Open Mike 23/01/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 23rd, 2018 - 190 comments
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190 comments on “Open Mike 23/01/2018”

  1. Sacha 1

    In case it is a discussion topic again today, the Public Records Act says councils and other agencies have to *keep* records. It does not control them *making available* that information to the public.

    Read for yourself the section often cited by a certain stubborn fool: http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345729.html

    • Rosemary McDonald 1.1

      I like to do my homework Sacha, and when I was looking into this Penny Bright person one of the fairest articles I read was this…https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/penny-bright/

      And there she was, being given a talking to and threatened with 24 hour trespass for a peaceful, quiet protest outside of parliament. Frank expressed surprise that such actions were not allowed…(news for you Frank…try simply handing out flyers!)

      We’d moved our little act of sedition out onto the footpath three years earlier…Penny folded up her tent because she didn’t wan’t to jeopardize her chance of meeting with the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.


      However, Ms Bright pointed out a number of areas where New Zealand lacked a domestic legislative framework for genuine transparency,

      lobbying – there currently being no ‘Register of Lobbyists’, or ‘Code of Conduct for Lobbyists’,
      and ‘State Capture’ – where vested interests gained influence at ‘policy’ level, prior to legislation being passed.
      On the issue of civil servants and political figures leaving the public service and entering the private sector (eg; consultancy-work) – Ms Bright denounced the practice of the “revolving door”, and recommended a “quarantine period”.

      A policy of ‘post-separation employment’ could deny sensitive information from being used for personal gain.

      It was also pointed out that, at Local Government level, there was no mandatory requirement for a ‘Register of Interests’ for elected representatives (unlike central government MPs).”

      I share Penny’s opinion on many issues to do with the way our elected representatives behave and how they spend our tax and rates dollars. I want to know who is up who and who is paying.

      There is way too much dodgy shit going on ….

      • James 1.1.1

        Perhaps. But she still has to pay her rates.

        She is suffering the consequences for her actions and it’s deserved.

        Pay your share penny.

        • Incognito 1.1.1.1

          Putting the specifics aside for a moment, this is what activism looks like: taking a strong and principled stand against a perceived wrong or injustice to raise awareness and to evoke a change.

          Not paying (the) rates is taking such a stand …

        • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1.2

          James…have YOU ever made a stand on “principle” about anything?

          “principle” definition

          “noun
          1.
          a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning.
          “the basic principles of justice” ”

          Or do you merely gumbeat from behind the safety of your keyboard?

          • james 1.1.1.2.1

            I have principles – I pay my bills and money I owe on time.

            If she had any she would do the same. There are many ways for her to protest without not paying her fair share.

        • One Two 1.1.1.3

          Why does she have to pay her rates, James…

          Do tell…

          • james 1.1.1.3.1

            Well for starters if she dosn’t they will sell her house from under her.

            Being that it will be a forced sale – she will quite possibly get a lot lower price than if it wasnt.

            and if you cannot work out any other reasons – like all the people who contribute and pay their rates – then there is no way to explain basic concepts.

          • DoublePlusGood 1.1.1.3.2

            Because currently she’s using all the services that the council provides and not contributing to them. Rates pay for parks, sewers, roads, community venues, etc. etc.
            She’s a tax dodger.

            • One Two 1.1.1.3.2.1

              No, she is NOT a tax dodger..

              That’s a moronic response…

              • Naki man

                “No, she is NOT a tax dodger..

                That’s a moronic response…”

                So you think bludging off the rate payers is ok?
                If i had my way she would be digging a hole in the back lawn when she wanted to have a dump.

                • One Two

                  Had a quick look at your comment history…it indicates a base level ‘thinker’…if that…

                  To your question…

                  I’m 100% in support of any human being who takes a stand on principal, on behalf of others, against the covered-up and fraudulant practices, entities such as AKL Council preside over…

                  Go dig a hole and take that dump you’re choking up on….bro!

                • reason

                  Judith Collins and the Nact party support tax dodgers…… and its all done for the noble motive of Greed Naki man …

                  Do you see the difference with Penny ?.

                  Heres some more differences …

                  “In 2006, corporations held roughly $600 billion offshore. That sum would soon double, then triple.”

                  “The Herald reported last month that the 20 multinational companies most aggressive in shifting profits out of New Zealand paid virtually no tax,”

                  All New Zealanders not using tax havens are paying for the Real tax cheats .

        • Molly 1.1.1.4

          What are your rates being spent on James?

          Have you viewed the budgets lately, and seen how many contracts have been awarded without following due process and with no transparency?

          If so, you may find Penny Bright’s actions both understandable and commendable.

          • james 1.1.1.4.1

            no and I have no interest – I trust the council to work in the best interest of the city (despite him not being a mayor I voted for), and I do my part paying my rates – like almost everyone else.

            Penny blight is a disgrace – and I am glad that the council are holding her to account.

            • Molly 1.1.1.4.1.1

              ” I trust the council to work in the best interest of the city “
              It would be in the best interest of the city, for processes to be transparent.

              You refer that your payment is willingly given, and that is fine. But you also include the assumption above, that allocation of payments is for those services that are required for a well-planned city and its communities.

              But there has been a lack of transparency over many decisions, for example, the millions given to the V8 in Pukekohe, and even councillors are querying the existence of ATEED and the funding they receive.

              Whenever I have attended a council consultation in Auckland, Penny Bright has been there, and her level of knowledge and questions are reasonable given the lack of information provided. That does not mean that it is comfortable for those questioned, and those who dismiss her do so to discredit her, not because her questions are not important or pertinent.

              You seem to be definite on a lot of issues on which you have little knowledge. It may pay for you to read more, and comment less.

              • faroutdude

                I don’t like what my Taxes are being spent on. I don’t believe there was transparency in the Coalition Agreement. I believe that the PM dishonestly withheld her pregnancy.
                Do you think that I and others who agree should withhold my Income Tax as a fair protest?

                • Molly

                  (Interesting that you already know what your taxes will be spent on…)

                  “I don’t believe there was transparency in the Coalition Agreement. “
                  Same amount of transparency has been available for all coalition agreements. Why does this one bother you so?

                  “I believe that the PM dishonestly withheld her pregnancy.”
                  This sentence makes no sense at all.

                  Penny Bright has been advocating for transparency, and also IIRC the charging of GST on what is essentially a tax on property.

                  “Do you think that I and others who agree should withhold my Income Tax as a fair protest?”
                  Given your comment, I would guess that you would be unable to risk your liberty to make such protest. It is a personal choice, to decide what priorities and values you hold, and how much you are willing to risk to see the right outcomes. Kudos to you if you have such an issue.

