard cycles from behind pass a sideways step away from collision, as they do, as cyclists will have a safe and dedicated path.

      As Mrs Mac1 found out yesterday on a Wellington footpath, uneven surfaces can lead to sudden changes of direction and falls. A passing cyclist would have compounded the issue.

      If cyclists are threatened by motorists opening doors without checking, as they do, then at least the cyclist won’t have to escape (or be pushed out) into car traffic, but will have a footpath to seek refuge.

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        I have been on European streets where the footpath is split half and half for bikes and pedestrians. It works well. We should get used to it.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          And I’ve ridden on half and half paths where pedestrians walk side by side taking up the entire path and not fucken looking thus endangering both cyclists and pedestrians.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Long-time cycleway opponent Jane Byrnesaid the “silent majority” was speaking up because they felt the road was too narrow, while the cycleway was too wide and poorly signposted.

      No, that would be the noisy minority making even more noise.

      The new layout and raised pedestrian crossings were actually having a positive impact on safety, because they were slowing down motorists who had been ignoring the 50kmh and 30kmh limits along The Parade, Wade-Brown said.

      Yep, that’s something that’s been found around the world. Narrower streets slow cars down and reduce crashes (I would link the article but I can’t find it).

  2. Gosman 3

    Oh the bitter sweet irony.

    Government controlled by party purporting to stand up for the workers is detaining workers for being unable to do their job as a result of policies implemented by that very same government.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/21/venezuela-frees-pepsi-workers-it-arrested-for-not-making-enough-pepsi

    • Stuart Munro 3.1

      No more ironic than a government purporting to be interested in economics running failed neo-liberal cultist policies until their country is $105 billion in debt.

      • NZ Groover 3.1.1

        The same Government that is receiving plaudits worldwide for it’s economic performance during a very difficult period that included the GFC and major earthquakes.

  3. greywarshark 4

    Looking at Bowalley Road and lifted this from a comment there. Haven’t read it but it sounds interesting – relating to housing. It refers to Hugh Pavletich who is a developer or speculator or both, of housing and has a vested interest in his own projects and himself.
    So interesting to see what line he is pushing. Usually these people are going for more greenfields development, more supply etc .

    Hugh Pavletich is touting this:
    PLANNING RULES THE CAUSE OF HOUSING CRISIS … TWYFORD & HARTWICH … NEW ZEALAND HERALD

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11553128

  4. fender 5

    Jeez Labour, no need to be so quick to condemn beneficiaries for trading their food grant for cash. Are these even legitimate incidences or is it just Tolley and BM playing on their fake Trade Me and other accounts to stir up further hatred (?)

    • McFlock 5.1

      link?
      All I found was this stuff article with no mention of Labour

      • fender 5.1.1

        Carmel Sepaloni (apologies if spelt wrong) on RNZ news this morn

        • McFlock 5.1.1.1

          latest firefox update doesn’t seem to play the rnz links. bugger.

        • McFlock 5.1.1.2

          works now, still can’t find it. What time news?

          • fender 5.1.1.2.1

            I’ve been searching for it without luck. I thought it was 7am but it must have been the 7 30 update. It went something like: Labours Carmel Sepuloni condemns misuse of hardship grant cards..

            • McFlock 5.1.1.2.1.1

              well you’re hardly going to say it’s fine. I’d expect a follow-on along the lines of saying it’s rare and hurts families in genuine need, though.

    • Gangnam Style 5.2

      Fuck I reckon, Labour should be arguing that the cards are a stupid idea, thats a better angle, differentiate themselves from National. I try to like Labour, I do like Andrew Little, but they sure do make it hard. (& of course, could be media ‘gotcha’ politics, mps speaking without thinking, etc…)

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        +1

      • Sacha 5.2.2

        “mps speaking without thinking”

        Political parties usually avoid that by directing their caucuses firmly and hiring comms experts. Labour seems to have forgotten that basic approach for about the last 8 years.

