Open mike 23/03/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 23rd, 2023 - 77 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

77 comments on “Open mike 23/03/2023 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    The Russians are pulling T-54/55 series tanks from storage in a desperate attempt to make up losses in the Ukraine.

    It is almost impossible to over-emphasise how much these largely unmodernised and ancient tanks will be death traps to their crews. The prototype T-54 was built in 1946 and it leans heavily on the T-44 for it's armour protection, layout and hull shape. The T-44 is tank designed in 1943. The production run started in earnest in 1948-49 and the last T-55 rolled off Soviet production lines 61 years ago in 1962!

    It just boggles the imagination you'd put a trained crew in these tanks, so these are literally funeral pyres for anyone half trained dummy unlucky enough to be sent into action in one, not that Putin and his henchmen give a shit about the lives of their soldiers while they act out their little Soviet cosplay fantasy.

    • Bearded Git 1.1

      What makes you think they will put a trained crew in them.

      The demise of the Russian attack on Ukraine has been predicted numerous times but they seem to keep going.

      • Sanctuary 1.1.1

        Not by me it hasn't. The fascist clique running Russia have (so far) experienced no public blowback to the horrendous casualties the Russian army is taking in the positional attrition battles over the winter. I can't see this lasting forever – Russia's manpower pool is actually limited, they had a birthrate collapse post-USSR and it hasn't recovered so with poor general health and ongoing very low fertility their ability for continual force generation from the available manpower pool of 18-55 year olds without impacting on the de-politicised urban middle classes is open to question.

        The breaking out of these ancient tanks though indicate to me the Kremlin basically plans to continue this war forever. The Russians can only refurbish/manufacture about 7-10 tanks a month. Cranking up the refurbishment of a few hundred T-54/55 tanks is probably aimed at upping the number of tanks available to Russia forces for the upcoming summer battles. I just hope the dude in charge of the 100mm ammo reserves actually looked after them and didn't pocket the maintenance cash. Putin clearly still thinks he has time on his side.

        No one outside of each army HQ knows the state of each army coming out of the winter. Has the Ukraine been able to constitute a well trained strategic reserve of mechanised forces suitable for an offensive? What state are the Russian reserves? If a Ukrainian offensive fails, could the Russians launch a summer offensive of their own? What would the failure of both sides to make much ground in summer fighting mean? Most likely the war carrying on into a third year.

        That in turn means we need to remind ourselves this war has no clear end point. And that means the West needs to stop mucking around and start supplying Ukraine with the weapons that will give them the ability to carry the war to Russia and impose a political cost on Russia's ruling clique of waging an unending war in the sure knowledge the Onion domes of Red Square are safe from enemy missiles. St. Basil's Cathedral ablaze and destroyed by Ukrainian strikes would really hurt psychologically. So that means jets to gain air superiority – Mirage 2000 and F-16s – and longer range weapons to strike Russian infrastructure to impose a political cost on the Russian leadership. I hope in that case Churchill’s quote on weapons – in the first year nothing, in the second year a trickle, in the third all you could ever need – would apply to the supply of weapons to the Ukraine from the West’s newly built or re-opened arsenals.

        This war is by no means over, and the more the Europeans prevaricate the more likely a slow slide into a more general confrontation between the authoritarian glee club of Putin and Xi and the liberal democracies becomes. And I am strongly of the view that a Russian victory in the Ukraine would actually make that showdown inevitable.

        • Sanctuary

          The Russians can only refurbish/manufacture about 7-10 tanks a month.

          Should actually be a week.

        • Bearded Git

          I bow to your superior factual knowledge Sanc, but worry about the major escalation of the war you are proposing. I think this is a war Putin can't afford to lose.

          My guess is that rather than the west spending the trillion dollars you are supporting there will instead be peace talks in 12 months time where the west and Putin will agree on the current boundaries where the largely Russian speaking parts of Ukraine stay in Russian hands.