                  Penny Bright does not advocate for an individual benefit, but for a systematic change. I admire her for her commitment, because I believe that she has over time shown consistency and integrity – and dogmatic faith in the right outcome being the desired result – rather than personal vindication.

                  In person, her arguments seem to be easier to absorb than her writings, but I just assume that her writing reflects the fact that many people don’t know even the basics on issues, and she takes them through a lot of detail to finally get to the point she is trying to make. Her level of knowledge is more apparent in question and answer sessions, but she does aggravate the representatives of council when they give a insubstantial and irrelevant reply to her queries.

                  I don’t know if I would have the same admiration for you – given your lack of detail provided – but many already do avoid taxes, and often they are the ones most able to pay them without hardship.

                  How do you feel about the current lack of prosecutions and asset taking to address those avoiders and evaders, who are not making any stand on issues – just want to have more cash available for their personal (or company) use?

                • fender

                  “I believe that the PM dishonestly withheld her pregnancy”

                  LOL, from who?? Her partner?? It’s nobody elses fucking business you idiot.

        • reason 1.1.1.5

          How come you never applied “Pay your share” to the likes of John Key …. or the economic segregation laws his Nact government passed James ????.

          “The numbers are staggering. More than $2 trillion in U.S.-based multinational profits currently sit in offshore accounts, representing, by credible estimates, in excess of $500 billion in unpaid taxes.”

          “The crisis in multinational corporate tax avoidance is growing exponentially.”.

          How come you are so strident in relation to Penny who is taking an anti-corruption stance …..?

          But so silent in relation to the massive corruption that John key was fighting and legislating for ? .

          You Smell like trolls bullshit to me …. James

          • james 1.1.1.5.1

            you need to get your nose looked at.

            and you are just making a ton of false equivalences because you cannot justify her actions.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.5.1.1

              She saw something she felt was unjust.
              She refused to kowtow to a law in order to challenge that injustice.
              She is facing the consequences of that refusal head on, rather than trying to evade them in some way. Challenge, yes, but not evade.

              What part of that needs justification?

              • james

                “She is facing the consequences of that refusal head on, rather than trying to evade them in some way.”

                Indeed she is – and I admire her for that.

                Truth is there are many other ways she could have protested rather than bludging off other rate payers – by not paying her rates.

                • McFlock

                  If she has a legal point, she’s not bludging.
                  As it seems at the moment, she’ll pay anyway.

                  But at least we agree she’s staunch.

            • reason 1.1.1.5.1.2

              My nose is a fine James ….. it detects stinkers throwing around words and concepts like “fair share”quite well…..and as stinkers do not believe in ‘fairness’ I feel quite entitled to show real examples of Greedy people not paying their “fair share”.

              Your the one who took that route to attack Pennys protest …. I’m judging you, not her.

              Rich people skipping out of paying their fair share is done for Greed … and its what John Key described as “working creatively” …..

              Heres the reporting at the time for a John Shewan art work ….. a strong depiction of bank robbery.

              “TAX FACTOR
              Five big banks face about $2.4 billion of disputed tax assessments for 22 structured finance transactions.

              Who owes what:
              Westpac: $961 million in tax and interest. High Court case lost, but expected to appeal.

              Bank of New Zealand: $654m in tax and interest. High Court case lost, but will appeal.

              ANZ and National: $562m in dispute, court case pending.

              Commonwealth Bank of Australia/ASB Bank: $280m in dispute, case pending.
              Note: The figures do not include possible penalties, which could range from 20 per cent to 100 per cent of the tax owed.”

      • eco maori 1.1.2

        +100 Rosemary McDonald If there is know transparency in government organizations local or central they are hiding deceit full practices stealing off the people or providing shoddy services getting kick backs from developers there many avenues for these people who are elected to serve in the best interest of the people and not line there own pockets or there associates / family this is the reason our waste and water services are inadequate . We are a wealth country with dum future planning for the esencial services we pay for .Look at all the complaints about common tourist crapping in inappropriate places, I say the councils should put portaloos in all these places Its a know brainer the commen people spend money in NZ to get with it NZ . A lot of these young people won;t all ways be poor lets look after them like we do for the wealthy .Ana to kai heres the link

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/100771514/poo-and-loo-paper-littering-akaroa-anger-locals-who-demand-tougher-action-on-freedom-campers Ka kite ano

        • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.2.1

          Ata marie eco maori. There should never be any reason/excuse to see “legally confidential and privileged” or “commercially sensitive” on any document pertaining to the expenditure of taxes, levies and rates or to do with any activity by statutory bodies.

          Ever.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.1

            +111

            As a democracy the people actually need to know so that they can make informed decisions.

            • phantom snowflake 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Speaking of democracy… (*Tangentiality Alert*)
              Of all the ironically named CCOs (Council-Controlled Organisations) which came with Rodney Hide’s supercity vanity project; the most sinister is, perhaps, Auckland Transport. Auckland ratepayers, those archetypal “sleepy hobbits” are financing a massive proliferation of CCTV cameras. No discussion, no accountability, not even any kind of cost/benefit analysis. Total surveillance anyone? So, Auckland Transport are now major Deep State players, and will be very much a partner with NZ Police in their new Facial Recognition project which I have mentioned previously.

              Open Mike 18/01/2018

              “No matter how paranoid you are, you’re not paranoid enough.” (Susanne Modeski: The X-Files)

          • Sacha 1.1.2.1.2

            There should never be any reason/excuse to see “legally confidential and privileged” or “commercially sensitive” on any document pertaining to the expenditure of taxes, levies and rates or to do with any activity by statutory bodies.

            The only way to get to that state of affairs is to lobby central govt for law changes – not to hound a local body who is following the law as it currently is.

            Citizens are entitled to lodge official information requests or conduct court cases. We are *not* legally or democratically entitled to get line-by-line accounts or see every single contract entered into on our behalves.

            There are grounds in the LGOIMA for evaluating what to release or withhold and councils must follow those. Councils cannot change the laws that govern their conduct.

            Yet where has Ms Bright’s righteous indignation been directed to date? Be an activist by all means, just not a stupid one.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.2.1

              We are *not* legally or democratically entitled to get line-by-line accounts or see every single contract entered into on our behalves.

              Democracy requires that sort of access.

              • Sacha

                There are different flavours of democracy. New Zealand’s does not involve direct citizen access to most decisions or to line-item accounting. ‘Consultation’ is not a vote. Mob rule is not part of the system.

                By all means make a case, build a movement and get the govt to change our laws to what you believe we should have.

                • There are different flavours of democracy.

                  But only one which is actually democratic – participatory democracy.

                  Mob rule is not part of the system.