  5. greywarshark 6

    It’s Christmas. Deck the halls with holly and find a smile and good word when you see a good person. Don’t bother about Nats, Act (don’t), and take the curate’s egg approach to Labour. All other earnest tryers for good give love and support to at Christmas-time.
    https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3097440-a-christmas-carol?page=4

    “the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
    ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

    Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.” “Come, then,” returned the nephew gaily. “What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.”
    ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

    “There was nothing very cheerful in the climate or the town, and yet was there an air of cheerfulness abroad that the clearest summer air and brightest summer sun might have endeavoured to diffuse in vain.”
    ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

  6. Once was Tim 7

    @ Chairman

    The idea of it is good, the implementation a bit of a bugger’s muddle IN THE NZ context. I note the claim that this is of international design, and commonplace overseas. Unfortunately, Kiwis are not very good drivers as has been discussed elsewhere eg.
    – 2 second rule more like the 1 second rule for MOST drivers
    – indiscriminate lane changing and trying to get ahead (i.e. driving as though it was all some sort of competition)
    – travelling over the speed limit (and as the signs suggest) treating the limit as though it’s a target
    – inability to keep within lanes (probably to do with an inability to judge the size of their vehicle – especially SUVs)
    – etc.
    (and I concede too that not only are NZers not very good drivers, many are not very good cyclists)
    I might actually go and take a look at it in the flesh.
    Whilst I am all for encouraging people to get onto bikes, walk, run, etc. for health reasons as much as anything else, I’m not sure that designing things in a way that can impact on public transport – which carries many more people – is the way to go.
    @ Chairman – I’m interested in your thoughts too.

    • Once was Tim 7.1

      OK @ Chairman – now I’ve seen it in the flesh.
      What I like:
      The environment and implementation reinforces the idea that this road is actually SUBurban – i.e. not the racetrack it once was – although there’d been efforts to achieve that previously

      What I don’t like:
      It’s actually been done on the cheap – YET again (short term-ism).
      The road going northward has a berm on the left hand side. The road southward does not.
      With a little more investment and commitment to the concept – given the available space, it could have been better. AND it could have included trees on the southward (i.e EAST side) had they thought about it more.
      With a little more thought, and shifting things like guttering, we could have had things like (from the property/housing frontage perspective going outward to the road centre line), and with trees on BOTH sides of the road:
      – a property frontage
      – a minimal berm, equipped with trees (and whatever – even community vege and other gardens)
      – a footpath with adequate (though not excessive) width (for the traffic involved)
      – a directional cycle lane
      – a street parking area
      – a street thoroughfare – and one which takes account of the necessities of things like trolleybus lines
      – a centre line (probably with ‘no overtaking’)

      we could probably have also had things like bus stop bays AND walkways and cycleways that are in-the-main ….. STRAIGHT – but I guess straightness and order is not very trendy these days. WCC and power companies can’t even get positioning of lamp posts consistent (so much so that installation of fibre channels have to wend their merry way around a variety of bullshit obstructions – not so bad though if you’re a Chorus contractor trying to clip the ticket at every twist and turn).

      So there ya go. Now tell me what you think of it all

    • Once was Tim 7.2

      As a student of Sciology, perhaps what this suggests is:
      – the average Kiwi bloke is dissatisfied with the size of his dick
      – feels the need to forever prove himslef
      – as a result, has an inferiority complex

      Jeez, maybe I’ve jiss explained JFK.
      NOW …. how the fuck to we explain Max. Answer: JOHN

    • The Chairman 7.3

      I don’t generally support the slowing of traffic. It largely defeats the purpose of having cars and negatively impacts on productivity.

      Ideally, cyclists, motorists and pedestrians need to be separated as much as possible. Therefore, I would have opted for dividing (with a median barrier) and extending the footpath.

      • Once was Tim 7.3.1

        OK.
        Well perhaps with a little more thought as to how the available space could be used, combined with existing trees and planting others on the other side, as well as relocating curbing …… that separation could have been achieved.
        The Parade is fairly wide. In places the footpaths are wider than need be.
        But, as I said (above), it has been done on a budget and it seems to have needlessly pissed a lot of people off as a result.
        I’m not sure about some of the complaints I’ve seen though – such as the road carriage way not being wide enough.

  7. Once was Tim 8

    @ lprent …. a bug perhaps? or merely an inexplicable glitch not worth the time and effort given it might be a set of circumstances that’s so rare ….

    My previous comment on this thread was a reply to Chairman (I.e. replying to his asking for comments [2] above).
    It went into a black hole.

