Open Mike 23/08/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 23rd, 2018 - 214 comments
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214 comments on “Open Mike 23/08/2018”

  1. Ed 1

    For 35 years neoliberal;ism has failed the people of this country.
    A revolution is required.

    A failure by successive Governments to invest in affordable housing could mean as many as 200,000 Kiwi families – including 90,000 in Auckland – could be forced out of cities in search of cheaper homes.

    And this so-called “Missing Middle” will not be rescued by KiwiBuild because the $650,000 cost for a two-bedroom Auckland home was out of their reach, Community Housing Aotearoa chief executive Scott Figenshow says.

    He said a new report showedthe housing crisis for these workers – who included teachers, nurses, police officers, administrators, baristas and cleaners – had been building since 1990.

    It was then the Government dramatically reduced funding for affordable housing programmes and developments, the report by the Centre for Research, Evaluation and Social Assessment found.

    This drop in funding meant that while more than 60 per cent of new houses built in the 1960s were affordable homes valued in “the lower two quartiles” of the market, by 2010 only 10 per cent were in the cheapest quartile.

    “If the Government doesn’t fund affordable outcomes, then they don’t happen,” Figenshow said.

    The market does not deliver affordable outcomes by itself.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12111576

    • RedLogix 1.1

      The market does not deliver affordable outcomes by itself.

      True enough, which is why markets need to be managed and regulated intelligently. Perhaps my lifelong career in heavy industry shapes my view here; but what most people completely under-rate is how astoundingly complex and powerful our modern industrial civilisation is. And compared to pre-industrial eras, just how much prosperity, welfare and safety it delivers. And most of it mediated by markets.

      At the same time most technical markets are also managed by a huge range of legal, commercial and technical standards that constrain reasonable outcomes. For instance if you want to do any electrical wiring, there is a standard for that. Same for any mechanical, process or automation technology. In one comment I can’t even begin to convey the sheer depth and complexity of how many different technologies, products and components are all delivered efficiently and effectively to pretty damned high standards of quality and safety with this hybrid strategy of commercial competition and collective regulation.

      Even this internetty thingy we’re using, only exists in it’s current form because of thousands of documents which guide its implementation with layer upon layer of hardware and software standards. Standards that everyone must follow or they’re not in the game.

      My point is this, markets are a very ancient human tool, and in their modern form deliver an unprecedented prosperity. Us engineers, who tend to be very pragmatically focussed on what works, have long experience in managing our technical markets with standards and certifications. The main reason why other markets fail to deliver decent outcomes is usually ideological or vested interests in NOT imposing regulation and discipline.

      • Nic the NZer 1.1.1

        I don’t accept that technical specs and other such things are properties of (or related to) markets. There was plenty of technical documentation and implementation before the internet had even public access. If that’s true then this undermines any positive connection between technical progress and markets.
        This reasoning also makes clear that the things which actually threaten the internet are not its technical specifications but bills about how internet commerce functions such as the recent undermining of net neutrality. Other areas of business also demonstrate this.
        Food safety for example, there is a good understanding of proper food hygene practices. This is unaffected by regulation or deregulation. Then there is the part which says you will maintain good standards or we are (government) coming round to shut down your business (or not).

        • You_Fool 1.1.1.1

          I would think restaurants show exactly what RL is talking about. There are a lot of food eateries out there, all competing for our $$ in the marketplace, and we are reasonably free to choose which one we want at anytime (i.e. a reasonably free market). However, there is good knowledge about food safety and the public dangers of bad food safety practices. So there are standards and guidelines, training and all the rest to educate the people who prepare food as well as the public on these practices. Then there is a government watchdog who goes around and inspects each premise which sells food and gives it a rating against these standards, and these ratings must be displayed. These ratings are also known by the public, and you would be hard-pushed to find people who would eat at places that have a low rating, so these places will have a drop in revenue, so there is both a regulation fines and a income benefit for maintaining a high rating.

          Therefore the market is free (no one is told where it eat or where not to eat, other than places that get closed down because they are actually just serving shit) but effectively managed via regulations/standards, which is what RL is talking about…

          • Nic the NZer 1.1.1.1.1

            Yep, and if there is scant regulation we get hells kitchen. Despite the fact we have a modern well developed understanding of food safety. Thats because the technical progress is separate to and able to function independent of the regulation applied.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Nic. I was trying to convey how an engineer would look at the problem of market failure. As I mentioned above we tend to be a very pragmatic profession. To a small extent Ayn Rand was not entirely wrong with her premise of ‘engineer as hero’. We make large, complex and challenging things work on a daily basis. We are the people who take all the clever science and materials technology and produce the myriad of things which make civilisation work.

              And as a rule our internal technical markets work extremely well; and it’s an example that is easy to extrapolate. Nor are engineers wholly on their own here; doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, social workers, etc are all professions that increasingly align with ‘best practice’ standards. Food safety is good grass roots example.

              My point is simple; markets are like any other tool, when used with skill and discipline they work really well. If not the result is predictably a mess.

              • Nic the NZer

                Any engineer looking at market failure will not attribute every aspect of progress/failure to markets.

                The implication of attributing everything to markets is you exclude all non market solutions, insights, etc…

                If we exclude non market solutions there would be no internet. Full stop. Because the public internet followed on from the ARPANET. That already includes implementing TCP/IP to spec (also pre existing). There is precisely zero chance the internet could have come from the commercial sector as too much cooperation is required before investment payoff.

                • RedLogix

                  Again no-one is denying the role government, or more precisely the defence sector, played in the internet. It’s a typical mode, the state funds many ideas or innovations, most of which are loss-making, but a few succeed and are then taken from an embryonic form to massive implementation by the commercial sector.

                  Again a form of the hybrid model I’m pointing to. After all while this internet we’re typing on may well owe it’s origins to ARPANET, it most certainly isn’t the same thing.

                  Also if I recall correctly TCP/IP in it’s original format came from Xerox.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          I don’t accept that technical specs and other such things are properties of (or related to) markets.

          I’d agree with that. They’re the result of standards being set either by government or through industry cooperation. Without those standards there’d be a hodgepodge of stuff that simply didn’t work together.

          Operating systems are a case in point. iOS, Windows and Linux are the main ones available and none of them can run software programmed for the others. A clear failure of unregulated markets.

          Food safety for example, there is a good understanding of proper food hygene practices. This is unaffected by regulation or deregulation.

          Good food practices are the result of research. This applies across all industry.

          Then there is the part which says you will maintain good standards or we are (government) coming round to shut down your business (or not).

          Without regulation and ways to enforce those standards found through research businesses won’t keep to those practices as those practices are expensive and competition demands that they cut costs as much as possible.

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.2.1

            More unhelpful binary thinking DtB. It’s a bad habit.

            In reality most technical standards committees are staffed by technical leaders from major commercial vendors in that domain. And while some groups are mandated and supported by government, many are not, being purely voluntary commercial organisations that competing companies are all members of.

            Most people have no idea just how many of these groups exist, and the extraordinary diversity of technical specialties involved. I could list dozen random ones right now off the top of my head, most of which most people will have never heard of. Yet they all play a vital role in making their market work.

            The beauty of this system is that it blends both a necessary stability and minimum quality to the market, while permitting a sufficient degree of innovation and progress. It’s never perfect, but actually works quite well.

            This fixed idea you’ve been promoting here for years, that government = good and commerce = bad is just plain wrong. It’s as wrong-headed as any libertarian who spouts the exact opposite ideology and wants the state done away with altogether.

            As I said above, in the engineering marketplace I’m intimately familiar with, this hybrid interaction between collective regulation and commercial competition actually fucking WORKS. It’s not a theory, it’s not ideological, and it’s what’s demanded by a large group of generally hard-headed people who carry a very real responsibility to deliver outcomes that are reliable, safe and effective.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2.1.1

              More unhelpful binary thinking DtB.

              Show this binary thinking.

