Open Mike 23/11/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 23rd, 2016 - 136 comments
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Note: Open Mike is now for US politics too.

136 comments on “Open Mike 23/11/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    Poor wee Audrey and her hero John are upset the TPP is dead in the water.
    Diddums.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11752970

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Key acknowledged that Trump campaigned against TPP but added: “The United States isn’t an island. It can’t just sit there and say it isn’t going to trade with the rest of the world so at some point they are going to have to give some consideration to that but naturally we are a bit disappointed.”

      Actually, they can. They certainly have the resources and capabilities to keep their living standards high without trade.

      Of course, without trade their rich people won’t get any richer. In fact, they’ll probably become very poor quite rapidly.

      • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1.1

        There will be trade. It’s just there won’t be a leader of the free world to bomb the fuck out of poor farming communities who don’t trade in US dollars

  2. Muttonbird 2

    Real nice of the government to let quake stricken people use up their own retirement savings. This is transferring hardship from the present to the future.

    I’m not sure this government even gets what Kiwisaver is about.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/government-announces-kiwisaver-quake-withdrawal-scheme-2016112221

    • tc 2.1

      They understand exactly what KS is about. Even better when folks use their own rather than any govt assistance so you can promise more vapour tax trimming.

      Wasn’t that another broken election promise that they wouldn’t touch it yet have several times making it less attractive to the punter and better for the ticket clipping fund managers and govt.

      • Muttonbird 2.1.1

        Yep, no wonder Mary Holm loves the idea of people using Kiwisaver as an emergency fund. More invoice opportunities for her.

    • Paul 2.2

      Making victims pay.

      And then asking people to support charities so the government doesn’t have to pay.

      Of course the simple way is to make corporations and the rich pay more tax, but it’s better, isn’t it Mr Key, to put the begging bowls out and rely on the generosity of the poor?

      The rich need that money for their 15th property. larger boat, extension on the luxury beach house, third international holiday, school fees for King’s……

      As db says, we can’t afford the rich.

    • Jenny Kirk 2.3

      Yep – I thought that was on the nose, too. This bloddy govt will do anything it can to stop it having to help ordinary people in times of crisis ……. just shitty.

      I do hope those ordinary people will wake up in time for the election – but these disasters are displacing so many people, disrupting so many of their lives, that they might not even be able to vote – if they don’t have a permanent address.

      Has the Electoral Commission said anything about that, yet ?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1

        Yep – I thought that was on the nose, too. This bloddy govt will do anything it can to stop it having to help ordinary people in times of crisis ……. just shitty.

        Oh, they’re doing more than that with this move. They’re undercutting peoples retirement funds meaning that some people will have to keep working longer.

        • mosa 2.3.1.1

          No surprises about the Nasty Nats and this latest cruel attack on innocent bystanders.

          Its always the same when they are in government and yet kiwis must be masochists because they keep voting for the same abuse every three years.

          They are a business party and act accordingly and have never had most New Zealanders welfare and long term security as a priority.

          It makes John Key and his compassionate conservative (brighter future) routine just that much more absurd.

      • mary_a 2.3.2

        Good point raised there Jenny (2.3). Well said. Hope opposition parties jump pn this one and keep it alive.

  3. Killing trees to enhance the view and the $$$ – yuck.

    “Thames-Coromandel District Council has reported a spike in native trees being vandalised and destroyed recently, including pohutukawa.

    TCDC parks and reserves manager Derek Thompson believes people were poisoning the trees for better beach views from their holiday homes, and called it “selfish and disappointing”.

    He believed the poisoning would only increase during the warmer months.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/86679898/surge-in-trees-poisoned-and-damaged-in-coromandel

    • Paul 3.1

      30 years of neoliberalism’s poison and you get that mentLity from some Randist cult members.

    • Jenny Kirk 3.2

      About 30 odd years ago, Takapuna Beach (North Shore, Auckland) had a magnificent beach frontage lined with huge spreading pohutukawa. In the intervening years, non-notified resource consent has been given time after time to the rich dudes who have bought up the beachside properties, and those magnificent pohutukawas have dwindled down to a few skinny limbs per tree, and even entire trees have disappeared. Oh, and some of the trees were “accidentally damaged” during property re-build and were “too dangerous” to retain.

      The selfish wealthy have no idea what they’re doing to the environment.

      • James 3.2.1

        If they were granted resource consents then it’s perfectly legal for them to do the work on their own property.

        As they were non- notified then it means that others were not impacted (of if they were it was less than minor).

        So what’s the issue – places change – everywhere. Pokeneo used to be countryside – now it’s housing.

        Don’t be a hater just because its takapuna beach front.

        • mauī 3.2.1.1

          Yeah, but your standards are quite low James. Do people really enjoy being in the environment of big box stores and subdivisions like botany. They aren’t made for people to be outside, they’re made for you to be in your car as much as possible. Someone described our new subdivisions as a fenced in herd of grazing turtles. We could do far far better if we actually tried.

        • save nz 3.2.1.2

          Our hero the unitary plan! Helping the rich do whatever the fuck they like as long as they pay some hefty fees to private planners and ‘environmental lawyers’ to produce 70 page reports that bury the effects. The council love giving out ratepayers money to private environmental lawyers to steal the harbour and take away people’s amenity and the council love to control all the separate COO’s to say all the same things in environmental court so it looks like they all agree.