    I came back to repost and found the following appended to th” Name (Required) * –
    field
    i.e. in my case >>>>>

    “Once was Tim 100 Sabine…our ancestors lived frugally and wel ”

    actually now I think about it, my last comment was a reply (on another thread) to Sabine

    Just thought you might be interested (being a perfectionist and coding fiddler – that’s a compliment btw)

    • BM 8.1

      Are you copying and pasting from word?

      • Once was Tim 8.1.1

        NO
        It’s been a very long long time since I was a SysProg but it looks like that string has been something exrtacted from a DB.
        I have some advice though for you (BM) and other IT geeks:
        Firstly ….. there’s actually a shitload more to life – especially as you get older.
        Secondly ….. reinventing wheels only serves to prop up you own ego if its just as inefficient and ‘in-effective’. I could even argue that the only advances in modern times have occurred at the “PRESENTATION layer’ – if you comprenez VOUS – and I’m sure that you do!
        Thirdly …. humans should drive technology – not the other way round
        Fourthly (as I often hear when following ‘IT professionals’ discussing their various projects – and believe me its UNINTENTIONAL’) as I walk thru’ the Streets of Wellington and hear them wanking each other off …… reinventing wheels is ekshully not that ‘S M A R T’. In fek it’s really a bit pathetic
        Fourthly ….. trying to make yourself indispensable by coding methods that are (to say the least) fucking stupid – e.g. hardcoding IDs rather than referencing a table that Joseph Bloggs (or in your case Joseph Goebles) is going to be a losing battle,

        I don’t really think I should carry on. Steven Joooooice (Choooooice Bro – with reference to a dainty little Ayshun from Mermaids) would have a harda tek.

        There could be a fifthly, and a sixthly ……… etc.
        I’m perfikly happy to deal with it as you see fit.
        But PLEASE PLEASE don’t come moaning when the inevitable happens

        • Once was Tim 8.1.1.1

          come to think about it …. BM are the initials of one of the biggest wankers I ever came across – we could go into details – but best not. It’s the thing that LEAST interests me in life as I watch on in amusement.
          It’s a bit like blokes that think they know better than an instruction manual authored by someone whose constructed some bullshit-well-needed-essential-app.
          are you in Wellington? Spark? Datacom?
          Formerly engaged in some earth-shattering project such as INCIS, or in the health sector, or anywhere else for that matter – the record is pretty fukng bleak wherever it was – but then of course you’ve had learnings as to why, and none of it could possibly EVER have been your fault.
          no forget that question …. it’s illegal given the terms and conditions.

          • BM 8.1.1.1.1

            You seem a bit unhinged there, Tim.
            Might want to go back to your doctor and get him to triple your dosage.

            • Once was Tim 8.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s a condition that comes with engaging with the likes of you. There’s no known cure. The worst part of it is forgetting not to bother in the first place. Some call it troll feeding I think.
              Thanks though. I’ll remember not to in future.

    • lprent 8.2

      It is a bug left over from last weeks WordPress upgrade. The JavaScript I put in to set the first field got invalidated. But work, patchwork sleeping and Damn shopping haven’t left time for coding blocks at home.

  8. Ad 9

    From the NZHerald today, an analyst from McKinseys telling the New Zealand government that active leadership to diversify our economy is absolutely critical. And that oil exploration is the wrong way to diversify, because it is as much a commodity product as milk.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11564682

    Nothing new, but all sound points.

  9. Draco T Bastard 10

    Democracy and expert advice on scientific issues

    This is what Layla Parker-Katiraee advocates. This could be helped if more students were exposed to science and critical analysis in their education.

    “In the meantime, there are a few things we can do:

    1) Encourage children in our circle of influence to take science classes in high school and college, even if they’re pursuing a career in an unrelated field.

    2) Scientists should step up their communication skills. There aren’t many scientists in the private sector involved in science communication or education. Many of us have been trained in presentation skills. Giving concise explanations or pitches are often required in the private sector. There’s no reason why you can’t expand that skill into a part time hobby.

    3) Remember that we all have gaps in our knowledge. Working to fill those gaps rather than mocking them will go a long way.”

    If we worked to educate ourselves and others in understanding the role and nature of science and in critical thinking then society would be better able to handle “controversial” scientific issues requiring democratic decisions.

    IMO, there’s two parts to the problem that we see here.

    The first problem is education and the lack there of both in the basics facts and how to think logically and critically.