                  And there we see your problem – you’ve bought the lies of the capitalists.

                  Democracy is not mob rule. It’s people making informed decisions. Something that our present system prevents to allow the few to rule.

                  • Sacha

                    Democracy is balancing the interests of all citizens – which does not mean majority rule. That tends to work best for (gasp) comfortable white folk.

                    Participatory democracy is not one thing. Compare Switzerland with NZ for example.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      The moment a council invokes “commercial secrecy” we know we’re being lied to.

                    • Macro

                      Unfortunately most elected local government are just that – comfortable middle aged retired folk. And then add on a slice or two of vested interest – and what do you have? A nice cosy cabal of white folk looking after number 1 and peeing in each others pockets.
                      Down the chain its no different.
                      I think that is what P B is really campaigning about – and if the LGOIMA does not allow for more open govt then it needs to be changed. ACC has recently had examples where administrators were found guilty of corrupt practice
                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11763594
                      And I know for a fact that that sort of behaviour of accepting box seats at the rugby etc by council staff – in all areas has been going on for years.

      • eco maori 1.1.3

        +100 Rosemary McDonald If there is know transparency in government organizations local or central they are hiding deceit full practices stealing off the people or providing shoddy services getting kick backs from developers there many avenues for these people who are elected to serve in the best interest of the people and not line there own pockets or there associates / family this is the reason our waste and water services are inadequate . We are a wealth country with dum future planning for the esencial services we pay for .Look at all the complaints about common tourist crapping in inappropriate places, I say the councils should put portaloos in all these places Its a know brainer the commen people spend money in NZ to get with it NZ . A lot of these young people won;t all ways be poor lets look after them like we do for the wealthy .Ana to kai heres the link

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/100771514/poo-and-loo-paper-littering-akaroa-anger-locals-who-demand-tougher-action-on-freedom-campers Ka kite ano

        • eco maori 1.1.3.1

          Someone is stuffing with my computer at least we know the new government is transparent look at the treasury story the neo liberals would have covered that story up about getting the stats wrong on child poverty .Ka pai

          • eco maori 1.1.3.1.1

            My moko was born at 1145 am today baby girl curly hair and a Maori nose Ka pai . This is the reason Im pushing for Equality for Ladys Equality for all I say and a clean environment for all OUR mokos . We are only carers of Papatuanuku we live such a short life and are but a fraction of time its not on that the greedy should ruin it for the vast future of mother earth and all her living beings {This will change under my watch} .Ka kite ano

    • Sacha 1.2

      I have no problem with someone being an activist about organisational transparency – just with tactics like lying about what fundamental laws say and conducting arguments in bad faith.

      The issue deserves better representation.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.1

        “…just with tactics like lying about what fundamental laws say and conducting arguments in bad faith.”

        Help me out here Sacha…where can I find a link to where PB did this?

        • Sacha 1.2.1.1

          Many times, on here and elsewhere. Try searching for ‘public records act’ for a start, and lately anything to do with cycleways.

          • adam 1.2.1.1.1

            You know you did not answer Rosemary McDonald’s question, just bluster.

            The go google it yourself argument is lazy at best – down right rude at worst.

            • Sacha 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Some of us have day jobs. And I meant searching on this site for ‘public records act’.

              Here are a few to get you started:

              Open Mike 19/01/2017

              Open mike 10/12/2015

              Open Mike 14/12/2016

              • weka

                Looking at that first link.

                “How is a ‘public’ record ‘public’ Sacha – if it’s not readily accessible for public scrutiny?”

                Does the Public Records Act cover the management of public records, rather than being a public record of documents? Seems like a fundamental misunderstanding of the title on Penny’s part.

                • Sacha

                  The PRA stipulates keeping records properly so that they are accessible for other laws to decide *whether* to make them publicly available. The PRA itself does not make information available. That is not its job. Never has been.

                  The law simply does not say what Ms Bright says it means (look at the words for yourself) and her claim that council is breaking it is therefore false. When people have shown you so, many times in explicit detail, repeating such a claim becomes a deliberate lie.

                  I have no idea how she has persisted so long in her delusion about those different functions but it really does not help when media broadcasts her bogus claims and misleads the public. RNZ Checkpoint has just done it for the second day in a row. I am deeply unimpressed.

            • Sacha 1.2.1.1.1.2

              Sorry I was a bit snippy there. Busy day, meetings, lots to get through. I hope Rosemary will also understand where I was coming from.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                “Sorry I was a bit snippy there. Busy day, meetings, lots to get through. I hope Rosemary will also understand where I was coming from.”

                I potter off to do stuff and the conversation went on without me!

                Sacha…I get that it irks that PB seems to be expecting her desired outcome from perhaps the wrong legislation … and your comments around 1.22 pm onwards (I’ve lost the numbery things on my screen) gave me much pause for thought while I was getting on with stuff I needed to do.

                Do you agree that there needs to be more transparency from central and local government?

                Many of us don’t trust those elected to govern because of sometimes appalling lack of transparency to the point that when we are given information by Our Rulers…we question their motives. That is how deep this distrust goes.

                So changing it is really important…and the situation has got so bad, to the detriment of so many, that this change needs come faster than an electoral cycle.

                That’s why I’m going to be challenging Clare Curran…she claimed to be keen on greater transparency.

                I’t would be great to talk tactics….

                • Sacha

                  Trust is the right word. I want to see more genuine public engagement – beyond just transparency – from all public agencies. Digital platforms can help do that but it requires way more than technology.

                  Very hard thing to achieve and certainly not helped by amateur theatrics. If I did not care about the overall kaupapa, the destructive behaviour would not annoy me so much.

            • weka 1.2.1.1.1.3

              can’t see how it’s much different from you hassling PR repeatedly tbh (and not backing it up) 😉

              I’ve seen Sacha tackle this with Penny many times, where he makes clear and pertinent points and quotes the relevant legislation. He’s not lazy and his having run out of patience makes sense given her inability to deal with the actual points Sacha raises.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Funny thing is i’m now quite interested in what he thinks I wrote so I’m looking forward to a link being posted

                • weka

                  I think he’s talking about the time you tried to make a thread about something else a discussion about Muslims. You got a long ban for it. I’m sure you remember.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I get banned so often its hard to keep track 😉 but seriously I try not to post anything racist but i guess there are certain subjects that can lead to…misunderstandings

  2. eco maori 2

    I say it is excellent having a new person with a positive view on environmentally friendly issues on Breakfast show on TVNZ ONE Hayley Holts Ka pai .
    Good morning to Jack and the rest of the crew on Breakfast I know this new show will be exciting educational and fair can not watch for to long got to go to work.
    All the best from Eco Maori .Ka kite ano

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Simon Black makes a good point regarding the US govt shutdown

    “There’s been all sorts of fear surrounding the possibility of a shutdown. And now that it’s here, it turns out there’s not really much of a major impact.