          • aj

            A Pentagon spokesman says he's against ceasefire in Ukraine. What's matter with these people? the US military complex is evil. There's no other way to put it. How can any moral human be against a ceasefire.

            All power to China, or any other country that can broker a peaceful solution to this slaughter. Blessed are the peacemakers.

            • joe90

              How can any moral human be against a ceasefire.

              Why would any human with half a clue give the criminals and washing machine thieves the opportunity to consolidate gains, rest, regroup, and re-arm so that they can violate any agreement at the time of their choosing?

    • weston 1.2

      Soviet cosplay [whatever that is ] fantasy etc

      Im mystified as to why the Russians would need tanks of any sort ?? obviously now that they are almost out of ammo for the umpteenth time any tank is obsolete anyway isnt it ?Prob they havnt any ammo for their rifles either which is why theyve had to rely so heavily on human wave attacks with shovels !!Gosh i reckon NATO forces will prob have to investigate using shovels also after this its bound to have loads of positive outcomes for the environment i feel quite excited perhaps we are being given another chance to address climate change !!!!

    • Scud 1.4

      I'm just waiting for the T34's & SU's (the WW2 era Artillery Assault Guns) to rock up now & when they do!

      Then you know Tsar Poot's is in the shit big time, but in saying that he started this War with close to 14,000- 15,000 MBT's (Main Battle Tanks) and he's lost close to 4k atm to various means.

      And thats before we even start talking about basic crew maintenance (that's if they are even doing them btw) to major servicing like barrel changes which is a complete bitch/ C*** with post WW2 Soviet/ Russian MBT's to power pack (engine) replacements & again not actually user friendly compared to Western MBT's.

      • Sanctuary 1.4.1

        You see a lot of people saying a T-54/55 is a win win for Russia, if it gets to be useful then wonderful, and even if it is quickly destroyed nothing has been lost since it is a 60-70 year old tank and the expensive missile that destroyed it is probably worth more money.

        But that doesn''t account for the fact these tanks will need stripping, rebuilding and refurbishing, adding some sort of basic fire control, possibly reactive armour, filling with fuel and ammunition, and putting some trained humans inside who know something about a tank. That makes it more expensive than an ATGW.

        Anyway, good luck getting large amounts of spare parts for these museum pieces. They will be mostly broken down somewhere in six weeks.

        • Scud

          Also given most if not all of these Tanks, have stored outside with the absolute bare minimum of maintenance for starters.

          Going to be fun times being these back up to some sort of operational status, feel sorry for the grease monkeys working on those rust buckets.

          The Ukrainian's won't be needing DU Rounds, if the Russians deploy the 55's & 54's as the prac rds will to do the job anyway from the contract reports from the last Gulf war I've read.

          One British Tank fired a Prac Rd at 55 or 54 front on & they found the power pack a 1km away from the Tank!

    • Jenny are we there yet 1.5

      Probably still quite effective against unarmed civilian anti-occupation protesters in the Donbas. (Or even, if it comes to that, anti-war protesters in Russia).

  2. Corey 2

    Today around the country Te Whatu Ora is having "consultation" meetings with staff, consultation apparently according to central management means redundancy.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the biggest mistake this government has made has been centralization of the health system in the middle a pandemic.

    Even the health minister says it'll take ten years to get it right so why do it at the height of a health crisis? Why add more pressure and uncertainty on the system?

    Health planners , health support team, health it teams around the country today are freaking out about losing their jobs, IT staff are being told their jobs may be off-shored, that their sick leave will change and now only accumulate to 20 days instead of what their previous contracts said,

    The amount of anonymous questions in our meetings is too hard to keep up.

    Why would labour spend billions on a health restructure that adds no new support staff or health capacity and just empowers a bunch of management.

    Instead of money to train or hire new anathestists so we can have more surgeries, more nurses and doctors, more gps, billions got spent on mergers and management.

    Currently noone outside of Auckland and Wellington is getting a look in and a lot of staff are being threatened with their jobs being off-shored.