    The second part is specialisation in that people have become overly specialised and have little to no knowledge of other areas. This prevents people from joining the dots in logical progression to come to the correct answer despite not having the same knowledge of a subject as a specialist would have.

  10. veutoviper 11

    Court Decision Alert

    The Kim Dotcom and others Extradition decision will be released tomorrow.

    https://twitter.com/CourtsofNZ/status/679115520180793345

    No doubt whoever loses will appeal, so not the end yet.

  11. The Chairman 12

    Little says he wants to see a shift away from a ‘culture of blame’ – where there is a call for heads to roll when an enterprise fails.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/74985370/andrew-little-finds-success-in-stability-as-labour-recovers-from-2014-nosedive

    The statement comes across as if he’s attempting to remove accountability.

    Your thoughts?

    • The Fairy Godmother 12.1

      I find it unhelpful to have a “heads will roll culture” because my experience in the workplace is that when things go wrong it is often systemic. It is to do with the culture of the place. sometimes its a commitment to doing things the cheapest way possible and making as much profit as possible. Scapegoating one person will not solve systemic problems. I have also had experience of the wrong person being blamed in the case I was thinking of a manager had done some dodgy figures but managed to blame it on the manager under her in the hierarchy who got demoted. A thorough examination of the whole culture of the place and the systems that were operating might have done something to effect real change. As it was it really was pretty much business as usual.

      • The Chairman 12.1.1

        With the lack of culpability witnessed, I question whether we actually suffer from a culture of blame.

        I agree that on some occasions problems can be systemic within an enterprise. However, CEO’s and such are there to oversee such issues are rectified. A CEO should be aware of the culture within their organization. Therefore, I disagree with your notion.

        As for people being wrongly accused, I agree examinations require to be thorough, with any blame being laid solely at the feet of those responsible.

    • Graeme 12.2

      I think there’s a distinction around that how accountability occurs following a failure.

      Presenting this in an adventure aviation context is interesting, here there’s a culture of finding “what” went wrong in an adverse event and working to prevent it happening again. This is quite different to the “who” scapegoating that often appears in political and media culture.

      It’s rare outside criminal intent or negligence that an adverse event has a single point of accountability, and we have laws and legal accountabilities to deal with these aspects. And these legal sanctions should be robust and with out favour.

      However business failures, like aviation accidents have a multitude of causes, often totally unrelated that line up produce carnage. An air accident investigation tries to determine as many of these aspects as possible so that better outcomes can be achieved from similar situations in the future. This has allowed aviation to progress from what was pretty dodgy in 1920 to safer than driving, and probably walking now.

      When we focus on finding individual scapegoats we get other things happening. First we miss the real causes of the failure, maybe the weakest, financially, politically or socially goes down masking everything else, and then everyone gets really risk adverse.

      I don’t think this sort of accountability culture is going to produce an environment where people can confidently and easily move from one career to another. We need a culture where failure is seen as a positive learning experience and shared. A culture change around this could be rather disruptive of our political environment.

      • The Chairman 12.2.1

        It’s only logical to find out what went wrong in order to help prevent it from reoccurring. However, doing so generally points to whom (if anyone) was at fault.

        It may be that accountability may have to be shared. And although we do have laws to deal with criminal intent or negligence (if and when identified) you seem to be overlooking professional accountability.

        I’m not advocating we seek out scapegoats to scalp, but I am pointing out professional accountability can’t be overlooked and those accountable must be held to account.

        Therefore, while I agree with a number of your points, I reject the notion that failure should only be seen as a positive learning experience and shared. If investigations show people are culpable, they require to be held to account.

        • Graeme 12.2.1.1

          It’s conservative thinking that seeks certainty and the elimination of risk, and then trys to abrogate responsibility when it all turn to shit. The trap here is in thinking that we can eliminate ALL risk. You can’t, there’s just too many unrelated and random variables. So, when we progress, as in try something new, we are going to get some honest failures, along with spectacular wins. We should celebrate both.

          Dishonest activities however, both failures and “wins”, must be jumped on, hard.

          It doesn’t follow that all failure is dishonest, and it’s bloody tragic to see otherwise honest and honourable people go down for doing dishonest things as their lives and /or business falls to bits. A better attitude to, and management of failure would save a lot of grief.

