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Open mike 23/04/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 23rd, 2016 - 24 comments
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24 comments on “Open mike 23/04/2016 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    Scientists are forced to resort to paid advertisements, as one of the Greatest environmental catastrophes of all time goes virtually unremarked by politicians and the MSM.



  2. Jenny 3

    The Australian Conservation Foundation will take the federal environment minister to the federal court, challenging his approval of the Indian company Adani’s enormous Carmichael mine in Queensland. They are alleging he failed to consider the impact the burning of the coal from the mine could have on the reef.


    The sad thing is that a similar legal challenge failed in New Zealand under laws passed by the last Labour Government that made it illegal for anyone to raise a legal challenge to new fossil fuel extraction projects on grounds of climate change.

    An expensive High Court case taken by Greenpeace, 350.org and Forest & Bird to challenge this ban, saw the New Zealand law courts reinforce the past Labour Government’s prohibition.

    If a new precedent is set, it will have a wider impact than just on the reef.

    Although this particular case is about the Great Barrier Reef, it would set a precedent for all world heritage areas, says O’Shanassy.


    New Zealand Labour Government legislation, since backed up by the courts, made doubly sure to avoid the danger of a precedent being set in this country, with a 2004 amendment to the RMA making it illegal to raise climate change as grounds for an objection.

    Hopefully the Aussies will have more success without the dirty treachery of past Labour Government imposed restrictions on cases seeking to raise legal objections to coal mining on climate change grounds.

    JUNE 19, 2012

    Forest & Bird decided last month to appeal the Environment Court’s recent decision that stops the effects of climate change from being considered under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

    The decision has major implications that could lead New Zealand away from taking important steps to tackle climate change. It means resource consents for developments such as coal mining can be granted without taking into consideration the negative impacts on climate change.

    The case will be heard in the High Court, and we’ll be joined by the West Coast Environment Network in the appeal. The RMA is New Zealand’s overarching piece of environmental legislation.


    Bathurst Resources wins climate change appeal

    • save NZ 3.1

      You are in fairy land if you think the environment court would do anything good for the environment. When 99% of consents are granted in environment court (and the Natz are still not happy with those odds and want to make it even worse) then you are looking at a Kangaroo court in the name of the ‘environment’. The only green thing involved in environment court is the colour of money and the erosion of the public and communities rights to challenge gross violations of the environment and communities rights, so that someone can make money.

    • Molly 3.2

      “New Zealand Labour Government legislation, since backed up by the courts, made doubly sure to avoid the danger of a precedent being set in this country, with a 2004 amendment to the RMA making it illegal to raise climate change as grounds for an objection. “

      Thanks Jenny for this. Had a friend give a submission on a resource consent for oil exploration, and they were advised that they were not allowed to refer to “climate change” in their submission.

      Disappointed that this was done under the Labour coalition government.

  3. Penny Bright 4

    FYI – the ‘submission’ of 2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright on the Ministry for the Environment consultation of ‘freshwater’:

    I have had had some experience and understanding of matters related to water, particularly the human right to water, since 1998, as a spokesperson for the Auckland Water Pressure Group.

    The following is my considered opinion.

    Nobody ‘owns’ the water.

    Water is a ‘commons’ – essential for life.

    Water is used for domestic (residential) use, for drinking, cooking, washing, bathing, and is essential for public health and sanitation.

    For such purposes – the right to water, and sanitation is a basic human right.


    “On 28 July 2010, through Resolution 64/292, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights.

    The Resolution calls upon States and international organisations to provide financial resources, help capacity-building and technology transfer to help countries, in particular developing countries, to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all.

    In November 2002, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted General Comment No. 15 on the right to water.

    Article I.1 states that “The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity.

    It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights”.

    Comment No. 15 also defined the right to water as the right of everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable and physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses. ”


    ‘Nobody owns the water’ – however – there is a cost in bringing the water to households and taking the sewerage (and stormwater) away.

    That cost is most equitably spread across the community, in my considered opinion, through proportionally-based property rates.

    The experience of the Water Pressure Group with (then) Auckland City Council’s commercialised water and wastewater company (LATE, then CCO) Metrowater, was that ‘user-charges’ for water and wastewater disproportionately burdened poorer families, who needed to use more water, compared to wealthier families.

    Which is inequitable, and arguably a violation of the human right to water.

    However, water for domestic household use, is not the only use for water.

    Water is also used commercially, to make money.

    But if water is coming from the same sources to be used both domestically and commercially – how is this water use allocated, in a fair and proper way?

    ‘First in – first served’?

    Where is the sensible ‘planning’ in that?

    Where the ‘rubber meets the road’ is, in my view, with resource consents.