              And while some groups are mandated and supported by government, many are not, being purely voluntary commercial organisations that competing companies are all members of.

              Yeah, that’s what I said.

              This fixed idea you’ve been promoting here for years, that government = good and commerce = bad is just plain wrong.

              I’ve never done that. In fact my idea of self-owned businesses that run as a cooperative is still very much based around commercial operations and the market.

              As I said above, in the engineering marketplace I’m intimately familiar with, this hybrid interaction between collective regulation and commercial competition actually fucking WORKS.

              Where did I say that it didn’t? I’m quite aware of how we ended up with DDR rather than RAMBUS memory.

              I’m also quite aware that Sodastream uses unique and proprietary standards even for their CO2 bottles despite there already being widely used standards for them. They make higher profits from doing so.

              My point is that standards should be enforced in law so that we don’t end up with silly little monopolies like Sodastream and Windows while also allowing innovation and advancement of those standards by the relevant industry.

              • RedLogix

                Well wikipedia suggests an answer: However, RDRAM got embroiled in a standards war with an alternative technology—DDR SDRAM—and quickly lost out on grounds of price, and later, performance.

                And it’s quite common to have a number of competing standards active in the same field at the same time. Some are quite open, others tightly held as proprietary property, but both seem to have their place. The former tend to be a little more innovative, the latter better resourced and more stable.

                And sometimes quite old standards hang on for decades. For example in my field the ancient 4-20mA standard for analog data transfer is grossly out of date, has numerous frustrating limitations and I wish it would go away … but reality is it’s simple, robust and relatively unskilled techies can implement it easily.

                Of course nothing is perfect; everything is some form of compromise to some degree. Or to put it another way, perfections are without limit. Just because we can imagine something better does not prove it IS better, or in any way diminishes what we already know works.

                So of course the status quo has faults and shortcomings; that’s grounds to seek ways to take what we have and improve it. Tossing the toys out of the cot and pretending you can do better in some entirely imaginary ‘non-hierarchical’ fashion is pure bunk.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Well wikipedia suggests an answer: However, RDRAM got embroiled in a standards war with an alternative technology—DDR SDRAM—and quickly lost out on grounds of price, and later, performance.

                  From an article that I read at the time other manufacturers wanted to produce RAMBUS RAM but their licensing prices were too high and hence the high price in the market. I believe (The Wiki doesn’t say) that DDR was, and still is, an open standard that anybody can use without licensing. If they join the consortium they have a say what gets put into the developing standard.

                  And it’s quite common to have a number of competing standards active in the same field at the same time.

                  https://xkcd.com/927/

                  Some are quite open, others tightly held as proprietary property, but both seem to have their place. The former tend to be a little more innovative, the latter better resourced and more stable.

                  [citation needed]

                  I see no point to proprietary standards except to produce excessive profits.

                  Tossing the toys out of the cot and pretending you can do better in some entirely imaginary ‘non-hierarchical’ fashion is pure bunk.

                  Nobody’s tossing anything out of the cot. I’m pretty sure that the consortium that sets the DDR standard, the standards for Linux, and the W3 are all non-hierarchical and produce stability within those standards while also allowing innovation. There are plenty of other examples as well. They’re centralised discussion places but anybody who’s a member can make suggestions for new additions and discuss why they should be supported or not supported.

                  • RedLogix

                    Of course these organisations are hierarchical. First of all you have to be really competent to even be a member, then you need to do the hard work to establish credibility and track record, then you actually need some genuinely good ideas that persuade and convince everyone else.

                    And given that many ideas will conflict, you need the skills to gain allies and ultimately sufficient authority to push your agenda through. Understand that many other members will be commercial competitors, so no-one is going to make it easy for you.

                    Competency, hard work, skilled politics and personal/positional authority all come into play. Non-hierarchical my arse, without it nothing gets done.

                    Most global industries are dominated by four or five big vendors; each with their own offerings and platforms that combine a degree of interoperability with their competitors, while retaining some core differentiations for their brand. It comes in any number of forms.

                    The primary reason why these big vendors retain their position is that in general they are the low risk option. If you’re managing a big project you simply cannot tolerate more than a modest amount of risk. With maybe several hundred thousand engineered items in play, if you don’t mitigate your risks early, with an absolute certainty timelines and budgets will get blown.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel#Development
                      https://www.w3.org/participate/
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JEDEC

                      Yes, people participating in setting the standards need to know what they’re doing. That itself is not a hierarchy.

                    • RedLogix

                      Your idea of hierarchy is a little different to mine. My definition looks like this: a system in which members of an organization or society are ranked according to relative status or authority.

                      Every human field of endeavor is based on the idea of value; we only do things or invest energy into them because we see we see the outcome as better than our current situation.

                      When it comes to any complex endeavour, such as the ones you’ve linked to, competency is the first and fundamental way we value and give status to people. More competent people will gain more status and have more influence.

                      As an entity grows beyond something much more complex than a Friday night bowling team, it needs structure, rules and organisation. And without exception this implies a means to implement and enforce these things … which is where authority becomes an inescapable requirement, it embodies the power to engage the machinery of the entity to get things done in a coherent fashion.

                      In this view hierarchy is absolutely essential; it’s the very fabric of our social life, it’s the actual framework within which anything and everything of value is achieved. As the scope and complexity of the task increases, so does the corresponding degree of hierarchy necessary to achieve it. The nation state itself representing an intensely ordered and complex ranking of powers and authority.

                      Now this doesn’t imply hierarchies, like markets, are without problems. Manifestly they are not. But it does point to why they are essential and we cannot do without them. And that the whimsically hippy idea of non-hierarchical organisation is every bit as a fantasm as the notion of a market-free economy.

                  • RedLogix

                    Enough … this is how it really happens!

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        My point is this, markets are a very ancient human tool, and in their modern form deliver an unprecedented prosperity.

        Yes they are but no they don’t. Rome also had major poverty issues. Although it’s not the markets that are failing so much but the ownership that is the basis of capitalism that removes resources and freedom from the majority of people.

        The main reason why other markets fail to deliver decent outcomes is usually ideological or vested interests in NOT imposing regulation and discipline.

        Regulations are what define a market. Good regulation brings about a workable result. Bad regulation fails to do so.

        A good example of bad regulation is the ones around the ‘legal highs’ that the last government brought in. Of course, that regulation was a result of the fact that there wasn’t regulation to prevent the drugs from being brought in in the first place and the ideology of National/Act/Dunne that told them that people should be able to make a profit.

        There are other examples of bad regulation such as the Leaky Homes debacle.

        Good regulation abounds though: Driving on the left-side of the road, lights on vehicles, 230v@50 hertz etcetera.

        I’ve always wondered what would happen if all operating systems were brought under standards similar to the way the internet is. It’d kill MS’s near monopoly.

    • solkta 1.2

      Could you explain what you mean by “a revolution”? Should i buy a gun?

      • David Mac 1.2.1

        Nah, NZ revolutionaries are armed with witty T-shirts. A third of us can’t be bothered voting.

        • WILD KATIPO 1.2.1.1

          The Great Kiwi way of doing things. Sure we may be quite lackadaisical, – but we don’t go in for harming the bloke and his family next door just because we disagree about politics. And long may it stay that way.

          Witty tee shirts are good.

          • David Mac 1.2.1.1.1

            Yes, we’re all very fortunate to be living in a country where revolutionaries drive their old tractors up parliament steps rather than careering through packed al fresco cafes.

            Both acts make the front page. One draws focus to the issue, the other draws attention to a sad pointless loss of life.

            • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Heaven help us all if that is the best example of Kiwi activism a person can come up with.

              The man was a do nothing back bench warmer who would have rolled his bloody tractor had security not stepped in

              Useless, useless as an MP…as is the current incumbent.