    The pressure these reforms have put on staff that have endured a pandemic for three years is fucking disgusting.

    NZ is going to lose a lot of good staff due to cost cutting.

    When health workers from it to support staff to planners to nurses to doctors are screaming "shame on you" at the new management you've got a problem.

    It's disgraceful.

    All the cheerleaders who have cheered on these major reforms in the midst of an ongoing pandemic must have private healthcare because if they were using public they'd be waiting six weeks for a gp appointment and years for a surgery.

    The shamelessness of adding the pressure of job insecurity on workers who have spent three years in the insane pressure cooker that has been the health system during covid.

    I hate neoliberalism but Ronald Reagan was right, the most terrifying words in the English language is "I'm from the government and I'm here to help"

    Only politicians would be stupid enough to inflict this on health workers in a health crisis.

    • Belladonna 2.1

      Agree 100%.
      Am hearing from my nursing friends just how upsetting and disruptive this process is.
      They're not worried about their jobs – hey, we can't even fill the nursing rosters we have; but they are concerned about conditions, and about the massive disruption to the support systems which enable them to do their jobs.

      And, pointing out that management is so inward-focused on the organizational change, that they are losing focus on the sharp end (actual bodies in the hospitals to do the work).

    • Anker 2.2

      100% agree Corey.

      Did you know positions reasonably high in Health NZ include a wayfinder and a storyteller……seriously.

      Will find the link if requested.

  3. arkie 4

    It is often stated that we live in a meritocracy and that education provides the step up to higher renumeration, Stuff has an couple of articles that have found 10 careers, classified as 'skilled' that barely exceed the minimum wage:

    1. Early childhood education

      Early childhood education (ECE) teachers covered by the NZEI pay agreement were on a starting salary of $51,358 this year.

    2. Vet nurses

      Veterinary nurses with up to five years’ experience still only earn about the minimum wage, according to Careers NZ.

    3. Tertiary teaching assistants and library assistants

      Their pay rates start at $41,000 a year for the role, which is usually in term time.

    4. Hairdressers

      Although most hairdressers and barbers need a certificate in hairdressing or commercial barbering, as well as some on-the-job training, most start near minimum wage. Apprentices get the training wage, which is less than minimum. Data shows the average salary for the industry is only about $55,000

    5. Ambulance officers

      Ambulance officers start on $48,720 for a 42-hour working week.

    6. Dental assistants

      According to Careers NZ, dental assistants were previously getting between minimum wage and $46,000 a year when they started out.

    7. Chef

      Careers said apprentice chefs would usually be on minimum wage but sous chefs could be on $25 an hour.

    8. Pharmacy technicians

      Most pharmacy technicians start on the minimum wage or just above.

    9. IT service desk

      Careers NZ said IT service desk jobs would start on $45,000.

    10. Security officers

      Careers NZ said security [officers] would usually earn between minimum wage and $25 an hour when they were starting, and could go up to $30 with experience.

    It is long past time that we relieved ourself of the belief that our society rewards 'merit' or hard work.

    • Shanreagh 4.1

      I was very surprised, for a short while, then recalled reading years ago that NZ was a low wage economy. That was all very well in a sort of way when wages/costs were in stasis. At the moment we are low wage/salaries in a high rate inflation mode. I realise much of the inflation is imported but can't help feeling that some govt intervention of some sort is needed in:


      petrol (possibly)


      To break down monopolies

      Here's hoping for the budget.

      I can't help feeling that with the National lite mode we seem to be in plus not 'frightening the horses' that these aspects may not be addressed in the Budget.

      • RosieLee 4.1.1

        You forgot rent. That's the bottom line.

        [typo fixed in user name]

      • tWiggle 4.1.2

        Remember that the employer must cover ACC levies, a month's leave plus statutory hols, and employer Kiwisaver contribution. Having a government accident and liability insurance system is incredibly valuable, but we don't see it in our pay packets.