          • The Chairman 12.2.1.1.1

            Holding the culpable to account is not an attempt to eliminate risk, but it does help set in place an accepted framework and expected level of professionalism.

            Removing accountability opens the door to excessive risk taking and a culture of failure acceptance.

            While taking risk can produce benefits and lead to a company’s progression, excessive risk can result in a company’s collapse.

            Growing too fast, taking on excessive risk and ultimately collapsing is an opportunity wasted, thus not a model for future success.

            Therefore, it’s not a model to be encouraged and expanded by removing accountability and celebrating failure.

    • Pat 12.3

      a culture of blame works all ways…..as was highlighted by Keys stated cause of child poverty. Thought the article in its entirety provoked interest it what they will release next year….heres hoping it is something inspiring.

  12. fisiani 13

    I find it incredible that some posters think it is acceptable on a thread about alleged rape humour to call me Fisi-anal or some such moniker. Not a single Leftist has called out shame. The hypocrisy of the Left is gob smacking. My noble African name is sacred and no matter what I post such gutter language is surely unacceptable to any person with some sense of decency. It is a particularly childish and nasty form of internet bullying. It will not silence me.

    • McFlock 13.1

      Refences to the anal area are not references to rape.

      But yes, you are frequently disrespected and insulted. Because that is the level of respect you have diligently earned – see sentence 1.

      • fisiani 13.1.1

        You condone such behaviour. Disgraceful. This blog is not surely just an echo chamber for the deluded. I never compared the insults aimed at me with rape. Can you not read?

        • vaughan little 13.1.1.1

          liberals don’t need to read cos they’re always right.

        • McFlock 13.1.1.2

          You called it hypocrisy, not me.

          I think you insult the intelligence of everyone here with pretty much every damned comment you make, and you don’t even have the decency to be honest about it and call people names.

      • vaughan little 13.1.2

        bullshit. play the ball not the man.

        • McFlock 13.1.2.1

          1: it’s not football. It’s not a game.
          2: fuck that guy. There’s room for disagreement, then there’s that tory trooll. He’s worked hard for it and earned the abuse.

          • vaughan little 13.1.2.1.1

            so there’s this thing called metaphor…

            in the divine economy there is no earning of abuse.

            • McFlock 13.1.2.1.1.1

              Some metaphors are more appropriate than others.

              And the divine economy might or might not exist. But as respect between humans is earned, so are scorn, defiance, slight regard and contempt. Of which fisiani has earned a plenitude.

    • Ad 13.2

      I missed it – but you are right.
      You should not be insulted.
      I support you on that.

    • Paul 13.3

      You would not annoy people if you were to stop trolling so regularly.
      And that name is not a reference to rape.

    • Expat 13.4

      fisiani
      Aren’t you the guy that loves Key and can’t understand why no one else here does, I don’t know why you don’t try kiwiblog, they share similar view point to you and have a similar level of intellect, you’d be right at home.

      • vaughan little 13.4.1

        the point is name calling. people should be able to love key anywhere they want without being called names.

        • Expat 13.4.1.1

          I don’t know if realise what you just said?
          “You should be able to love Key with out being called a name”
          I didn’t condone the supposed name calling, I merely suggested an alternative spot where he could go and not receive any grief, I don’t know if you read the posts that are in dispute, but McFlock’s comments were appropriate, everybody has the right to free speech, even you.

          • vaughan little 13.4.1.1.1

            yeah McFlock is blaming his poor netiquette on Fisiani’s trolling. “you’ve earned the abuse” – sounds like the guy’s done some time in prison.

            • fender 13.4.1.1.1.1

              If you click on the name fisiani you will find this is a tr0ll who (metaphorically speaking) has done time for many indiscretions in the past.

              North calling fisiani fused anus was an accurate description for someone so consistently full of shit.

              • vaughan little

                it’s in poor taste.

                worse is that you’d take a troll so seriously. some lines off blake:

                mock on, mock on, voltaire, rousseau
                mock on, mock on, tis all in vain
                you throw the sand against the wind
                the wind blows it back again

            • McFlock 13.4.1.1.1.2

              lol

              So just to clarify, we’re allowed to suggest someone’ “sounds like” they’ve done enough wrong to be imprisoned, but we’re not allowed to use rude words or show other poor form according to you?