              David Mac…you can do better. 🙂

              • David Mac

                I think you’ve missed my point Rosemary. The tractor, Zena the Warrior Princess handcuffed to the top of an oil exploration vessel, boys in loin cloths climbing the facade of the old parliament house. They all draw max news exposure to their issues, I think we’re lucky that this is generally as Tienanmen Square as we get.

    • SaveNZ 1.3

      I’d go further and say the way the government and council have acted on housing is more akin to social cleansing. The are actively demolishing affordable housing in Auckland and putting up expensive housing or expensive affordable housing in it’s place so there is nowhere now for the poor or low income residents to live.

      They are also making rentals very hard to come by, with removing state housing rentals and selling them off especially in more expensive areas and the increasing the compliance and standard of private rental housing (although valid in some ways) is increasing the costs of rents. I still have great memories of crappy drafty run down villas in central Auckland I flatted in, that seem to be a thing of the past now, as deemed too substandard by middle class government and woke left officials to be rented out. Once the landlords spend that money renovating it, guess what, it’s too expensive to be rented and sold on into owner occupied territory so another cheap central option for renting, bites the dust.

      Meanwhile everything to do with housing including rates and insurance, is going up to be passed on while the council seems to be more interested in corporate welfare projects to spend rates on than than actually doing a good job on the basics which they seem to want to add additional rates for which of course impacts poorer people more. Should a poorer person be expected to pay rates for America’s cup or Westgate mall, while then being asked for a separate levy for transport or waste management that arguably should be the first priority for our rates before the million dollar stadium reports from PWC and marinas?

    • Tricledrown 1.4

      The accommodation supplement is a subsidy to land Lords pushing up rental prices and house prices.
      That money should go to new affordable houses reversing the demand and subsidy to tax free capital gangsters.

      • Tricledrown 1.4.1

        Ed my reply as above

      • SaveNZ 1.4.2

        I agree it is a good idea to get rid of the rental supplement, but I think you will find as with WFF most people will not be able to survive on their wages or benefits as the whole system of wages vs living, in NZ is now out of whack.

        When Kiwibuild is telling you a 1 bed apartment is $500k that is not the landlords but the developers driving that price, as before the big immigration drive, it cost a fraction of that and you could buy an apartment under $200k and get a 3 bed house for $350k in Auckland.

        If you buy a Kiwibuild 1 bedroom, have a mortgage on $592, body corporate, rates, insurance of probably $100+ p/w, so that affordable one bedroom with historically low interest rates is costing $700+ per week to service so you probably need to be well over the average wage to afford an affordable 1 bedroom apartment as well as have a stable job or the bank won’t even lend to you.

        Could you rent it for that, very unlikely… so the government needs to increase the state house rentals substantially because the figures don’t work for private landlords and that leaves about 50%+ of Kiwis out in the cold with zero options who can’t rent or buy…

  2. Ed 2

    More Orwellian speak from Federated Farmers.
    Taking calves away from their mothers is not cruel.

    Janet Schultz, Federated Farmers Taranaki dairy chairwoman, said although taking calves from their mothers might appear cruel, it was necessary for the health of the animals and the industry.
    Schultz said cows experienced the same discomfort as human mothers when their milk came in and a calf couldn’t drink enough to relieve the pain.
    “You’d do anything to relieve that pressure but cows can’t,” she said.
    “Milking them takes that pain and pressure away.”

    While a cow could have 20 to 25 litres of milk in her udder, calves could only drink about five litres, Schultz said.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/106432527/milking-it-taking-calves-from-their-mothers-keeps-the-dairy-industry-going

    Not cruel Jenny.
    Not cruel.
    Keep telling yourself that.

    • Ed 2.1

      Yes, dairy farming is not cruel.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        yes ed – as a vegetarian for 38 years you fucken irritate me with your born again veganism. I’m amazed how all this farm stuff is a big surprise to you.

        Write a guestpost you’ve got plenty of evidence and videos and you don’t have anything else to do, do you?

        • marty mars 2.1.1.1

          sorry ed I’m a bit grumpy this morning – the guestpost idea is the only thing of worth in my comment. Sorry.

          • gsays 2.1.1.1.1

            Well done Marty, I honour your humility and apology.

            I wrote something a coupla weeks ago that I regretted- once Joe pulled me up on it.

      • Anne 2.1.2

        Do you mind showing consideration for other people and stop showing photos of cow carcasses and the like. They can be distressing to some people including me. If you think that forcing stuff down people’s throats like you do is going to make one jot of difference then I suggest you are wrong.

        Cut it out please!

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      Why, Ed, does a cow produce more milk than its calves can drink? What’s the process that causes such over-production, do you know?

      • dukeofurl 2.2.1

        genetics , would seem to be the answer. You can see in modern rice and wheat varieties why the seed is so much bigger than the ancient varieties they developed from.

        • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.1

          And feeding pumped-up grasses to the animals?

          • dukeofurl 2.2.1.1.1

            Pumped up grasses ?

            Do they have a grass gym ?

            • Tricledrown 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Dukeoferl why don’t we just over feed those who live in well off countries so they can die early from obesity, Cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, Strokes etc.
              And let the other half of the planets population suffer from malnutrician/starvation!

      • Matiri 2.2.2

        Big money is spent every year improving the genetics, and milk yield of a dairy cow. “Livestock Improvement Corporation, or LIC, is a multinational farmer-owned co-operative which, for more than 100 years, has provided genetics expertise, information and technology to the dairy sector, aimed at improving the prosperity and productivity of farmers”. LIC is listed on the stock exchange and has a large stable of semen bulls!

        Beef breed calves stay with their mothers for six months until they are weaned, a natural process non genetically interfered with process where all the milk is for the calf.

    • Matiri 2.3

      From the Stuff article “The number of bobbies sent to the works also fell in 2017, which MPI attributed to a decrease in the size of the national dairy herd and fewer calves overall.”

      No. More calves are being disposed of on farm as soon as they are born as it is more economic to buy in adult replacements rather than rear calves. I know of one farm in my valley, milking 3000 cows, that kill all the calves themselves. They are careful to do it humanely of course and make sure the charnel pit is well away from waterways …….

      • dukeofurl 2.3.1

        And so M Bovis spreads ….

      • Robert Guyton 2.3.2

        “charnel pit”
        Thanks, Matiri, I’ll use that at the next meeting of Environment Southland.
        Well away from waterways? Perhaps, but groundwater…you’re only required to have a separation of 1 metre there…

  3. marty mars 3

    Often when a high profile suicide happens vulnerable people can move into dark places in their own thoughts and suicidal ideation can increase.

    NOW is the time to connect to those you care or are concerned about.

    In my experience VALIDATION is the best way to go at the start. This is not agreeing with them but validating that their experience/emotions/desperation/hopelessness/overwhelment is theirs.

    “I can see that you’re really upset” rather than “Hey why not go for a walk”

    I’m sure we need courses to teach people how to validate and then once it lands to go for solutions. Solutions early (even with the best intentions) can feel invalidating.

    • Cinny 3.1

      + 100% Marty

      Depression is like having a disease in ones brain that is trying to kill you every single day.

      It’s so difficult to ask for help, it’s so hard. You can’t see it, and if one keeps it inside, there often are no signs for others to look for.

      If we are all more caring, that goes a long way. Whether its building up the esteem of people you know or strangers. Every kind word, every caring gesture can change someone elses life, even if it’s for a moment, it counts.

      Example, you see a parent in the supermarket struggling with a moody child, instead of giving them a funny look, or a look of sympathy, why not say… you’re doing a great job mum/dad. Words have so much power and can change lives.

      Mike King was brilliant on the AM show this morning.

    • gsays 3.2

      I agree.
      This current philosophy of hush hush in relation to suicide doesn’t seem to be rhe answer.
      An empathetic ear that truly listens is very valuable.

    • mauī 3.3

      Well said. This is a sensitive time for all involved. What makes this more painful than other losses is the question “Why?” and knowing there may never be an answer to that.

      Probably creates a lot of confusion too in people effected. Some people still see it as a weakness and won’t show any compassion, others won’t know how to react to it.