    That is where decisions are made for what goes into the water (discharges etc), and what water is taken.

    In terms of the quality of that freshwater source, surely the commonsense approach is to not use rivers and waterways as ‘liquid tips’, and fill them with contaminants, but to look after the catchment area, and monitor what is going on to the land, and into the soil, (and the animals).

    If it goes on to the land – it will end up in the water.

    What controls do we now have over the catchment areas for waterways?

    How well are we monitoring the pesticides, herbicides, bugs and other contaminants that are entering the water from the land?

    How effective are NZ Drinking Water Standards – that compared with those of other countries, particularly European Drinking Water Standards, are arguably very slack?

    (For example – NZ Drinking Water Standards 2005 – don’t even test for glyphosate, the active ingredient of RoundUp – Monsanto’s most widely used herbicide in the world).


    (See page 10).

    ” ..ethylbenzene 0.3 ATO
    fenoprop 0.01 Pesticide

    hexachlorobutadiene 0.0007
    hexazinone 0.4 Pesticide. ..”

    Regarding ‘looking after’ and monitoring the quality of the catchment, the water, and NZ Drinking Water Standards, I believe that should be opened up to concerned citizens, as well as Maori.

    I do not support the commercialisation, corporatisation or privatisation of water services, locally, nationally or internationally, by ANY group or organisation.

    I do not agree that private companies should be able to expropriate NZ water for private profit in the form of bottled water.

    In my view, the granting of resource consents need to be carried out in an open, transparent and democratically accountable manner, that takes into account, in a proper way, the needs of local communities, first and foremost, particularly not private profit-making corporations.

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  4. save NZ 5

    More from those with unlimited power screwing others, From the Guardian….

    “In 1993, Prince went to war with Warner, accusing the record company of commercial and artistic indenture, subsequently appearing in public with the word “Slave” written on his face and changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol. In August 2015, when speaking about the artist-owned Tidal streaming service he was licensing his catalogue to while pulling it from everywhere else, he revived this accusation. “Record contracts are just like – I’m gonna say the word – slavery,” he was reported as saying. “I would tell any young artist … don’t sign.””

    Remember Warners is John Key’s buddy, who also happens to be trying to extradite DotCom (but on the NZ taxpayers dime, because a civil case is just too expensive when government buddies and FBI are at your private disposal to pay for things). Don’t forget John Key also changed employment law for Warners so that NZ film crews working for years on the same projects are ‘independent contractors’ and can be fired at will and have no sick rights etc.

    Another buddy Disney, also sent emails around to their employees for automatic payments from their wages to pay for pro TPP lobbyist charity they run.

    And these are people in the ‘entertainment industry’, enslaving artists, reducing wages and rights of film crews and getting governments to do their legal work for them. I’m sure with those sort of antics they would be paying their full taxes in the US and locally. sarc.

  5. Tautoko Mangō Mata 6

    This is a thought-provoking piece on trade agreements and the WTO World Trade Agreement in particular.

    The WTO’s tendency has been to expand over time on two separate tracks. Track one, for those powerless to resist its dictates (or foolish enough to actually believe in them), consists in ever-more-rigid rules, of ever greater scope, designed to usher in a borderless world economy, at least on paper. Its ultimate ambition has been described as “writing the constitution of a single global economy.”

    Track two, for nations shrewd enough to practice mercantilism while preaching free trade, is a puppet show designed to square these nations’ policies with the legal framework that props open their foreign markets. Since this puppet show furthers the interests of both foreign governments and “American” U.S.-based multinational corporations, neither has any reason to announce publicly that the game is a racket.

    So perhaps the saddest defect of the WTO is that despite its undemocratic and authoritarian implementation of an economic ideal that makes no sense even in theory, it actually has failed to deliver where free trade might do some good. Rational protectionism is the best policy, followed by a genuinely level playing field; the WTO has delivered neither.


  6. John Shears 7

    As I sip my cuppa tea I think of water, the tea is probably about 99% water, no milk no sugar, and that leads me to brains , yours and mine, which I understand are about 80% water.

    The water in my tea is supplied to me by Watercare the not for profit CCO that also gets rid of the sewage for Auckland. Some of the water comes from dams and some from a sophisticated filtration plant that is supplied by the Waikato river. There is a charge for this service which relates to the dams and pipes and treatment plants required but the water is actually free.

    Many years ago about 1937 I was given a daily chore, I was about 7,
    each Saturday morning I had to tap the corrugated iron water tank outside the back door and determine if there was enough water in the tank to last the week ahead, if not it was my hands to the pump until sufficient rungs were filled. We lived in a low rainfall area and the pump was supplied from a source reached by a pipe driven down through the alluvial gravel substrata.