    • Anker 4.2

      Low waged jobs are all the people who do the real work for our society and most of it useful…….

    • tWiggle 4.3

      St John ambulance staff have been at odds with their management for years around pay, shift work rates and understaffing. Another organisation, like the Volunteer fire service, with a moribund administration that is not prepared to listen to its people.

  4. Anne 5

    "I am nothing and nobody" she says. "All I want to do is get on with my gardening".

    Then she courts public attention by spreading wild conspiracy theories and defaming/slandering high placed individuals who did nothing to her except ignore her crackpot claims:

    • Shanreagh 5.1

      Liz Gunn & gardening is about as believable as Winston Peters saying he is happy to be the MP for Tauranga, when he had his political ambitions tucked safely away in his pocket, for the moment.

  5. Reality 6

    Seem to recall Nicola Willis saying recently, when the increased minimum wage was announced, that National preferred "modest" minimum wage increases. As did Bill English some years ago when he boasted about NZ being a low wage country. That of course never included the wealthy National backers that Paula Bennett befriends, just those doing all the many essential jobs in the community. Likewise Adrian Orr a while ago opining NZ needed 50,000 to lose their jobs to help inflation. Having no understanding of economics or what should or shouldn't be done to curb inflation, it still seems a very callous thing to say.

    • Patricia Bremner 6.1

      I remember it differently. Orr said he "would be forced to cause a shallow recession, which could cost up to 50000 jobs unless we curbed our spending." He sounded sad to me. surprise This is part of the "throw away generations who must have new phones and fast fashion, plus larger homes and a car each."

      Sadly IT is undergoing "re-organisation" that the Public Service suffered under National. I think that was why Robertson wanted the "insurance Scheme", as after the study on the Future of Work, he saw a huge impact coming, caused by AI.

      These people are not callous, more caught in a converging tide of World and Weather events.imo

  6. Anker 7

    The heading speaks for itself. but interesting to know children is motel and sleeping in cars arent counted in the stats.

    owever, how the sharpened cost of living has hit the nation’s poorest families has yet to be measured, nor are the effects on children living in emergency housing or in cars, who are not interviewed as part of the household survey.

  7. Peter 8

    There is so much to unpick in Christopher Luxon's education announcement today.

    In an overall sense the most stunning (and overlooked) aspect, is that a party so recently in power, for nine whole years, considers there needs to be a major rewrite of the country's education curriculum.

    In any normal sense in the development and evolution of a nation's school curriculum, by now we should be in the full throes, into the guts of the churning of the success of their nine years. Instead? Lamentation about the limitations of our kids.

    The Year 13s who left school last year, apparently not equipped for the world, had the first eight years of their schooling under the John Key and Bill English ministries.

    "Evidence shows children’s abilities are often underestimated," says Luxon. Evidence shows the abilities of the public are often overestimated too. Those are the fertile fields Luxon is ploughing.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.1

      "Five hours a week on major curriculum areas?" It should be eight hours on language related areas, five on mathematics and from memory four? hours on Science and Social studies. Then we have Health and Safety, Physical Education, Music and singing, Arts and Assemblies etc. Just to name a few other areas.

      Their "Back to Basics" did not work, and he has no understanding of an integrated curriculum, and if he thinks a parcel of teaching points will overcome a move from written comprehension to visual learning, he is truly out of his depth.

      It sounds rather like a "teach to the test" method to me.

      Further, National ignore the effects of covid… it is never mentioned.

      Will he bore the ten year old with a fourteen year reading ability, and destroy the growing confidence of a struggling twelve year old with the reading ability of nine years with this 'Test"?

      Children are not little mugs waiting for the big jug.

      Simple people offer simplistic solutions to complex problems, often through lack of acumen in that area. imo

      • tsmithfield 8.1.1

        You would have an argument if the current system was doing wonderfully well. But that is obviously completely broken given our slide down the world education rankings, and the fact our universities are complaining about lthe iteracy standards of incoming students.