      So yes keep the lines of communication open and share what youre feeling with others, might be the best way to deal with an overwhelming experience.

  4. Cinny 4

    Dutton and his supporters are demanding a second vote this morning.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Peak Trump theory: Trump’s battle against the US political establishment was surprisingly successful, to the extent that the establishment reluctantly got behind his presidency, but now that some of his helpers have been found guilty of criminal conduct the sleazeball-in-chief will fall like a nine-pin. The mid-terms will prove he’s past his peak.

    Current polling has the Dems looking stronger, so it depends if heartland disaffection with the establishment will continue to motivate voters or not. As long as talented operatives keep volunteering to replace those who move out, the Trump machine will maintain momentum. Trump shows no sign of weakening.

    I’m still waiting for the shift that will render him a single-term president. I see voters there scratching their heads after yesterday, musing “Okay, so do I vote for the devil I know, or do I vote for the other devil I know. Jeez, tough one.”

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      next elections are just over 2 months away. That will tell you if theres a shift or not. It may not happen in heartland Trump but the Orange County Republicans , ie suburbia might be lost.

      • Tricledrown 5.1.1

        Given he lost the popular vote by 3 1/2 million Orange Country will become blue country in november
        Many Trump supporters will not have health care, farmers who supported Trump have no cheap labour to harvest crops, Chinese tariffs on agricultural imports will have hit home and Trumps promise of $12billion in farm aid won’t be enough or even delivered.
        Many Republican Reps. are baling out as they see the writing on the wall.
        In the recent by-election their was a 10% swing against the republicans in the rural heartland.
        Then their are more prosecutions coming to All the Presidents Henchman.

  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    Thought I’d give the delightful Ms Collins a rest this morning and focus on another, possibly even more impressive, Collins:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/106479680/phil-collins-to-bring-his-not-dead-yet-tour-down-under

    Yes I’m well aware of what music snobs and hipsters think of him but i don’t care, anyone that writes In The Air Tonight or The Roof Is Leaking or *insert whatever song you think is his best here* or whatever is worthy of respect

    He is the singer-song writer-drummer nonpareil (all due respect to Don Henly and Karen Carpenter) and I’ll be there having a great time

    Yeah I’m stoked and excited

    • arkie 6.1

      I would have thought, perhaps, you and Ms Collins would be more excited about the Wu Tang Clan:

      https://www.radionz.co.nz/stories/2018659244/wu-tang-clan-announce-gigs-in-auckland-and-christchurch

      Cash Rules Everything Around Me C.R.E.A.M. Get the money, dollar dollar bill y’all

    • gsays 6.2

      Well, I am very excited, off to the big smoke to see queens of the stone age tonight.
      Followed by His Bobness on Sunday night.

      Unfortunately other commitments prevent me from seeing headless chickens reform or bailter space play next week.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1

        https://www.barfoot.co.nz/f.mcdonald

        Fiona McDonald dusting of the ol’ vocals is good, shes wasted in real estate. She certainly had an effect on teenage me back in the day 🙂

        • WILD KATIPO 6.2.1.1

          The son and I have taken to listening to Zakk Wylde as of late. The guys awesome. He has one of the richest baritone bass voices in that genre of music, and is incredible on guitar. He was Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist for many years.Here he is at Live at the Budokan in 2002. Hes just gotten better and better over time.

          Zakk Wylde insane solo HD – YouTube
          Video for zakk wylde youtube▶ 8:06

          • David Mac 6.2.1.1.1

            I’ve been traversing the alt country backroads lately, I’m digging Junior Brown

            • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Have you watched the Lost highway documentary series by the BBC, its pretty good if you can locate it

              • David Mac

                No I’m not familiar with it, I see it’s on utube, I clicked the ‘watch later’ button. Thanks.

      • Grumpy 6.2.2

        Saw “his Bobness” at Christchurch last time in the awful Horncastle Arena. May have just been the world’s worst acoustics but I have never been so disappointed in my life.
        Hope you have a better experience.

      • Cinny 6.2.3

        OMG !!!! Queens of the Stone Age are brilliant live, have a fantastic evening, they are ace in concert. Dang I’m jealous 🙂

    • halfcrown 6.3

      Puckish @6

      Shit I am beginning to sound like Shane Jones

      I agree with you there Puckish

      • Puckish Rogue 6.3.1

        Whatever people say no one can say thats hes not a great musician, they may like what hes done but he does it really well

    • Bearded Git 6.4

      He was fine when he was with Genesis….then it went to pieces.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.4.1

        Maybe this will change your mind (I actually got this on video tape for christmas…)

        or maybe this…

        • David Mac 6.4.1.1

          I can remember hearing a specific part of ‘In the air tonight’ for the first time like it was yesterday. I can see who was in the room, what was on the table. The drum intro in that song is so good Cadbury bought the rights and trained a gorilla to play it.

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    It’s ironic how Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux have just left New Zealand when something that they actually have been right in warning about is now taking place. Southern has highlighted the reverse racism of the South African government, while Molyneux likes to attack Marxism for being responsible for the deaths of millions of people in the twentieth century. Now has a deadly combination of reverse racism married to Marxist ideology (plus a high level of government corruption) will see the land of white farmers taken with no reimbursement. I doubt the majority of all South Africans want to see this happen and it’s obvious what a disaster it is going to be. Already farmland is already now virtually worthless as no one wants to buy it, and farmers aren’t going to invest any more money in their farms or pay off their debts. If the progressive movement leaves it to the alt right to stand up for white farmers, it gives alt right intellectuals like Southern and Molyneu all the moral justification they could hope for.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1006892/south-africa-land-seizure-white-farmers-land-grab-ANC-expropriation-compensation-cyril-ram

    NB I’m not anti Marxist but tend to believe that top down communism always fails.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Some years back my partner made friends with a black Zimbabwe woman (Shona background IRRC) who made exactly the same point. The new black owners knew perfectly well their tenure was solely due to political privilege and could be revoked at a whim. Therefore they invested nothing into their farms; whose productivity then plummeted close to zero.

      You might imagine South Africa would have learnt from such a proximate example.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.2

      Didn’t you know shes an alt-right, transphobic, neo-liberal, fee speech hating, neo-nazi, anti-feminist, conservative and generally all round bad person that will cause the world to rise up in an orgy of alt-rightness that will plunge the world into a darkness that it will never recover from?

    • SaveNZ 7.3

      Yep, I doubt that the increasing talk of land seizures without compensation would happen under Nelson Mandela.

      Very easy to gain political points for SA leaders when apparently unemployment is between 25 – 50% to then go for a popular policy of giving away land… the problem though seen by Zimbabwe is that if the land is not farmed properly people start to starve which is worse and creates a basket case.

      It’s not so much the land, but the farming of it, that is important and also the government gets taxes off it I would imagine, so if people stop farming and stop paying land taxes you might start to see even more problems than they already have with their appalling violence and crime rate like the genocides that started occurring in Zimbabwe.

      Whose going to set up business in SA, if you get robbed at gunpoint constantly or worse because they can’t contain security or militia start going around and taking land with government support?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1

        You’re looking at things through the failed capitalist perspective.

        What if after the farms are renationalised the people who farmed them previously are hired, with good salaries, to run the farms for the government?

        Renationalisation can work but it requires thinking outside of capitalist ownership.

        • SaveNZ 7.3.1.1

          I guess it’s an option if the government can afford the wages and can afford the upkeep for seed, stock, maintenance… where are they getting the money from, will it turn out like ‘animal farm’ where they just continue with capitalism? Whose training these new farmers to farm, who makes the decisions, can a tribal society with numerous factions, who traditionally don’t get on, cooperate? What happens if one coop get something wrong, or their is drought, as you can lose everything.

          Look at China, they achieved it by extreme control of population and making everyone give land to the government. However they do not have democracy.