    There’s still food on the shelves and gas at the pumps. The economy is still functioning.

    There are simply fewer people to slow it all down.

    And let’s be honest– it’s not a complete government shutdown. Any function deemed ‘essential’ is still at work, including the military, federal courts, air traffic control, etc.

    Social Security recipients will keep receiving their benefits too.

    But any government function deemed ‘nonessential’ has been shut down… which raises an interesting question:

    Why does the government do anything that’s non-essential to begin with?”

    • patricia bremner 3.1

      It would depend whether you and they agree what is “essential”.

    • AB 3.2

      Definitions of ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’ usually contain the notion of time.
      Is it essential I pay my power bill today? No. Is it essential that I pay it before the power company cuts me off in a few weeks? Yes. With public infrastructure the timeframes are much longer but the work is still important.
      I don’t think we should allow semantic wooliness around the meaning of ‘essential’ to be used as a weapon by loony advocates of small government.

    • millsy 3.3

      The US system is pretty rigid and inflexible. Had this situation occurred in a Westminster style system, the government would have resigned, dissolved parliament and gone to the country for a fresh mandate.

    • reason 3.4

      Shock Doctrine mrk Trump ?

  4. Morrissey 4

    Stony silence from Jim Mora as Penny Ashton rebuked Paula Bennett yesterday; he’s possibly in for a bollocking from Richard Griffin for failing to shut her down.
    The Panel, RNZ National, Monday 22 January 2018
    Jim Mora, Penny Ashton, Bernard Hickey, Caitlin Cherry

    This little discussion was just before the end of the show. It was pretty uneventful, until Penny Ashton made a comment about the hypocrisy of Paula Bennett. Either accidentally or on purpose, music swelled up as she delivered her rebuke….

    Weighing up gastric bypass
    Former deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett has revealed she’s had gastric bypass surgery. She’s now recovering well but the news has ignited the conversation about how effective the surgery is for those strugglign with thier weight and whether it should be publicly funded. We ask the panelists what they think and Bernard Hickey tells us his experience with the operation.
    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thepanel/audio/2018629006/weighing-up-gastric-bypass

    JIM MORA: Uh, Paula Bennett has, ahhh, revived the conversation about gastric bypass surgery. “Haters can hate,” she says of her decision to have the surgery, and she says on Facebook that she is now “at the beginning of what I plan to be a much healthier, active life. After years of weight gain and loss, I can see a clear path ahead.” And, uh, gastric bypass or bariatric surgery, uh, we’ve probably heard most of us about the success stories and possibly the lack of success stories too. The Ministry of Health tells us there were four hundred and eighty ni-i-i-i-ine publicly funded bariatric surgical procedures in the 2016-17 financial year, the largest number so far. Paula Bennett’s surgery though was private. And a lot of people have had it now, and they include Bernard Hickey.

    BERNARD HICKEY: Yes that’s right. Nine years ago I paid for it. It’s had an amazing effect, and I’m sure will keep me alive for quite a bit longer and keep me away from the public hospital system.

    PENNY ASHTON: Exactly.

    BERNARD HICKEY: The great irony here is that we’re happy to fork out 20, 30, 40 K for a hip replacement to obviously improve the quality of someone’s life, and fair enough too. But you could easily pay the 20 to 30 K for bariatric surgery and save yourselves hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the various treatments for diabetes and heart disease and all sorts of other things that happen to people who are overweight. And it strikes me that this is a simple case of a cost benefit analysis that hasn’t been done, to work out that we would be better off if we did pay for more publicly funded weight loss surgery.

    MORA: What are the pitfalls? I know you can drink the calories, and your tummy can expand again, and many of us probably know a person or two for whom it didn’t work. And you’ve just outlined the benefits. How often do you reckon it does work, from your experience?

    BERNARD HICKEY: Ah, well—

    MORA: Most of the time?

    BERNARD HICKEY: yeah I’d have to look at the stats, I haven’t—

    MORA: The stats are hard to come by and there’s some dispute as you can imagine.

    BERNARD HICKEY: Yeah. I mean, I know from personal experience and from some of the people around me that it has worked. You’re right, there have been a few that it hasn’t, and it’s no substitute for, you know, eating and drinking less and doing more exercise. But the immediate effects, and certainly around diabetes reduction, and the stats from overseas where there is better data, shows that it certainly reduces the amount of really expensive hospital care that people need in later life. Not to mention the lost production and all the other things—-
    MORA: Yeah.

    BERNARD HICKEY: —-that you get when you’re overweight and—

    MORA: And yet it would seem every time this subject comes up, Bernard, that it certainly does have its haters, people who think if you hadn’t eaten so much you wouldn’t need the surgery. And this point of view resurfaces every time.

    BERNARD HICKEY: Yeah, it’s similar in a way to the debate that we have about drugs and whether it’s a medical issue or whether it’s some sort of moral issue. It’s clear, all the research shows that diets don’t work for people who are overweight. We live in an obesogenic environment. Every billboard, every shop that you walk into is trying to sell you sugar, not to mention lots of other things as well. And we’ve created a culture which is about making people overweight. So we shouldn’t be too surprised when some people become overweight. And if you’re gonna have an across the board attack on this sort of high, ahhh, high weight problems for people, because it’s not just a few people, it’s a lot of people, then you should be doing lots of things, and weight loss surgery of course—it’s a bit like the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff but along with other things it’s something that you do to attack this problem.

    PENNY ASHTON: Well it feels like it’s also a little bit at the TOP, because then you’re stopping the diabetes and the heart disease and stuff, so maybe it’s the ambulance halfway down.

    BERNARD HICKEY: Hmmmmm.

    MORA: It’s interesting, as you say, you have to think that people may conveniently forget whatever bad habits they may have that will, you know, require public medical funding down the road. There are a LOT of things that people do that are going to require that, but there is some extra judgmental process applied to bariatric surgery.

    PENNY ASHTON: Yeah. And I’d just like to say that I think, you know, Paula Bennett is brave coming out and saying this and talking about it, and I think that’s fantastic. Obviously I’m a very staunch Labour supporter but, you know, anybody that’s fat-shaming her over this and making jokes about it is terrible. Um, she did say, however, she made this comment: “People treat you differently when you’re overweight and when you’re seriously overweight from when you’re not. People have this perception of people who are overweight, that it’s all in their own hands, and they’re just greedy people and they can’t control how they eat.” My husband made a little alteration to it and put it on Facebook, that said: “People, I think people have this perception of people who are POOR, — [orchestral music swells up from this point]—- and that it’s all in their own hands and that they’re just lazy people and they can’t control how they spend.” So I’m just putting that out there for a little alternative to her thing on her Ministry portfolio.