              Yeah, nah. My insults are direct. Yours are duplicitous. Get off your hypocritical high horse.

              • vaughan little

                horses may be more easily forgiven for shitting freely in public.

                • McFlock

                  In some areas horseshit is not just forgiven, but actively sought.
                  In other areas, the person taking the horse for a ride is blamed.

                  hope your xmassy thing went well, though.

        • Stuart Munro 13.4.1.2

          No – they mustn’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses.

          They should do it on kiwiblog where the audience appreciates it and gimp suits and lashings of whale oil are provided for that purpose.

    • Once was Tim 13.5

      Christ! For once “I’m inclined to agree with you Mathew”. However As far as I can see so far, I haven’t seen your mates on the roster (“hard Rightists”) call people out either.
      Who’s on duty tonight btw?
      Do you do The Daily Blog as well? There now seems to be six at least hitting the dislike button. You should congratulate yourselves – that’s an increase of 50% (going forward). Could be a brighter future eh?

    • Macro 13.6

      Good to see that you now fully appreciate the nastiness of Key’s behaviour.
      I hope you will now also call him out for his hypocrisy on – oh! so many things – such as being an ambassador for white ribbon and at the same time indulging in jokes about prison rape, failing to apologize to Tania over his Govt’s appalling handling of her sexual assault and claiming it was a political stunt, calling many women MPs who have been the subject of abuse – “rape apologists”, being an habitual predator handling the pony tails of young girls and women, and twisting the apology of David Cunliffe on behalf of men to women – when NZ has one of the highest rates of abuse in the western world, etc.
      When you have called out Key on his appalling hypocrisy maybe then we might apologize for calling you names.

    • weka 13.7

      “Not a single Leftist has called out shame.”

      Actually I have. And some have agreed with me.

    • lprent 13.8

      The problem is that the site policy allow for such “abuse” provided the moderators can see a point to it, just as they allow for you to comment with your own opinions and to provide your own take on the opinions of others. We couldn’t give a damn if you choose or don’t choose to use the provided room for pointed attacks and abuse or not. That is your choice.

      Personally, I find that I use whatever I need to when I want to get a point across. My nastiest attacks when I want to have a go at someone use absolutely no “abuse”. I simply read their previous comments and figure out suggestions or explanations for the ‘reasoning’ behind the formation of their views and opinions.

      There are very few people that I can’t set off like a rocket at guy fawkes with those kinds of attacks at their world views without ever “abusing” them if I feel the inclination. This is a skill developed after decades around the net is probably why I don’t feel the need to level the playing field where you do. In my opinion, all that does is to give way too much weight to net experience. Allowing robust debate and pointed abuse evens up the playing field somewhat because it means that people can express themselves more freely at whatever level they feel comfortable with.

      What you are proposing allows a dissection using manners that gives the advantage to whoever has the most experience within the implied rules. I don’t like that 18th century farce. As far as I’m concerned it should have died with the French monarchy at Versailles in 1789, but which unfortunately survived up until after the second world war.

      As it is I keep a vigilant eye for people trying to game the system and deliberately pressing people into the policy electric fence that they know about and the other does not.

      Abyway trying to change the rules on this site is a dangerous tactic if you aren’t an author, because for those of us who actually work on the site, it becomes highly irritating to argue with people who don’t and who have no real idea about what is going on. Especially since they are always so damn repetitive about repetitively screaming what they want (like a spoilt child) rather than considering what authors and others might want. Plus not considering why these rules were set at the position that they were. Which appears to be what you are doing.

      But you should be pretty aware of this already. It isn’t like I try to conceal my attitudes about the best way to deal with people without skin in the site trying to help us out by suggesting directly or indirectly how we should run the site.

    • Grant 13.9

      “My noble African name is sacred”.

      Citation please. No amount of earnest Googling in good faith on my part can verify that statement.

  13. Expat 14

    Fact, in 2011, there were fewer new homes built in NZ that year than were built in (wait for it) 1965, and now a housing shortage.

    An interesting aspect to the large influx of refugees into Germany, over 800,000, was how would Germany house them all.

    It seems Germany has an interesting housing policy, they maintain a surplus of relatively cheap housing stock, ensuring real affordability for there own work force, they also regulate the housing industry, there reasoning is that these workers are considered a very important part of a successful economy, by keeping rents and housing prices relatively low, the work force has more money in their pockets to spend in the local economy, this all forms part of a wider economic strategy.