          With Zimbabwe the government didn’t even pay the teachers salaries let alone farmers salaries, then overseas money for HIV control just disappeared, massive genocide as people found it easier to fight than work and cooperate…

          • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.1.1

            where are they getting the money from

            They’re the government – they can create it.

            will it turn out like ‘animal farm’ where they just continue with capitalism?

            We can hope not but the chances are that they will and it will fail.

            Whose training these new farmers to farm, who makes the decisions, can a tribal society with numerous factions, who traditionally don’t get on, cooperate?

            What new farmers?
            The farmers.
            Fucked if I know. Perhaps they can try.

            What happens if one coop get something wrong, or their is drought, as you can lose everything.

            Did I mention the idea that the farms would still be owned by the government?

        • Herodotus 7.3.1.2

          “What if” was of no benefit to Zimbabwe. Some can espouse the theoretical world, others experience the real life consequences.
          Once known as the bread basket of Africa. Whilst the link partially refutes that, the country was still a net exporter, look at the decline of Maize & Wheat
          “Overall, we view Zimbabwe as a self-sufficient food producer prior to its land reform programme. However, there is limited evidence to support the notion of Zimbabwe having ever been “the breadbasket of Africa”.
          https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/business/2017-11-28-was-zimbabwe-ever-the-breadbasket-of-africa/
          https://africacheck.org/2017/11/28/analysis-zimbabwe-ever-breadbasket-africa/

          • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.2.1

            People are pointing out that South Africa will go the same was as Zimbabwe despite not knowing what South Africa is actually going to do. They do, after all, have the example of Zimbabwe and what not to do right in front of them. This is what my what if was trying to highlight.

    • Tricledrown 7.4

      Reversing colonialism esoteric pineapples.
      The Colonists took everything from the owners and enslaved them.
      Now the reverse is not so perverse.
      Some compensation that’s a better deal than the indigenous people got.
      But as in Zimbabwe where farming collapsed South Africa needs to be very careful.

    • Tricledrown 7.5

      Esoteric Pineapples top down fascism doesn’t work either
      Mugabe is much closer to fascism than communism.
      Your example is Trumpish.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.6

      In NZ we have Landcore that runs farms better than the private farmers and also does research as well. Hopefully they’ll follow this model rather than the model of Zimbabwe.

      NB I’m not anti Marxist but tend to believe that top down communism always fails.

      That’s because it’s not communism. Actual communism is always non-hierarchical.

      • SaveNZ 7.6.1

        Landcare has been selling off the land and converting forestry to dairy in environmental disasters waiting to happen.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.6.1.1

          That us true and is a problem created by running them as a commercial operation that needs to make a profit. It’s still better than simply giving the land to profiteers.

      • RedLogix 7.6.2

        Actual communism is always non-hierarchical.

        Gobbledygook. No-one ever explains what they mean by that.

        It also’s both amusing and alarming to read people claiming that they know how to do socialist revolutions better than anyone else. This usually from people who’ve never run anything more complex than a corner dairy.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.6.2.1

          No-one ever explains what they mean by that.

          I have – time and time and time again.

          It also’s both amusing and alarming to read people claiming that they know how to do socialist revolutions better than anyone else.

          I’ve never claimed that so you really shouldn’t go round implying that I have.

        • McFlock 7.6.2.2

          I sometimes wonder if Marx would look at his followers and say “dudes, what the fuck – I was outlining a vague abstract idea of where I figured society was going to go, not prescribing an objective you can work towards” or something similar.

          Communism is supposed to be a situation where nobody is alienated from anyone else by ownership or competition or whatever. Decisions are made collectively, nobody is elevated above anyone else although each specialises in what they’re best at. So non-hierarchical.

          The pisser is that Marx said the first revolution would be of the oppressed against the oppressor, and that would result in a dictatorship that would then implement the social change to eventually bring about the communist society. But there would also be a lot of failed attempts (where the revolutionary dictatorship becomes oppressive rather than emancipatory) before the final communist eventuality occurs.

          So every “communist” regime that kills millions then fails is not “true communism”. Even if they said they were at the time. So one can never say “communism doesn’t work” because if it doesn’t work, it wasn’t truly “communism”.

          But his documentation of factory conditions in England, that was fucking spot on.

      • Tricledrown 7.6.3

        DTB so where does this non totalitarian utopian communism exist.

  8. Jenny 8


    “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    “But note that this approach puts an awful lot of power into the hands of a party leader (assuming that she or he still has the backing of her or his party). And where there is power, then there is the temptation to use that power in ways bad as well as good……”

    Otago University law lecturer and Professor, Andrew Geddis on the Waka Jumping Bill

    “Great men are almost always bad men.”

    (Hence the need for checks and balances) J.

    If we value our democracy, any move to stifle the voices of those elected to represent us in parliament must be bitterly opposed.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/342350/waka-jumping-law-a-cost-to-democracy

    • Dennis Frank 8.1

      Your `MPs get elected by us’ rationale is mere generalisation. You’d see the fallacy if you looked at what actually happens. They are selected by a party to represent that party in parliament. They are elected by electors who vote for them on the basis of that party representation. The electoral contract that creates an MP is entered into by that MP contracting to both party and electors.

      Presuming you do realise the gravity of breaching any contract, you just need to establish in your mind the cause and effect relationship. Betrayal of trust is a gut-wrenching issue, regardless who suffers it…

      • dukeofurl 8.1.1

        Surely Captains Picks for Party lists is undemocratic too ? Its so obvious in National where their ‘ethnic’ list Mps all occur at the same location on the list.
        The party hierarchy puts them there as the regional party groups in National arent going to chose a ‘ethnic ‘ Mp for their lists ( unless they are already an electorate MP)

        I remember the fuss over Willie jackson who was supposed to be ‘given’ a high list place by Little when in fact it was quite a way down when the List committee did their work. Didnt matter in the end though.

        • Dennis Frank 8.1.1.1

          If you mean Winston, yeah I never agreed with his dictatorship of NZF but they allow him to get away with it. Greens are more democratic than Labour.

    • greywarshark 8.2

      ‘Great men are almost always bad men’ That is very questionable, and is a phrase that goes for simplicity and apparent wisdom as a terse comment.

      But, great people are often people who are known about and talked about, and as we know greatness isn’t often thrust upon you officially unless you have pleased the grantors of greatness. Hence Sirs Robert Douglas and his ilk, just one letter away from ill. What a difference a word and a letter makes.l Grates on me that does.

      Rockefeller. Known for illustrious connections to money and finance.
      Schweitzer. Known for something, did he get a Nobel Prize?

      The truly great’s achievements are often that they bring out the good in society, it gets adopted, and the knowledte of their contribution fades, as Schweitzer’s has.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Schweitzer

  9. Paaparakauta 9

    Uri Avnery, Israeli activist for a Palestinian state, dead at 94

    Uri Avnery, a self-confessed former “Jewish terrorist” who went on to become Israel’s best-known peace activist, died in Tel Aviv on Monday, following a stroke. He was 94.

    As one of Israel’s founding generation, Avnery was able to gain the ear of prime ministers, even while he spent decades editing an anti-establishment magazine that was a thorn in their side.

    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/2018-08-20/uri-avnery-israel-palestinian-peace-dead-94/

  10. Jenny 10

    Is Corbyn the ‘Green Churchill’ the world has been waiting for?

    Jeremy Corbyn vows to tackle ‘climate catastrophe’ by putting energy system in public hands

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-big-six-energy-companies-nationalisation-public-ownership-fracking-ban-climate-change-a8204031.html

    • Jenny 10.1

      Will our next Prime Minister utter the words, “Where Britain goes, we go too”.

      Should we wait?

      Or, should we strike out on our own?

      Are we a “fast follower” as John Key insists. Or are we a global trend setter as our history attests?

      The missing ingredient in the global struggle against climate change is leadership.

      Personally I don’t think we can wait.