    [Extended awkward silence. Penny Ashton snickers nervously.]

    MORA: How many rescues do you think you’re entitled to on the public purse, d’you think? One time tattoos removal, drug rehab. one time, gastric bypass. This is the other interesting question, isn’t it.

    BERNARD HICKEY: Yeah. I, I, ummmm, you certainly wouldn’t want more than one gastric bypass.

    PENNY ASHTON: No. I think we don’t live in America and we have good public health funding, which is good.

    • Sacha 4.1

      “Either accidentally or on purpose, music swelled up as she delivered her rebuke”

      As you well know, that is how they end every edition of that show – it is just a signal from the producer to wrap up. No tinfoil, sorry.

      • Morrissey 4.1.1

        As you well know, that is how they end every edition of that show – it is just a signal from the producer to wrap up.

        But this was not the segment that ended the show. The segment that ended the show was the one about bus shelters in Dunedin. I thought there was something odd about this when I was transcribing it. I was pretty sure that there was no music swelling up as Penny Ashton spoke when I heard it live. Curiously, on the archived link, music appears, even though it was not there originally. I checked on other links from the same episode—such as the Mahia rocket segment—but there is no music at the end of them. But, for some reason, music has been superimposed on Penny Ashton’s voice after the live recording.

        No tinfoil, sorry.

        What is the point of that crack? Are you trying to be funny, or are you suggesting something serious?

    • Puckish Rogue 4.2

      The issue i have with this is Penny is basically ignoring the issue (gastric bypass for health) and just using it as an excuse to bring up something else (poor people bashing)

      People have enough of a moral high horse when it comes to this, the old “you’re fat because you’re lazy” thing or it gives people an excuse to sanctimoniously give “advice”, just eat this and do that and you’ll lose weight kind of thing but really they don’t about the issue or person just that they get to spew out their brand bulls**t

      Personally I think gastric bypasses should be funded because it will save pain, money and productivity over the long term

      • Kevin 4.2.1

        I don’t have a problem with it being publicly funded as it will save millions down the line. What I find strange is that she will lead ‘a much healthier, active life’ AFTER the surgery.

        This is like people who go into Christmas planning on dieting in the new year… and then don’t.

        There is plenty she can be doing now, instead of waiting for the surgery hoping it will solve the problem for her.

        • Puckish Rogue 4.2.1.1

          “There is plenty she can be doing now, instead of waiting for the surgery hoping it will solve the problem for her.”

          This is the issue I’m trying to highlight, essentially what you’re saying is why doesn’t she just buck her ideas up and get on with it

          Would you say to someone with depression to just go outside for a walk and you’ll feel better?

          • Kevin 4.2.1.1.1

            Not at all.

            Just know through observing others that later usually means never.

            You do realise that you don’t just rock up to hospital and they stick the knife in? There is quite a bit of preparing for an operation like this and the mental side is just as important as the physical.

            Through my observations via the news media of Bennett over the years, her flippancy won’t get her through this.

            • Puckish Rogue 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Everybody has different coping mechanisms and, hopefully, it works out for her and she doesn’t suffer the post-operation depression

              That she realises there are certain things she can’t have (fizzy drink is no good for staples)

              That she might stop liking certain foods or indeed stop getting much pleasure food overall

              That as a result of the operation it helps her become happy and healthy

      • Gabby 4.2.2

        She’s just highlighting Pullya’s selective empathy puckfish.

        • Puckish Rogue 4.2.2.1

          Yeah she may well be but what it also does is take the focus away from the issue of public funding for gastric bypasses

    • Brigid 4.3

      Poor Jim. I just don’t think he has a brain

      • Morrissey 4.3.1

        He has a brain all right, and he no doubt has empathy. What he lacks is courage and integrity.

        Open mike 21/10/2013

        Open mike 14/06/2013

        • Ed 4.3.1.1

          Mora puts out an outside shell of the concerned and erudite liberal.
          But he’s not.
          He is a superficial shill for the right wing.
          A grasping and greedy individual who hides the facts he has no principles, courage and integrity behind his jolly Jim persona.

          • Morrissey 4.3.1.1.1

            He never seems erudite to me, in spite of the considerable efforts he makes to use big, obscure, latinate words whenever possible. He constantly misuses the word “alluded”, and his reading seems to consist almost entirely of the New York Times (he’s often quoted the vicious right wing columnist David Brooks) and the Daily Telegraph.

            Like everyone else, he knows his show is largely trivial, even insultingly so, as we can see by his constant, pathetic assurances that the inconsequential research of the day “comes from a reputable university.”

  5. Ad 5

    Germany’s Social Democrats going into serious coalition talks with Angela Merkel.

    They have issues.

    http://www.dw.com/en/the-major-sticking-points-in-germanys-upcoming-coalition-talks/a-42264291

    Only 56 percent of the delegates in the former German capital opted for formal coalition talks with the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU). The SPD isn’t exactly euphoric about the prospect of a new coalition government.

    The Social Democrat Leader is going to have to take the proposal back to his membership. That will not be pretty. It is hard to see the Social Democrat leader surviving this.

    However the alternative is that the coalition talks fail, Germany has a fresh election, the far right rises in power even more, and Merkel has to do a deal similar to that in Austria with the far right.

    After that the EU as the final remaining node of any consistent form of idealism in global politics will be under real threat.

    So, a fair amount riding on this coalition negotiation in Germany.

  6. xanthe 6

    https://t.co/65fyyCW6bU

    the Dotcom slow train wreck moves forward.

    • Stunned Mullet 6.1

      Dotcom’s lawyers will be pleased, the German slot machine keeps paying out regardless of whether the winning numbers come up.

      • andrew murray 6.1.1

        will this be a case of the Attorney General, on behalf of etc; etc; etc; etc; etc; etc, having chosen to do the crime, now requiring the rest of NZ to have to do the time.

        • xanthe 6.1.1.1

          yes andrew murray I believe this will be a case where AG does the crime and we pick up the bill.
          however Dotcom has suggested,


          that a significant portion of that money (when he is finally successful!) will be recycled to address homelessness and suicide.

  7. james 7

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11980067

    NZ – the new destination for boat people?

    I wonder if some will try to make it all to NZ.

    The deaths have stopped due to Austs hard stance on boat people – I hope none die trying to get to NZ.

    • Ad 7.1

      New Zealand will feel hard moral and operational debates that Australia has had a decade to consider if migrants arrive by boat.