    They found that the workers were more productive if they didn’t feel they were only going to work to pay the rent.

    Of the 800,000 refugees, most will get work, and they will end up very loyal employees.

    For a right wing Govt, it’s unusual to see a smart, common sense approach to the way in which they treat their work force, there maybe some lessons to be learned here.

    • McFlock 14.1

      we have a housing policy where it’s more profitable to leave them vacant and flip them to other speculators than it is to actually provide homes for people.

      • Expat 14.1.1

        Yeah, and who profits from that, Germany in is an industrial nation of 110m , they’ve realised over the long term that a highly productive work force is more profitable than short term speculation, every one needs a roof over their head.
        I suppose that is the crux of it, a long term economic plan that will lift the countries prosperity

        • Sacha 14.1.1.1

          Whereas NZ has elected a short-term currency gambler and an unreconstructed 80s Treasury wideboy. What could possibly go wrong?

          • Expat 14.1.1.1.1

            “What could possibly go wrong?”
            That is funny, I don’t know if you meant it to be.
            Hasn’t it already gone wrong, Key is the man without a plan for the future of NZ, I just wish his tenure was a short term.

    • Stuart Munro 14.2

      Unfortunately much of the appeal of neo-liberalism to the current government is that divesting state services enables ministers to be lazier and less accountable. They have no desire to actually govern, and think that destroying state capacity is a positive achievement. Most third world countries are better governed, perhaps in part because their citizens would not tolerate the kind of pathetic crap that our Gnat MPs get up to. The neo part of Labour isn’t much better.

  14. joe90 16

    Médecins Sans Frontières – a year in pictures.

    https://msf.exposure.co/a-year-in-pictures

    (light version for shitty connections https://msf.exposure.co/a-year-in-pictures?slow=1 )

  15. joe90 17

    Aloe Blacc on his Christmas tribute.

    It’s not a product for sale — it’s a memorial, a tribute. First of all, to me, it doesn’t seem appropriate. It really was just an expression that I felt was important for me offer to these families, and for other people to hear so that they could have a voice for what they were feeling inside, because a lot of the dialogue that we hear in the media doesn’t give us the opportunity to grieve a way that is respectful to the families. I wanted to offer that to everyone, especially the families. I wanted them to see that there are people who understand their pain and are not just trying to make a headline out of their tragedy.

    http://www.npr.org/2015/12/10/459109275/songs-we-love-aloe-blacc-merry-christmas-mr-brown

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvf6NKJCKwY

  16. Draco T Bastard 18

    The History of People’s QE – Neither Right nor Left, Just the Way Forward

    The point being that there is a long history to central banks creating money for productive spending – the idea did not begin nor end with Jeremy Corbyn or Richard Murphy. Indeed, throughout history many states have successfully used their money creating powers to grow their economies (without triggering hyperinflation).

    Part 2

    The empirical reality, both when looking at quantitative data and qualitative descriptions of what actually happens in hyperinflations, shows that they are not the results of well-governed states abusing the money creation process.

    Indeed, the case study of Weimar Republic shows that it was not even state-led money creation but private bank money creation that triggered hyperinflation.

    The lessons from the above case studies suggest that hyperinflations do not happen simply because of an increase in money creation; indeed, the private banking sector in the UK more than doubled the money stock from 1997-2007 and we did not see experience hyperinflation. Hyperinflation in Germany and Zimbabwe was preceded by a fundamental collapse in the productive capacity of the economy, which started the inflationary pressure.

    Part 3

    Throughout history, governments have used their ability to create money to fund public spending. While none of these policies were called, “People’s QE”, “Sovereign Money Creation”, or “Helicopter Money”, they shared the common trait of using newly created state money to finance government spending, rather than relying on commercial banks to create new money through lending.

    The times when this state-led money creation has resulted in high inflation or even hyperinflation (inflation of over 50% a year) have been well documented. However, the times when governments have created money in a careful and responsible manner to grow the economy are usually ignored or overlooked. At Positive Money, we want to set the record straight and bring to light the many case studies where state-led money creation has successfully boosted the economy without leading to economic disaster.

    Money creation by the state is the answer to our financial difficulties such as poverty and inequality.