      • Dennis Frank 10.1.1

        Provocative, but I’ll support you on this. Making fracking illegal here would challenge some of those who voted for this government, but could be the numbers make it worthwhile. Is the UK doing as much fracking as we are, or more?

        Anyway, it is a genuinely radical move by Corbyn. Admirable, and good timing too. Latest UK poll I saw had Labour & Conservatives both on 40% – watch the next one to see if Labour drops, eh?

        • dukeofurl 10.1.1.1

          I think our geology is too young to have the stable sedimentary basins that can be exploited by Fracking. The Westcoast does have oil traces in places and drilling for oil did occur as early as the 1880s but the geology mean the ground has been twisted/faulted around too much to provide it in useful amounts.
          Same happened to the gold exploration with gold bearing rock suddenly disappearing due to faulting.
          We arent known now as the drowned sub continent Zelandia for nothing

      • Ngungukai 10.1.2

        The latest strategy by NZ Governments both Red & Blue is where the USA go we shall follow, like little puppy dogs ?

        Time to grow up and start thinking for ourselves ?

      • Tricledrown 10.1.3

        Breeding Robert like every other type of farming Humans have over thousands of years maybe hundreds have increased yields.
        But if cows feel pain from having an full udder that sends a signal to the cow to slow down milk production or dry off.
        The Dairy farmer unsurps nature by continuing to milk the cow fooling its natural instincts.
        So the pain and cruelty is spin relying on ignorance
        Recently found cheese in Egypt show’s we have been milking animals for at least 3,000 years.

        • Puckish Rogue 10.1.3.1

          “Breeding Robert like every other type of farming Humans have over thousands of years maybe hundreds have increased yields.”

          Breeding Robert increases yields, yeah I can see that happening

        • dukeofurl 10.1.3.2

          “The Dairy farmer unsurps nature by continuing to milk the cow fooling its natural instincts.”

          Of course its not natural to provide grass paddocks to ungulates free from predators. Its a short and brutish life that ‘nature ‘ provides , with most offspring taken by predators or disease. Lets have that instead.

          • Tricledrown 10.1.3.2.1

            Dukeoferl why don’t we just over feed those who live in well off countries so they can die early from obesity, Cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, Strokes etc.
            And let the other half of the planets population suffer from malnutrician/starvation.
            Dukeoferl we have been miking animals for 3,000 years I didn’t imply what your trying to imply with your lie.
            Mearly pointing out another lie by the federated farmers crude cruel analogy.

  11. In light of the Kiwi scientist leading a team to discover Loch Ness’s biodiversity… perhaps he should heed the words of The Police ,…

    Another suburban family morning
    Grandmother screaming at the wall
    We have to shout above the din of our Rice Krispies
    We can’t hear anything at all
    Mother chants her litany of boredom and frustration
    But we know all her suicides are fake
    Daddy only stares into the distance
    There’s only so much more that he can take
    Many miles away
    Something crawls from the slime
    At the bottom of a dark Scottish lake….

    New Loch Ness Monster Sighting – YouTube
    Video for Eoin O’Faodhagain from Donegal film footage you tube▶ 10:28

      • WILD KATIPO 11.1.1

        Yeah , I reckon they’re still there. When you consider the case of the gorilla and the Giant Panda , which was written off by scientists for decades and then found, undoubtedly.

        It took around 60 years to find the Panda,- and its black and white against a green bamboo background, moves slowly, stays in one area, breeds slowly, and hardly is a highly mobile animal like a moose… I’d say the problem is more us human beings and our presumptions,… and arrogance.

        • Robert Guyton 11.1.1.1

          Nope 🙂

          • WILD KATIPO 11.1.1.1.1

            You reckon 1080 did the trick then, eh?

            • Robert Guyton 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Ha!
              The poor beasts didn’t thrive in Fiordland (what introduced mammal has?).

              • Well, I think the moose were suited enough to the extreme weather, but the vegetation was more dense than the type they originally hailed from. However there’s no denying there’s suitable vegetation as for other deer species,…

                They are a very large animals which in Fiordland has advantages and disadvantages… the large size makes them resistant to the cold extremes, but also moving through the vegetation more difficult.

                I would say its feasible for Fiordland to support a small population, perhaps smaller in size than usual because of the environment.

                Here’s a tip: When I was with an old local deer culler in the early 1990’s he wanted to show me a small herd of white tailed deer at the back of Lake Wakatipu which wasn’t supposed to exist. DOC knew of them but didn’t advertise the fact because foreign hunters would bring in a pretty penny for the chance to hunt them. We didn’t hunt them, just observed as we did not need the meat.And there they were… a small herd of about 6-7 .

                All this stuff…. and this too !

                Mystery Big Cat Sighting South Island NZ.mp4 – YouTube
                Video for big black cats in New Zealand footage you tube▶ 4:13

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Yeah maybe an escaped Maine Coon but, again, I think Moose are still more likely but if you do find some verifiable evidence (either large cat or Moose) I’ll be the first to congratulate you

                  • Well, Canadian tourists saw what they believe to be a cougar further south, and reported it to the Police,… and various have reported the black cat variety,… and its interesting to note that the Americans had both cougars and jaguars as mascots on their warships in WW2.

                    They were told to ditch them near wars end.

                    NZ and Australia had a rabbit problem. Who knows if a few were released in Aussie and NZ on behalf of some farmers as a ‘mates favor’…

                    Plenty of food down south. And cougars can jump vertically up to 15 feet. I don’t think a 4 or 5 strand fence would be any problem to negotiate…

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      “Who knows if a few were released in Aussie and NZ on behalf of some farmers as a ‘mates favor’…”

                      People is stupid so that’s (unfortunately) not out of the realms of possibility.

        • RedLogix 11.1.1.2

          Another example of a ‘rediscovered’ species that’s become quite personal to me is this amazing little critter:

          https://www.zoo.org.au/healesville/animals/mountain-pygmy-possum

          The fossils were relatively well known but thought to be extinct until a group of university students skiers at Mt Hotham spotted what they initially thought were rats. One of them (the person I’ve gotten to know quite well recently) realised the tail was too bushy for a rat and latter spotted a family inside the hut behind the coal stove. Finally using a live trap they managed to capture some and quickly realised what they’d found.

          • WILD KATIPO 11.1.1.2.1

            How amazing!

            ‘ They spend all summer breeding and feasting on moths then its back to sleep for six months ‘… those little fellas have got it sorted !

            🙂

        • greywarshark 11.1.1.3

          wild katipo
          Great comment thanks.

  12. Rosemary McDonald 12

    Awesome. Winston’s pretty ponies are going to get taxpayer funded all weather tracks to run on.

    While their riders whip them along.

    Patiently waiting for a response from SAFE.

    I have it on reasonably good authority that few race meetings are abandoned in NZ because of poor track conditions anyway.

    Variable track conditions merely add another factor for fuckwit bettors to take into consideration when deciding on which exploited piece of horseflesh to put their money on.

    Oh, MMP, don’t we just love it?

    • indiana 12.1

      …even better as you can claim that your “horse looks good” and get a tax break too!

    • dukeofurl 12.2

      Would you prefer we didnt have a Coalition Government at all?

      • Rosemary McDonald 12.2.1

        There’s compromise for political expediency, then there’s being compromised.

        I am not at all comfortable with the government funding horse racing, which is nothing more than cruel exploitation of animals for the pleasure of bored humans with too much money and time on there hands.

        I have no problem with those sad sacks spending their time and money betting on human racers who have willingly consented to be exploited.

    • One abandoned today. So much rain track unsafe, so research before pontificating.

      • Rosemary McDonald 12.3.1

        “One abandoned today…”

        Excellent.

        A rare win for the horses.

        🙂

        • Psych nurse 12.3.1.1

          What makes you think horses don’t like racing ?.

          • Rosemary McDonald 12.3.1.1.1

            Please don’t tell me you’re one of those people who seem to think the whip just adds to the horse’s pleasure?