      I hope that the scale of the Tasman Sea continues to dissuade them.

    • In Vino 7.2

      Such touching concern! Any concern for the live ones in the detention centres for which you imply your support?
      And if live boat people were to reach NZ, you would be joyously blaming Jacinda, wouldn’t you? Hence your touching concern?

    • Puckish Rogue 7.3

      Unintended consequences perhaps

    • One Two 7.4

      Does being an agitator on a blog site which is of no ‘interest’ to you..

      Tickle your fancy, James…

      When such articles are recycled by the NZH, do you feel that ‘rush’ just before you click ‘publish’…

      Go take a look in the mirror…

      See if you like what it responds with…

      • james 7.4.1

        “Go take a look in the mirror…

        See if you like what it responds with…”

        I do.

        “When such articles are recycled by the NZH, do you feel that ‘rush’ just before you click ‘publish’…”

        Im sorry I picked an article that dosnt fit with your bias and is uncomfortable for you.

        here is a rar-rar article about Jacinda and her upcoming baby – it may be more to your liking:

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/parenting/100721182/jacinda-ardern-an-inspiration-for-a-generation

        • One Two 7.4.1.1

          Shows how little attention you pay, eh james…

          Because you pay little attention (phoney,narissistic traits) you’ve missed that I do not support any government…

          While the naked pants down approach you pretend are your ‘actual views’, they are simply that…a pretence….

          Don’t be a phoney…homie..

          • james 7.4.1.1.1

            “Because you pay little attention”

            I give all your post the attention they deserve.

    • Brigid 7.5

      ” I hope none die trying to get to NZ.”
      Well Jesus man do something.
      Get yer boat and go out and meet them.
      Don’t forget the barbie

    • McFlock 7.6

      Western Australia?

      What bollocks.

      What the Aussie approach ignores is that people are prepared to risk their lives to escape where they are.

      The Aussies are still intercepting boats. Which means people are still dying.

      They’re just taking different routes so that the results are swept under the australian carpet – It’s easier to hide a boatload of cheap labour in Sydney than it is in Auckland, whatever the asylum seekers say or were told.

      Nobody is sailing to NZ. I’ll believe otherwise when they run aground on Cape Reinga.

      • What the Aussie approach ignores is that people are prepared to risk their lives to escape where they are.

        I’d be more impressed if they’d be willing to risk their lives to change their own country to be a place that they’d like to live rather than simply abandoning it and expecting others to pick the bill for their selfishness.

        • McFlock 7.6.1.1

          The sentiment of a true chairborne ranger.

          • Gabby 7.6.1.1.1

            They should at least be informed of the widespread poverty in NZ so they can make an informed decision.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.6.1.1.2

            No, the sentiment of someone who understands reality.

            We cannot afford to have all of the world immigrate here. We probably can’t afford to have even a million immigrate here in a short time span.

            • McFlock 7.6.1.1.2.1

              Neither of those options are at all likely to occur at the arse end of the planet.

              So much for “reality”.

              • 70,000 per year won’t take long to have 1 million immigrate and we still don’t know what the carrying capacity for NZ is.

                That’s reality.

                When Climate Change really hits and the equator becomes uninhabitable where do you think all those hundreds of millions are going to go? Most will go north, some will come south and some of those will come to NZ. A small amount of a huge number is still more than we can cope with.

                That’s reality.

                • McFlock

                  No. It’s you pulling dramatic statements out of your arse again.

                  If it becomes necessary to put a hard cap on immigration controls, the 15 year timeframe you’re talking about is more than enough time to do so well before we reach the mythic million.

                  The reality is that our major immigration problem consists of the Thiels, KDCs etc of the world – rich people buying up NZ with extreme political and property-rights views, and the money to throw at our representatives.

                  We all might end up in the bilges of lifeboatNZ, while they have vineyards and estates.

    • The only way to address people trying to illegally immigrate to another country is to address the problems in the country that they’re trying to leave.

      Thing is, we can’t actually do that. Only the people of that country can which includes those trying to leave.

      We have to take care of those already here (which we’re really doing very well at) and we really can’t afford to take people in arbitrarily.

    • reason 7.8

      Those terrible ‘boat people’ ……… formally known as refugees.

      I was watching a relatively low grade documentary the other day ….. regarding rich Chinese immigrants into Canada …. and I say low grade because it seemed to be focusing on race and culture instead of money and legalized corruption.

      But it did quote one thing that made my ears prick up ……the gist of it being ….,
      That the average refugee paid more in tax to the Canadian government …. than rich corrupt Chinese immigrants do …. which makes sense given the corrupts use of tax havens, shell companies etc,….

      The rich corrupt immigrants also speculate on property …. pushing honest working citizens out of the market.

      Sounds like the last 9 years in New Zealand …………..

      We should cut immigrants and raise our refugee quota.

  8. james 8

    I love fishing – Just found Clarke Gayford’s TV show.

    http://fishoftheday.tv

    Some beautiful shots and some really yummy recipies from “NZ First man of fishing”

    The whole baked Rainbow trout looks beautiful:

    http://fishoftheday.tv/recipes/38-pan-seared-wahoo-with-prawns-chilli-salsa-and-vanilla-coconut-sauce-2

    • Rosemary McDonald 8.1

      “I love fishing…”

      We noticed.

      ““NZ First man of fishing””

      Now…are you doing that really shitty American thing with the “First” label or are you telling us that Mr. Gayford is NZ First’s man of fishing?

      Confusing.

      • james 8.1.1

        Im doing that really shitty American thing, oh, and quoting Jacinda Ardern:

        • Bill 8.1.1.1

          And alongside the “royal baby” thang…you think all ‘traditional’ bases have been well enough covered off?

          Maybe there’s a trifecta, and I’m just missing something to do with emperors or some such. Who knows? 🙂

          • Ad 8.1.1.1.1

            They have to get married.
            Now, that’s the trifecta.

            But she can save that for Year 3 of the second term.

            • Bill 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh gawd. If today had been being a struggle Ad, that would have killed the last vestiges of hope I had in me and sent me shuffling off to the darkness and silence beneath several layers of duvets.

              • Stunned Mullet

                😆

              • weka

                I’m starting to enjoy it now, mostly because of the schadenfreude if the baby/christening/first steps, and marriage etc give Labour more than 3 terms.

                Does mean we will have our work cut out for us, but still an improvement on the last decade.

                • McFlock

                  It will the the schadenfreude of watching tories trying to douse confelicity. There’s a moral in there somewhere…

            • Pete 8.1.1.1.1.2

              They ‘have to’ get married?