  17. This type of story pisses me off – blame it on computer generated letters?? bullshit!!!

    “Then the second letter came, claiming that even though the agency had now seen Leger’s medical certificates, he still needed to be “actively seeking work”.

    Leger said the suggestion of sending out CVs from his hospital bed sounded like a bad joke.

    “It’s that extra stress that you don’t need at this time going through the treatment,” he said.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/75373823/leukaemia-patient-told-by-work-and-income-to-find-a-job-or-risk-his-benefit

    It wouldn’t surprise me if those computer generated letters were designed to upset people, you know, so they get out of their sick beds and get a job.

    gnat 101

    extra stress = more motivation
    less money = more motivation
    persistent hassle = more motivation
    ridicule = more motivation
    cut additional benefits = more motivation
    desperation = more motivation
    loss of dignity = more motivation
    not enough money = more motivation
    begging for help = more motivation

    and so on to infinity and back

    • Once was Tim 19.1

      …….Corrrrrrr Blimey. That gnat 101 stuff is rilly rilly esprashunul eh? Now I know where all those street “beggars” I just encountered walking from Courtenay Place to Lambton Quay are going wrong. I guess they really should just pull themselves together as ‘get with the programme’
      Ekshully, I must remember to give them a right good letchering the next time I pass.
      There are obviously Pulla Bent and Soimun Brudgizz type learnings to be learned. I’ll give them a set of bootstraps – how they choose to use them of course…. is up to them

    • RedLogix 19.2

      No that can’t be right marty. When I look about at the top execs and CEO’s they very loudly claim that the exact opposite of all those things = more motivation.

    • vto 19.3

      Agreed marty mars that is not only appalling behaviour for a human being, it is actually just bloody stupid.

      The National Party government is highlighted in all of its ignorant ideology with this poor fulla’s plight.

      Just stupid, brainless, lacks any form of logic, no common sense.

      The nacts are frikkin’ loopy

      • vto 19.3.1

        and that is the problem with conservatives when they try to change things….

        because they are afraid of change they do not know how to undertake it, and hence make a big hash of things….

        conservatives should stay in the hold like the useless ballast that they are

    • weka 19.4

      It wouldn’t surprise me if those computer generated letters were designed to upset people, you know, so they get out of their sick beds and get a job.

      I think it’s more what is said later in the article,

      “She said it’s not us it’s just a system generated message that can’t separate who’s got what sickness or what amount of sickness.

      Which is basically that when they scraped sickness benefit the system they put in place was done incompetently. If you want to see where National are doing evil there, it’s more likely to be in monkey wrenching the system over time so that eventually they’ve got an excuse to privatise.

      • marty mars 19.4.1

        “Which is basically that when they scraped sickness benefit the system they put in place was done incompetently.”

        yes done incompetently and the system they put in was incompetent too – deliberately? Is monkey wrenching when they chuck a monkey wrench in and wait and see what shit happens or is it when the place it into position to create shit.

        I’m lucky I spose I can see multiple layers of incompetence, mistakes and deliberate design all over the system and I agree the end goal is some type of privatisation agenda.

        There are many preventable calamities at this time of year – kia kaha to all those dealing with this system.

        • weka 19.4.1.1

          Yeah, it’s always that weird mix of creepy ideology and incompetence and hard to tell how much of which each time. And with WINZ we can add in the fact that it was already a system pretty stressed by meddling from multiple governments, instead of taking care of something important.

  18. Muttonbird 20

    Amazing flip flop from Trotter who seems to have stopped fighting …for anything.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/75307377/chris-trotter-my-surprise-pick-for-politician-of-the-year

  19. Rosemary McDonald 21

    Little gem here from The North…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11564706

    Joanne McNeil: PM gets an F for Social Studies

    “In my day, school report cards did not mince words to mollycoddle fragile little darlings or confuse litigious parents.

    In similar spirit, here’s Prime Minister John Key’s report for 2015.

    English

    Oral. John has plenty to say on behalf of all New Zealanders. His pronunciation – which often compresses syllables into sausage meat – would benefit from speech therapy.

    Written. We have not sighted any prose (or poetry) we are confident is John’s original work. Apparently he pays a huddle of crack spin doctors to produce his essays behind the bike sheds. F”

    and so on…

    Very good.

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