            And I guess the whole pile up thing is just part of the fun? What’s a few broken legs between friends?

            And doing forward rolls over the fences in the steeplechase is just so exciting…

            Seriously, surely we’ve evolved enough to realize this is no longer acceptable?

  13. Puckish Rogue 13

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/106462506/crown-may-be-getting-more-in-dividends-now-than-before-electricity-company-sales

    ‘Act leader David Seymour said the programme should be extended to the remaining state owned enterprises, such as NZ Post and Landcorp.’

    “A partial privatisation would free up revenue for new road and rail projects, closing the so-called ‘infrastructure gap’. It would give Kiwis families new investment opportunities. And it would subject these companies to market forces, requiring them to deliver better results for Kiwis as shareholders and customers.”

    Well done National 🙂

    • “A partial privatisation would free up revenue for new road and rail projects, closing the so-called ‘infrastructure gap’.

      And free up dividends for foreign investors and shareholders.

      ” It would give Kiwis families new investment opportunities ” .

      And free up dividends for foreign investors and shareholders.

      ”And it would subject these companies to market forces, requiring them to deliver better results for Kiwis as shareholders and customers.”

      And promote less spending on maintenance while raising prices to free up more dividends for foreign investors and shareholders.

      ———————————————————-

      No thank you.

      • Puckish Rogue 13.1.1

        I’m still waiting for the buy back to begin 🙂

        • Tricledrown 13.1.1.1

          The previous govt didn’t build schools excetera it squandered the money on election bribes tax cuts to the well off.
          The coalition has given those not so well off a heating payout.
          This govt can’t undo every bit of the previous govts agenda and would be foolish to do so.
          Big break throughs in solar power generation will bring much needed competition to the electricity sector.
          For govts to be buying back electricity companies at much higher prices than they received (firesale prices to their well off mates) shows how stupid National supporters are.

          • alwyn 13.1.1.1.1

            The current Government seems to have equally stupid things to waste money on.

            All weather race tracks for Winnies stallions and mares to run on. Up to $30 million dollars now, although the industry say that they may contribute some of it. I wonder haw many horses Winston part owns these days.

            A cycle and walking track on the Auckland Harbour bridge.
            Why should the people in Wellington have to pay for something in Auckland that only a few dozen people are likely to use on a typical day like today?
            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12112168
            Why can’t we have the money, which is already estimated to be $99 million, to spend on providing a reservoir to supply water for the Wellington Hospital to use after an earthquake?

            Twyford could even use it to build a few houses. What is the current count for his fantasy project KiwiBuild? Still at precisely zero isn’t it after 10 months in the Beehive?

            • WILD KATIPO 13.1.1.1.1.1

              John Keys nowhere flag referendum cost this country around $ 26 million.

              While people lived on the streets.

              At least the racing industry does contribute ( albeit in a dubious way ) back to society via the TAB and other ways.

              • Puckish Rogue

                How many working groups, summits, conversations etc etc are Labour currently on and how much is that costing?

                • How much did it cost – or shall we say… why are these working groups even needed if National hadn’t made such a mess of the place?

                  The colossal amount of infrastructure that was neglected to induce privatization of health and education and to get Bill English’s surplus when they could have done the same by not introducing tax cuts for the rich.

                  Or would you and alwyn rather a unilateral approach with the same sort of bloody minded-ness that National exhibited?

                  I’d far rather have some deliberation than the bull in the china shop of National trying to jemmy things in favor of the rich, myself…

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    “How much did it cost – or shall we say… why are these working groups even needed if National hadn’t made such a mess of the place”

                    Why do we need so many working groups when Labour gave the impression they were ready to govern, that they had all the answers

                    Why indeed

              • alwyn

                I suppose the Labour Party policy on the flag during the 2014 election might have been a bit cheaper. When you read it you see that they were simply going to implement a new flag. There was no provision for the public to have a say in simply keeping the existing one..
                “Labour would also review the design of the New Zealand flag, with the party saying “the time has come for a change and it is right for the issue to be put to the public”.”
                That might seem as if we were going to have a choice but when you read what follows
                “We would however support the ability of the RSA and similar organisations to continue to fly the current flag if they so wish”.
                They clearly weren’t allowing for the possibility that everyone might want to keep the current one. It was going to change.
                http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/policies/10451013/Labour-backs-national-flag-review
                However that is all in the past. I don’t think anyone will be able to bring a flag change up before about 2035.

                • As it was proven , – the John Key flag referendum never was popular, often criticized as a waste of tax payer money and amounted to little more than a John Key vanity project.

                  There’s just no come back from that can be justified.

                  And BTW, – its no use claiming ‘ that’s all in the past ‘ and then trying to dodge the fact of Nationals uselessness while trying to criticize the coalition in the same breath.

                  It was BECAUSE of National’s uselessness that we are in the predicament we are now in.

                  • alwyn

                    “criticize the coalition in the same breath.”.
                    But I wasn’t. I was simply commenting on the fact that the LABOUR party policy in 2014 was very similar to the National one. Not identical of course. Labour had no intention of allowing us, at that time, of keeping the old flag.

                    I don’t even think that National was useless. At least they gave us the choice. Labour clearly had no such intention. Like the “waka-jumping bill” we could have said anything we liked and they would have ignored it.

                    I have no idea what the other parties in the “coalition” thought in 2014. If I had to guess I imagine that Winston would have probably said he was in favour of the current flag. The Green Party would probably have insisted on one of the Koru options.
                    As I say though, it doesn’t matter now. After Little, Andrew put his (then) party into reverse the whole thing turned to custard.

            • Morrissey 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Why should the people in Wellington have to pay for something in Auckland that only a few dozen people are likely to use on a typical day like today?

              Do you really have no idea about concepts like “the common good”? Are you really that stupid, or are you, as I suspect, simply imprisoned by your dismal ideology?

              • alwyn

                “Common Good”.
                The common good would have included giving the people of New Zealand the transport options they prefer. Safe roads. We should be providing what the general populace want, not the desires of a small minority of latte slurping, lycra wearing lunatics pretending that they are the peloton of the Tour de France.
                Can you imagine pedestrians and cyclists co-existing in that little glass tube attached to the bridge in that picture in the article I linked to?
                Oriental Bay in Wellington, which is much, much wider is dangerous enough. I have twice been flattened there by idiots on bikes coming up from behind at high speed with their heads bent down and their bums in the air.
                Once I was on crutches, and they still didn’t try and avoid me.

                • Morrissey

                  ….latte slurping, lycra wearing lunatics…

                  Your dull attempt at abuse is even less inspired than your “argument”.

      • Sacha 13.1.2

        To a neoliberal cheerleader with a hammer, everything looks like a privatisation.

      • dukeofurl 13.1.3

        The sell off of the state assets under Key was supposed to provide money for an infrastructure fund….. fat difference that did …yes I know it was a smoke and mirrors game then, still is.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      You do realise that the only way to get more from less is to artificially inflate prices charged to consumers right?

      • WILD KATIPO 13.2.1

        Yep, we’ve heard it all before.

        It always starts out with the con about cheaper prices for consumers, and ownership staying within NZ, but after a certain time elapses, we find ‘ hello!,- the foreigners now own the controlling share stock’…

        As if that wasn’t the game plan all along.

        Partial privatization is the steep and slippery slope and foot in the door towards full privatization and losing our SOE’s forever.

        Its time we stopped listening to Rimmer and his outdated scandalous 1980’s trickle down crap.

        • Puckish Rogue 13.2.1.1

          You should always listen to Rimmer:

          • WILD KATIPO 13.2.1.1.1

            And why?, – because hes Arnold Rimmer…

            Ask Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer
            He’s also a fantastic swimmer
            And if you play your cards right
            Then he just might come round for dinner

            🙂

    • bwaghorn 13.3

      If national had of been the businesses wizzs they would have us believe they would have kept 100% ownership and got them running as well as you say they are now there by doubling the profits into the countries coffers .