    Most of neighbours in the village used a similar system and no one argued about who owned the water or if one needed to pay for it.
    The water was under the land that they lived on and they were entitled to access this resource for their own use, simple.

    That is the key to this current discussion ‘For Their Own Use”

    In Ashburton a section is being sold by the council with rights to extract water from the aquifers beneath the land and the volume per annum is also stated. What the council has not done however is state that any water extracted is to be used within the property
    boundaries and must not be exported. Oh, they are asking for $500 pa for the right to draw the water.

    Forget the royalties suggestions for water bottled and exported just
    make it quite clear legally that the water can only be used on the property.

    Insisting on the water being pumped by hand once a week by a 6-10 year old would be another solution but I suggest could cause an even worse furore than we have at present.

    • Macro 7.1

      Yes a very good summation and analysis of what constitutes “the commons” John.
      It was on this very point that Adam Smith and the rest of the early thinkers on the economy fell down. Building their economic theories on the miss-appropriation of the commons by “entrepreneurs”

    • Ad 7.2

      Privatising water by restricting its use onto your own land doesn’t solve anything.

      Also, you’d probably agree that water use in Canterbury has changed since 1937.
      It needs more than a local or even regional water regulator.
      Water needs a national price regulator, whether it’s charged by a company, a public utility, or a farmer.

      • John Shears 7.2.1

        Who will set the charges and who will collect them and what will they be used for?
        Of course water use has changed in Canterbury since 1937 it is now a major dairying area it used to mixed farming plus grains and certified small seeds,linen flax and horticulture.
        My suggestion is about restricting the export of water as a commodity not putting a price on it for local use.

  7. One Two 9


    FEB 2015 FDA commissioner ‘resigns’


    APR 2016 former FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg her husband Peter Brown, other corporate executives of Renaissance Technologies, and the pharmaceutical drug company Johnson & Johnson accused of racketeering and conspiracy

  8. ianmac 10

    Surely the Vatican is above corruption? And it would have no need for secret Trusts or Tax havens – would it? Think of those tiny pesos given faithfully to the church.
    “The Holy See’s finances have long been seen as a mystery, with Pell himself acknowledging in 2014 that “hundreds of millions of euros” had been discovered “tucked away” and off the city-state’s balance sheets.”

    • Macro 10.1

      hmmmm a very interesting “appointment” I wonder if Francis knew of the accusations against Pell when he made the appointment – and is this the reason why Pell is still hiding in the Vatican and not returning to Aus – and what will he do on 8 June when he turns 75?
      As for the financial investigation – well who knows what will be revealed – many people percieve large bulidings and obvious wealth. But I can tell u from first hand experience large buildings cost heaps to maintain. look at the conundrum over the ChCh Cathedral the cost of rebuilding and maintenance is prohibitive but many people who would not use it want it to be rebuilt!

    • Ad 10.2

      Appointing Pell to Finance increasingly appears like Francis’ Uriah Heep option. i.e. Francis needed to shift a known arch-conservative into a worthy but impossible field, knowing it would also be his political death.

      Even if Pell held favour at appointment, being a key leader against the Pope during the formation on the Family encyclical late last year would have marked Pell on his forehead.

      Or at least, were I Pope Francis, that’s the way I would spin it.

  9. greywarbler 11

    Has anyone had trouble with their archives? I have nothing after April 18th.

    • greywarbler 11.1

      I’ve found the answer to my archives question/problem. I have stuck to the name greywarshark ever since the Nicky Hager attack. And used greywarbler elsewhere but got mixed up.

  10. Pat 12


    an interesting read from a submission over a year ago….particularly the bit about lawyers

  11. Tautoko Mangō Mata 13

    Yet another secret agreement being negotiated with the public stakeholder being given a chance to have any input.!
    http://www.bilaterals.org/ has posted
    RCEP draft text for investment chapter, October 16, 2015 version

    The proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP is a massive proposed trade agreement, some see as a rival or alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The RCEP currently involves the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, plus six other countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

    Collectively these sixteen countries have a population of 3,488,410,867 in 2014, which was 48 percent of the world population of 7,260,710,677, according to the World Bank.
    Overall, the investment chapter is designed to give private parties the right to extract costly damages from governments that implement policies that harm profits. The issues are complex and consequential, and the potential scope of the government actions covered are very broad. By negotiating the text in secrecy, only a small number of persons have been able to provide feedback to negotiators, creating risks of both intended and unintended harms to the public.

    and also RCEP IP Chapter (October 15, 2015 version)

    Who is pushing the secrecy in this agreement?

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