              • In Vino

                And the requisite ensuing divorce would bring a new wave of sympathy for a 5th term? Can we sustain this success rate indefinitely?

          • McFlock 8.1.1.1.2

            Maybe she can bowl the first ball at an ODI?

            Pardon a lamb from Christmas dinner…

            All the classic photo-ops.

  9. Puckish Rogue 9

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/100788057/no-rush-on-controversial-employment-law-changes-says-ardern

    A good call this, sometimes its better to compromise and take a deep breath rather than charge on through

    • McFlock 9.1

      Who’s compromising? from your link:
      “Ardern refused to put a time frame on when the fair pay legislation would be introduced but Lees-Galloway has previously put a 12 month time frame on consultation.”

      So simply repeating what’s already been said because people are twitchy again results in tories pretending there’s been a change in plan.

      You guys really need to read better. Try linking to something that doesn’t contradict your lie, for example.

      • Puckish Rogue 9.1.1

        Do you need glasses?

        “We long flagged that was something we needed to spend extra time working alongside our union and business communities, so we are putting that on a longer track.”

        Sure sounds like taking a deep breath and not rushing don’t you think

        • McFlock 9.1.1.1

          “Longer” is a comparison. Longer track than what? Oh, a longer track than “Legislation to introduce fairness in the work place will be finalised Thursday and introduced before the end of Labour’s first 100 days, on February 2”.

          Maybe you can read, but just don’t understand calendars? The 12 months previously mentioned by Lees-Galloway is longer than 100 days.

          Come on, at least try to make exposing your lies a challenge.

          • Puckish Rogue 9.1.1.1.1

            It was all supposed to happen by Feb 2, the first 100 days but instead its been pushed back due to a drop in business confidence so its fair to assume that had there not been a drop it would have happened sooner

            Again you might like to consider this: https://www.specsavers.co.nz/

            Legislation to introduce fairness in the work place will be finalised Thursday and introduced before the end of Labour’s first 100 days, on February 2.

            A cabinet committee is expected to sign it off this week, and it will include reversing the previous National Government’s unpopular rest and meal break legislation, and make changes to the 90 day “right to fire” provisions by providing a resolution service for workers and employers.

            Ardern said the changes had been well flagged by Labour on the campaign trail and should come as no surprise to anyone.

            But as the drop in business confidence threatens another “winter of discontent” she signalled Labour would move more slowly on one of the more contentious aspects of its industrial relations policy, industry wide fair pay agreements.

            Uncertainty over their effect on business has contributed to business unease.

            In an overture to business, Ardern said Labour acknowledged the need for a collaborative approach on the legislation.

            “We long flagged that was something we needed to spend extra time working alongside our union and business communities, so we are putting that on a longer track.”

            • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Labour never included the industry-wide fair pay agreements in part of their hundred days package.

              When they announced the I-WFPAs in August “”We would give ourselves 12 months to sit down with business and unions to look at how the process of bargaining for an FPA would be initiated,”.

              When Labour announced its 100 day plan before the election, I-WFPAs weren’t on it.

              When they announced the new governments 100 day plan, I-WFPAs weren’t on it.

              Your claim that I-WFPAs were “all supposed to happen by Feb 2, the first 100 days but instead its been pushed back due to a drop in business confidence” is an outright lie.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Are you saying that if business confidence hadn’t dropped they wouldn’t have pushed this through as well

                • McFlock

                  Yup.

                  they’ve done a full schedule of the first hundred days programme, and there’s nothing to indicate that they decided to bring forward the IWFPAs by nine months. Everything about the FPAs was scheduled to take a year, because it’s more complex than the minwage increase or what have you.

                  Business confidence has nothing to do with the govt schedule, as far as anything you’ve offered indicates – although the recent drop in BC is a good sign the government is on track. Must be a shock, having a government actually follow through on its election pledges.

                  • mac1

                    “having a government actually follow through on its election pledges.”

                    Why do 10 Northland bridges come to mind?

                    • In Vino

                      Not only that… Business confidence?? Why would Labour take any notice at all? Most Business bosses vote National, so they would say their delicate confidence has been shattered, wouldn’t they? Might as well poll the old Business Round Table about whether they are happy to have a Labour Govt.
                      Pockish R – Business Confidence has about as much credibility as Root Canal Appetite.

    • millsy 9.2

      Better not comprimise too much. You cannot eliminate child poverty with WINZ payments alone (or, aspiration for that matter). You need good Union Jobs with a living wage and good benefits.

  10. Anne 10

    Got to say exhAlanT’s latest blog (see blog) resonated with me.

    https://exhalantblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/22/stop-with-this-incessant-happiness-frankly-its-actually-depressing/

    Opening paragraph:

    While there is much to be said for a positive outlook on life, this can actually mutate into nothing more than the most perverse joke (or taunt actually, to be honest) to those who find themselves in circumstances that are totally unavoidable more often than not, and who are then often angrily berated by those who consider themselves somehow “better” that it’s essentially their own fault.

    Oh God…. how very, very true.

    And then there’s the types who think everyone should tootle around the place with massive smiles on their faces from morning to night. Hello everyone, I’ve just broken a leg and an arm, my partner’s walked out on me, the bank’s taken my home and I’ve just lost my job but hey… I’m so happy, happy happy.

    Yeah I know, some people are natural smilers – our new PM is one of them but – well. read the article.

  11. logie97 11

    I see we have a Hosking/Hawkesby Household double act now in the Herald. Mike and Kate can address an issue from two angles (but not opposing). Just imagine the dinner table conversations now. Will there be competition for “likes/dislikes”? How long before there is a Kate’s minute on the Herald website.

    And Hosking on Te Reo.
    Good old Mike, world famous in NZ. Just like the language he dismisses.
    Try telling the Welsh, Irish, Scotts, Flemish, Afrikaners, et al that their language is of no commericial advantage.

    • Ed 11.1

      Right wing couples seem to get that deal.
      There is also Soper and du Plessis Allen who get a double barrel to fire at the left.

    • Rosemary McDonald 11.2

      Hah!

      Irrelevant broadcaster holds forth about irrelevance.

      There’s a certain symmetry there…

      Give that man a mirror.

    • Pete 11.3

      Hosking/Hawkesby double act? Like the two flush buttons on the top of the toilet.

      (Te Reo is of commercial advantage in New Zealand. And I’d imagine a Chinese businessperson coming to New Zealand wanting to do big business would find it advantageous too.)

  12. alwyn 12

    Is this the same person that the PM seemed to find so fascinating just a few days ago when she interviewed him on TV3?
    Surely she isn’t really a fan of such a creep?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11980068
    I hope he doesn’t come back to New Zealand when Winston is doing his stand-in job a bit later in the year. That would be even worse.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11550576
    What do people see in that dreadful man?