      • Puckish Rogue 13.3.1

        National were too weak and timid, they should have done what Labour did and sell it all

        None of this keep 51% control they should have sold the lot, in fact National shouldn’t have even announced it before the election

        Labour sure were smart about it 🙂

        • Stuart Munro 13.3.1.1

          It’s the only workable tactic for anti-democratic screaming incompetents.

          But it’s a piss poor way to run a country.

        • bwaghorn 13.3.1.2

          I assume your talking about the dim dark 80s old man. Two thoughts comes to mind . Labour were forced into radical action due to the national parties prior economic neglect and the the infiltration of a scummy band if rogernomes .

          • Puckish Rogue 13.3.1.2.1

            Yes of course it was Nationals fault

          • Stuart Munro 13.3.1.2.2

            I think it could be applied to the wrecking of Solid Energy too. Better to sell it at the top of the market than sell off the bits for scrap. If one were such a pack of incompetents that one could not run it.

  14. Puckish Rogue 15

    For what its worth I’d favour keeping 51% rather than selling everything off

    • alwyn 15.1

      Even TVNZ? Personally I would sell that now while that old relic is still worth anything. It is an antique and is going to die soon.

      Look at what Telecom did when they sold the Yellow Pages for, if my memory serves, about $2.2 billion a decade ago. How did they find anyone silly enough to buy something that was obviously dying?
      I suppose people here think that selling it was terrible and that we should have kept it while it quietly decayed into a worthless, useless load of junk.

      • Puckish Rogue 15.1.1

        Not absolutely everything but on a case by case basis, like selling off Telecom completely no but 51% sure

        • alwyn 15.1.1.1

          I wasn’t talking about Telecom.
          I was talking about that relic of the past, the Yellow Pages.
          Would you have kept them?

      • WILD KATIPO 15.1.2

        ‘Even TVNZ? Personally I would sell that now while that old relic is still worth anything. It is an antique and is going to die soon ‘.

        If its worth anything to foreign buyers then its worth keeping.

        Obviously.

        And Telecom was name changed because American buyers bought our telecommunications – which we built up and payed for the infrastructure. It wasn’t until a Labour MP called them to task a few years back for their gross ripping off of the NZ consumers with their charging that they were brought to heel over their price gouging.

        So much for competition ,lowering of prices and privatization.

        And foreign buyers of our SOE’s.

        This is no longer the 1980’s and no one believes in that shit anymore.

        • alwyn 15.1.2.1

          You did note, I hope, that I was talking about selling the Yellow Pages.
          Would you have kept that relic of the past or would you have seen, as I certainly did, that the internet meant that they were dead?
          I was amazed, and pleased that they got $2.24 billion for them.

    • Gabby 16.1

      woolly bully wally? Whatty fucky datty meany?

      • In Vino 16.1.1

        The ranting of the Principal of a private school that has class sizes of about 12 – 15 ? Try quoting a Principal of a state school facing the problems of the real world, Pockish Rouge.

    • SaveNZ 16.2

      What an appalling article and opinion piece. Sad it is one of the new “private” principals doing the stabbing in the back.

  15. joe90 17

    State where a black woman is standing for governor has mysteriously decided to close polling stations where black people vote.

    10 Georgia counties with large black populations have closed polling places in 2018. Ally of Brian Kemp traveling state to "recommend polling place closures” @mjs_DC reports. This is outrageous https://t.co/Cpk1SC7gFN pic.twitter.com/SIFQ1xRlw4— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) August 21, 2018

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/georgia-voter-suppression-brian-kemps-bid-for-governor-depends-on-erasing-the-black-vote-its-working.html

  16. eco maori 18

    Good evening The Am Show The Sky path over the Auckland harbor bridge will finally get built this will bring heaps of tourist the good thing is we don’t have much smog we will be able to see for miles with know fussy haze smog ka pai.
    The digital push back from the——– I have been telling people for year’s that they spent to much time on there phone’s Duncan we were told that this 21s century communication machine was going to be the GAME CHANGER making the 00.1 % accountable for there deceit Eco Maori has ——— all over Papatuanuku they opened te kite and now are trying to close it spending millions but know ana to kai.
    The Bridges leak well tell’s a story especially with the leakier’s knee jerk reaction asking not to be named this does not look good for the ———-.
    That’s a good point Mark and Ingrid make if a person was reading a book no one would think anything but so a lot of people read there phones this is what I do a lot of reading and posting my opinions of what;s happening on Papatuanuku at the minute .
    I will be encouraging my mokopuna to embrace the Internet and to get educated to take the best advantage of the Internet to help them up there ladder’s of life I encourage every one to embrace this Technology and excel with It.
    Ka kite ano P.S us young one’s only had horses and stick and stone’s to play with we have control of the habit the offspring have grown up with the Internet so it’s a bit harder for them to control the habit I think trump’s lawyer doesn’t know we can read his word’s

  17. eco maori 19

    Here we go the Banks need to be regulated to treat it’s customer’s with respect especially when thing’s get a bit tight for there customers this look like a sticth up job by someone link below ka kite ano. P.S they should be looking for any options to keep the SME business trading not just pull the rug out from under there feet

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz//personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&objectid=12108767&ref=clavis

  18. eco maori 20

    I would not trust people like this to have te mokopunas Aotearoa’s OUR future in there hand’s this is the behavior I expect of the neo capitalist .
    They are using Gregg Boyed’s tragedy to get out of being held accountable for there action’s against there leader of the national party . Like I have said before they have no morels or sense of loyalty we seen what they did to Winston.
    I say that the person who leaked this information should be Identified and shamed we do not want a person like this having the chance to becoming Prime Minister like that person who is crying the sky will fall on there heads if he is made accountable for his action’s Ana to kai Ka kite ano link below

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/106529866/leaker-reportedly-texts-simon-bridges-pleading-for-anominity P.S Bridges know’s who this person is

  19. eco maori 21

    I can see all the troll’s giving there trolling view’s on tangata whenua in jails on the street’s on the couch ect , There solution is get off you —– .
    I know what It’s like being Maori as I am one I have had business turning over hundred’s of thousand of dollar’s I started 5 business with the help of my wife .
    I have seen life get real hard for the common person over the last 9 years they opened the immigration flood gates these people get treated better than Maori the empolyer’s put them up on a pedestal so don’t compare the successful immigrants to Maori troll it does not cut it .
    I have applied for job’s were I know that I am more qualified and able than there manager the problem is when I go to the interview the first thought that enters the employer’s mind I can see it is O he’s Maori and all my good qualification’s are turfed out the cot he’s going to be lazy he will rob us he is going to be late all the time discrimination’s is rife . So I say the whole system needs to change .
    Did you see moody collins this morning on The Am Show trying to give credit for the crime rate falling to the national party got the cheek well that’s neo libreals for you fake it till you make it
    Ka kite ano Link below . P.S we know who did that Ka kaha

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/08/23/205405/keep-talking-until-justice-is-done

  20. eco maori 22

    Many thanks to the European Union for doing the logical ban halogen light bulbs old tec need’s to be replaced by new tec Ka pai Ka kite ano link is below . P.S these old light use twice the power and more than led lights

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/23/europe-to-ban-halogen-lightbulbs

  21. eco maori 23

    Good evening Newshub That’s the way Jacinda when the generals don’t toe the line you let all the other generals know that behavior is unacceptable so punishment is warranted.
    Australia has a Maori Prime Minster lol know OUR Scotty Morrison is a good kiwi maori
    same names different people .
    Condolences to Ed King Lynyrd Skynyrd old guitarist whano its a old classic song
    It was a beautiful day today looking over the lake getting told about some of my whapapa Alex Ka kite ano

  22. eco maori 24

    The Crowd Goes Wild James & Wairangi James got to look after your supporters lol.
    Eco Maori will chair the NZ Breakers Basket Ball team with there new couch Ka pai
    Ka kite ano P.S smash them bro was good tonight

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