        Perhaps it would help if principals stopped complaining about it being racist to expect good literacy in students.

        Given all that, how could National’s plan be worse than what we are currently achieving in terms of educational outcomes?

        • Liberty Belle


          "Perhaps it would help if principals stopped complaining about it being racist to expect good literacy in students."

          Here's another similar response. In 2020, Briar Lipson produced a study that blamed the 'child led' teaching approach in NZ for falling educational standards. I'm not taking sides in that debate, other than to highlight one of the responses, which was "…prescriptive "Eurocentric" teaching practices risk ignoring the needs of indigenous communities."

        • AB

          "Completely broken" is hyperbole. At best, there are a couple of obvious truisms highlighted by Luxon's prattling about education:

          • effort should not be diluted away from high-priority things to lower-priority things – the occasional sanity check is called for
          • teaching (primary school especially) is prone to capture by fads and fashions dressed up as "pedagogies". Fads and fashions tend to dilute effort

          Beyond that – meh. There are many external influences that teachers can't control – like the fact that the most important groundwork on literacy and numeracy occurs before kids get to school. The most significant advances may therefore lie in ending poverty and giving parents more time with kids. Then there's the decline of a reading culture through electronic media – but that's a long story that dates back to the arrival of tv in the 1960's. When we examine the comparator countries to determine the source of their superiority, we should look just as keenly at what happens in the social and economic spaces as we do at what happens inside the classroom.

        • Patricia Bremner

          "The current system", has been wracked by covid. Like all National you ignore those 3 years of disruption.sad

        • ianmac

          "You would have an argument if the current system was doing wonderfully well." TSmith. If simplifying the syllabus was an answer then most teachers can do that now by selecting from a range of options in the Syllabus.

          Some silly people think that teaching is a simple task of having a list of teaching objectives and teach each day from that list. The USA is notorious for their textbook teaching. Each day is pre set. And it is so boring for the kids.

    • Craig H 8.2

      The Year 13s who left school last year, apparently not equipped for the world, had the first eight years of their schooling under the John Key and Bill English ministries.

      Absolutely! 3 Rs for 3 hours a day doesn't strike me as the way forward, but hey, let's go back to the old methods…

    • Liberty Belle 8.3

      Yep. The basics have been neglected for decades in the interests of a variety of failed experiments, driven by educational ideologues. Get back to basics, and our system will recover.

      • Barfly 8.3.1

        You share one thing with your namesake – you are both cracked.devil

      • Descendant Of Smith 8.3.2

        lol I haven't written a document in the workplace in twenty years and encouraged both my sons to learn to type at school which has held them in very good stead.

        Have no idea what use handwriting is in a modern world? That "R" which doesn't even start with R is pretty fucked.

        Standards (milestones) were well used to assess kids in the 50's and 60's – it's how you ended up with slow classes and things like Taranaki maths and kids who couldn't read the alphabet or tie their shoelaces when they started school put into Lake Alice – never mind that they couldn't read the alphabet cause their parents were illiterate or tie their shoelaces cause the pair they managed to scrounge up for the first day of school was the first pair they had ever owned. Labelling kids a failure at an early age just keeps them there.

        Anyone who has sat on a BOT in a low decile school knows the kids they are getting from poverty stricken areas don't have the same knowledge and skills as those from well off areas and that you have to play catch-up. Measure school performance from improvement at entry to leaving and you can see a whole different measure of success. Bring back needed classes such as wood-work and metal-work into schools for those who are kinaesthetic rather than academic – hardly any schools teach these subjects any more. It is left to polytechs to teach these skills at a later age.

        Even when the private sector get involved it is still hard work.

        I know that I am not the only one who has thought about the possibilities of getting secondary school students using some of these timbers. Perhaps what others have not done is take it the next step and try to promote the use of these timbers with a school wood working competition. Well, we have in Middle Districts, and it has been both a rewarding and also a very frustrating process.