    • Puckish Rogue 12.1

      Hes really funny, his timing is excellent, he has a wide range of facial expressions that add to the humour, his laugh is also amusing, good rapport with everyone else on 8 out of 10 cats does countdown, his hosting of big, fat quiz of the year is really good, never heckle him

      Hes basically a funny guy that is very well known for a type of humour

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        He’s a bit like South Park – shock and disgust humour overlays some pretty deep and complex social commentary.

        And heckling responses are part of the live act.

    • Pete 12.2

      He is fascinating. Lots of people are fascinating. Doesn’t mean you’d marry them, trust them to look after your kids (or marry them), or be your doctor.

    • You_Fool 12.3

      I wonder how many people that thought that ‘Glittertits” was asking for it, or was attention seeking and shouldn’t be given the media space will complain about Carr being offensive.

      • Puckish Rogue 12.3.1

        Glittertits?

      • alwyn 12.3.2

        What strange connections your mind seems to make.

        • You_Fool 12.3.2.1

          Glittertits-gate happens, people talk about how she was asking for it, dressing for attention, too many people getting upset, she should be charged for assault as well, PC gone mad, dress appropriately, guy was drunk…. all excuses which say the drunk guy can do what he wants and people getting upset are wrong, and if she didn’t want people grabbing your tits, then don’t leave them hanging out. I.e. don’t expect a leopord to change his spots

          Jimmy Carr, a professional comedian whose whole thing is saying horribly offensive things, says a horribly offensive thing and people jump to saying he shouldn’t do that and get offended by it…

          See the connection? Esp. the type of people that would have complained about the girl and about the comedian….

          • alwyn 12.3.2.1.1

            “Esp. the type of people that would have complained about the girl and about the comedian”
            I really don’t think that there are very many people who combine those two traits.

            I think that it is the same people who approve of the assault on that woman who seem to like the sort of “humour” that Carr offers.
            Take someone like Trump. He gets his kicks out or putting up Twitter rants that abuse and insult people who are in no position to respond. Rather like Carr isn’t it?
            He also has a long history of sexual assaults on woman.
            He certainly isn’t the sort of person you are trying to personify is he?

            I think that the sort of people you mention who talk about her “asking for it” probably also like the abusive humour that Carr offers.
            Not if it is aimed at them of course. It is only if other people cop it. In just the same way they may approve of the assault taking place, as long as it isn’t them who catches it.

            I can’t be sure of course. I don’t know anyone who did take the view about the body-painted woman you talk about. Do you actually know, either personally or by the comments they may have made on line, anyone who really does show the same pair of characteristics you propose or is it just a supposition?

  13. Rosemary McDonald 13

    Activist passes…

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/northland/100802482/distinguished-pediatrician-dies-aged-97

    “”Throughout this time, he was a tireless but potent advocate for the children of Northland and beyond, especially those who were less fortunate, either socially or because of their disability or health needs.”

    Spencer Beasley recalls a trip with him through the northern reaches of Northland.

    “He pointed out a rural school which was to be closed because the academic performance of its students was so extraordinarily poor.

    “He visited it and determined its students were severely malnourished. He negotiated a reprieve, organised for milk and fresh produce to be delivered each day, and watched the consequent improvement in their learning. The school stayed open.””

  14. mac1 14

    Gerry Brownlee today.””Her insistence that Australia allow New Zealand to handpick 150 asylum seekers who meet UN refugee status, while Australia handles the rest, on top of the message this sends to human traffickers and those desperate to attempt to reach Australia, shows a disregard to the complexity of the problem.”

    http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/5/302104

    in 2016 though we had this. “New Zealand would take 150 refugees each year from Australian detention centres each year if asked to, Prime Minister John Key says.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11664913

    Some inconsistency here in Gerry’s dig at Ardern forgetting what his government offered.

    Or is Brownlee trying to say that Key’s government would not have vetted their 150 asylum seekers?

    Brownlee is full of hypocrisy.

    • Pete 14.1

      Brownlee is full of hypocrisy?
      Get rid of six of those letters and replace them with a t and you have a more economical way of accurately saying the same thing.

      • mac1 14.1.1

        I prefer my word; it is also unparliamentary.

        Hypocrisy is a distinct form of two-faced, lying, knowingly dishonest behaviour. It has overtones of the hypocrite thinking he can get away with it, and the smugness of that, and it also belittles the audience listening to the hypocrite because he thinks he is too smart for them with his deception.

        Shit is far too mild.

  15. Gabby 15

    Ponyboy’s government would’ve looked the other way and whistled while Austrylya casually slipped a company directorship or two into their hip pocket, and called that vetting.

  16. joe90 16

    Arabs allied with Western European countries to rid themselves of their Ottoman oppressors and 100 years later, Erdogan goes full Ottoman.

    An Ottoman-style military band performed in the border province of Hatay as a show of support for troops taking part in Turkey’s Olive Branch Operation in Syria’s Afrin on Jan. 22.

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ottoman-military-band-performs-at-turkey-syria-border-126102

    • adam 16.1

      The operation has the most newspeak name I’ve heard in a while —

      “Operation Olive Branch”

  17. eco maori 17

    The sandflies are destroying my Lawn mowing client base .They impose there presence on everyone of my clients this is a fact I will carry on mowing till the last client leaves they are ignorant _______holes this is more money they are going to have to fork out when I SUE them PS I have a back up plan for self employment I will reveal this soon this is the only dum move they can win on how . .This is how pathetic the sandflys are attacking my employment Kia kaha

  18. Ed 18

    I have been on this site before in the past month, warning people about the oncoming crash.

    It seems I am not alone. The IMF are also painting a dim view of the near future.

    A global recession “may be closer than we think” and the biggest risk to the world economy is complacency, the International Monetary Fund has warned at Davos.

    The Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund agrees with me.

    Maurice Obstfeld, of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said developed economies should brace themselves for an era of lower growth, with long-term prospects of around 1.5 per cent a year.

    On the eve of the World Economic Forum, Obstfeld urged politicians and regulators to take action to prepare for another crash

    “The next recession may be closer than we think, and the ammunition with which to combat it is much more limited than a decade ago, notably because public debts are so much higher.”

    The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund agrees with me.

    Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, also pointed to a “troubling” increase in debt levels across many countries and warned policymakers against complacency, saying now was the time to address structural deficiencies in their economies.

    IMF warns global recession ‘may be closer than we think’

  19. Ed 19

    testing….

  20. adam 21

    Interesting take on cryptocurrency and its impact on budget pc gaming. Cheap computers full stop, with the price of ram going through the roof. 10 min video.

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