        • Liberty Belle

          "I haven't written a document in the workplace in twenty years and encouraged both my sons to learn to type at school which has held them in very good stead."

          I have a severely dyslexic child, who was failed by the school system, and who has prospered only through our ability to afford private tuition. He would agree wholeheartedly with you…his handwriting is illegible, but he learned to use a key board, and the tuition got his spelling to a point where spell checkers could do their job.

          "Bring back needed classes such as wood-work and metal-work into schools for those who are kinaesthetic rather than academic – hardly any schools teach these subjects any more. "

          And these 'trades' offer career opportunities and far higher earning capacity than when I was young.

          • Descendant Of Smith

            Noting that schools have long failed dyslexic children. My brother-in-law who is dyslexic could not read and write when he left school. My sister patiently taught him 40 years ago.

            Standards and milestones taught him he was a failure. These days there are kids with AFS, many more with English as a second language, electricity poverty meaning they can't do homework in winter with no lighting, a lack of stability due to insufficient state housing meaning they are moving from house to house and school to school continuously through the year.

            Even things National did last time like cutting community education classes meant that schools lost budget money, $70,000 in our schools case, and many adults lost the chance for second chance education.

            No money to help needy students but plenty to bail out a private school.

            According to Wanganui Collegiate's annual report for the year ending March 31, 2013, the college had more than $3 million in freehold land and, in addition, the college grounds were valued at $1.7m.

            The school's foundation owns three commercial properties in Wanganui, two of which have rateable values of just under $1m, while the third property, a car park on the corner of Victoria Ave and Glasgow St had a rateable value of $4.75m.


            • Liberty Belle

              Dealing with a dyslexic child is challenging. For us things have worked out, and we have a creative, hardworking child. Others are often not so fortunate.

  8. arkie 9

    Auckland Council deems itself uniquely exceptional:

    Auckland Council has voted to leave Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).

    The votes were tied at 10-all before Mayor Wayne Brown used his casting vote in favour of leaving.

    LGNZ is a representative group for local government across Aotearoa and provides advocacy and support for local councils.

    All the more reason Auckland needs it’s electorate MPs to step up:

    Swarbrick said Auckland-based or electorate MPs spent a lot of time working with the council in their electorates and should be encouraging constituents to make submissions on the budget proposal.

    “Part of this slash-and-burn is the intention to hand these costs back to central government,” she said, “and that, again, is precisely the reason that we need to see Auckland or Tāmaki Makaurau-based MPs, not necessarily wading in themselves, but ensuring that communities are well aware of what’s at stake here.”

    The scale of cut-backs proposed in the council’s budget would make it “easily the most significant local government budget in living memory”, she said.

    “What we’re looking at is hugely detrimental impacts on communities across Tāmaki Makaurau, in the environmental space, in the climate space, in the transport space, in the education space – across the board.”

    It seemed “next to insane that we have the proposal to cancel more than a thousand buses a day whilst also increasing fares, in the midst of what appears to be cross-Parliamentary consensus that what we’re facing – or what we have faced – is a climate change-charged storm”, Swarbrick said.

    The job of Auckland-based MPs was to represent Aucklanders, she added.

    • Mac1 9.1

      My admittedly imperfect understanding is that a casting vote should be cast for the status quo, so therefore Mayor Brown should have voted to retain membership of LGNZ.

      Can anyone enlighten on this as voting for the status quo would have allowed further debate and a further vote that might have produced a majority decision, one way or the other.

      • RosieLee3 9.1.1


      • Barfly 9.1.2

        "My admittedly imperfect understanding is that a casting vote should be cast for the status quo"

        That is the protocol but Brown obviously considers himself to be above that.

      • Liberty Belle 9.1.3

        My understanding is that a casting vote being cast for the status quo is 'protocol', but no more. In this case Brown has been openly supporting AC leaving LGNZ, so it would have been very unusual for him to have voted otherwise.

        • Mac1

          I'd like to see more informed comment on the status of protocol in general; and then, as to how the principles outlined in Wikipedia on casting votes applies in the Auckland Council's case.

          • Liberty Belle

            If Brown was not able to legitimately exercise his vote in this way, he would not have been allowed to. I was at the Governing Body meeting for part of yesterday, and they have people who site alongside the mayor and who arbitrate on those things.

            • Mac1

              I have not said he was being illegitimate. But we now learn he has made false allegations, basing his flouting of strong protocols on false premises.


              • Liberty Belle

                The only thing that article shows is that LGNZ don't like what he said. I've known plenty of people who have attended LGNZ conferences and attest to them being piss ups. AC is better off without them.

                • Mac1

                  The reporter made the comment detailing where LGNZ conferences were held. The Bay of Islands was not one of them. How can that have anything to do with LGNZ likes or dislikes.

                  The question is whether Mayor Brown was wrong about the venue. The reporter says he was. Quote- "The LGNZ annual conference and excellence awards were held in Hamilton in 2013, followed by Nelson in 2014, then Rotorua, Dunedin, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington. It was postponed in 2020 but picked up again the following year in Blenheim, and then Palmerston North."​​​​​​​

                  • Liberty Belle

                    The journalist has repeated LGNZ spin. As I said, these conferences are well known as being junkets. LGNZ sold out councils by cosying up to the government on 3 Waters. I watched two of them on Thursday try to justify their existence at the GB. They can take their gravy train somewhere else.

                    • Mac1

                      Are you able to give evidence that the reporter has it wrong? That the LGNZ chair statement that there has been no conference in the Bay of islands since last century is wrong? Have you noticed that there has been no confirmation of Mayor Brown's claim?

                      I have two sources, one of which is a journalist. You have just your allegations of LGNZ spin and jounalistic connivance.

                  • Liberty Belle

                    "Are you able to give evidence that the reporter has it wrong? "

                    None whatsoever. I'm really not interested in whether Brown got the venue right or wrong. The events are junkets, and LGNZ is a farce.

                  • Liberty Belle

                    Hi Mac1. To clarify (because actually truth does matter and my last comment was far too flippant), if Brown got the facts right but the venue wrong, I really don't care. If he made shit up, then I do care, because it makes him no better than those journo's constantly trying to run a hit on him.

                    • Mac1

                      Thanks. We agree that truth matters. I hope that the truth will become evident.

                      When I stood for politics, decades ago now, the best advice I learnt from a media guru was "Never lie. You will be found out."

                  • Liberty Belle

                    "Never lie. You will be found out."

                    I think my mother told me something similar.smiley

                    • Mac1

                      The same essence of morality applies be it in our personal lives or in our public lives. My fear is that we keep pushing forward people into public life who have no care for that morality and the world as a consequence descends into that chaos that Yeats spoke of a hundred years ago in "The Second Coming".

                      My sense of history tells me that every generation had its challenges but these current challenges seem harder to overcome- but we shall, some day, won’t we?

                  • Liberty Belle

                    "but we shall, some day, won’t we?"

                    I hope so, I really do.

              • Liberty Belle

                "Mayor Brown is not coming out well from all this and typifying his critics as you do does not address the facts of the case."

                From what I'm hearing from Aucklanders, Mayor Brown is coming out very well on this.

    • newsense 9.2

      Don’t worry fam- Bad boy Brown and Mike Lee got you! Auckland’s finest at the wheel.

    • Liberty Belle 9.3

      AC isn't the first council to quite LGNZ and it won't be the last. LGNZ sold local councils out over 3Waters. As an Aucklander, I say good riddance.

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    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    1 day ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    2 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    2 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    2 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    2 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    2 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    3 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    3 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    4 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    4 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    4 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    4 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    4 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    4 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    4 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    5 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    5 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    1 week ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    1 week ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    1 week ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    1 week ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    1 week ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    1 week ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    1 week ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    1 week ago

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