          Hey there were a lot of cheerleaders for the unitary plan – the fake news is alive and well in NZ. Environmental degradation and the average homeowners rights are gonna get a lot worse.

          Still waiting to see the ‘affordable’ housing to spring up with the SHA and Unitary plan that were pushed through.

        • mpledger 3.2.1.3

          Trees hold the ground together against erosion. With sea level rise, the poisoners will be at high risk for losing land … and their neighbours will too.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.3.1

            +1

          • save nz 3.2.1.3.2

            Not in the unitary plan mpledger. Trees have near zero protection. Erosion is not an issue under the Natz.

            • James Thrace 3.2.1.3.2.1

              Nats probably think that erosion doesn’t need to be a “thing” anymore because if one 7.8M quake can lift the seabed by 6+ metre in places, then no need to worry about erosion.

              Just sit tight and wait for a few more quakes to keep lifting the seabed. Erosion problem sorted.

              Such is the perspicacity of thought in those quarters.

              • save nz

                Thanks James! Great to see into the mind of a Nat supporter. (sarc). So we need not worry about erosion because at the end of the day an earthquake could lift the seabed and correct it! What logic!

                • lprent

                  Actually James is correct. However he has a problem with his time scales. There is a pretty good probability that the current human species would be naturally extinct before geological uplift fixes the erosion.

          • Richard McGrath 3.2.1.3.3

            If that’s the case, the “poisoners” will get their just desserts then, won’t they?

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.4

          If they were granted resource consents then it’s perfectly legal for them to do the work on their own property.

          Just because it was legal doesn’t mean to say that it was right.

          So what’s the issue – places change – everywhere. Pokeneo used to be countryside – now it’s housing.

          Destroying the environment is a serious issue.

    • millsy 4.1

      And it would be fairly easy to do. Just buy Downer,Fulton Hogan, Fletchers, etc.

      • aom 4.1.1

        Nah – nationalise them. The parasites have already done well out of the taxpayers – probably without paying much in tax themselves.

        • Puckish Rogue 4.1.1.1

          I agree with this, Labour and the Greens should announce this as one of their shared key policies

          • inspider 4.1.1.1.1

            Yes bring back the good old days when you’d drive SH1 and see dozens of men brastfeeding shovels on the side of the road. Those were real jobs, with dignity.

            • rhinocrates 4.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s so much better today when we have armies of consultants nourishing chairs with their gin-scented farts.

            • aom 4.1.1.1.1.3

              Ever noticed how many vehicles and workers are required to mow a strip of road verge now (have seen 10 men and five vehicles supporting one ride-on mower operator on the Johnsonville to Porirua stretch of SH1). Instead of paying to keep notional ‘shovel leaning’ labourers off the UB, the taxpayers/ratepayers are charged over the odds for private sector workers to lean on steering wheels. Guess who takes the cream off the contracts – isn’t likely to be the workers.

          • james 4.1.1.1.2

            ^ +1 PR. Love to see Labour coming out and saying that.

          • Richard McGrath 4.1.1.1.3

            So you’re saying seize private assets without compensation? What would be the appropriate response if after a nationalisation was announced Fulton Hogan et al destroyed all their equipment, leaving nothing to seize?

            • adam 4.1.1.1.3.1

              Come on Richard, argue that for Maori, I’m sure they would appreciate you standing up for the good fight. No wait you in Aussie right. Stand up for our aboriginal brothers and sister, and work out what they should get for all the private assets that were taken from them without compensation.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.2

      Agree, better training and promotes a long term investment in what is good for New Zealand. Instead of maximum private profit and zero investment in the temporary and insecure staff from the local labour company.

  4. I am putting this link up because I was listening to it without watching and I was amazed how much simon bridges sounds like john key – same smashing up of words and syntax and timing imo. He is obviously going all the way with these mimicry skills.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11753009

    meanwhile kia kaha to all those affected by the quakes

  5. Sanctuary 6

    Colonial Vipers fellow travellers and fast new friends introduce themselves to the world.

    • yeah saw that – amazing how both likers and dislikers see trump as a hit1er type

      ““Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”

      That’s how Richard B. Spencer saluted more than 200 attendees on Saturday, gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., for the annual conference of the National Policy Institute, which describes itself as “an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.”

      Spencer has popularized the term “alt-right” to describe the movement he leads. Spencer has said his dream is “a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans,” and has called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing.””

      https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/richard-spencer-speech-npi/508379/?utm_source=atlfbcomment

      also good to have alt-right out too.

      • rhinocrates 6.1.1

        I suppose “peaceful” in this context means that the dead are very quiet.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.2

        Awesome how lefty media are giving groups like this and the KKK and David Duke prime time exposure.

        MOrans.

        • marty mars 6.1.2.1

          well yes we gave the biggest MORAN trump (as did you minimoran) itself massive exposure as all his misogynist, racist hit1erish tendencies emerged during the campaign – don’t thank us we did it out of fairness cos that is the left.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1.1

            The left fancies itself as being fair, but with regards to Trump that’s nothing but a conceit.

            Millions of Trump voters decided that they had enough of left wing bullyshaming and intimidation, and decided to keep their preferred choice of candidate to themselves.

            So y’all got a nice election surprise.

            • marty mars 6.1.2.1.1.1

              “Millions of Trump voters decided that they had enough of left wing bullyshaming and intimidation, and decided to keep their preferred choice of candidate to themselves.”

              methodology, assumptions and all of the rest contributed to the trump election – one thing that didn’t is a nobody from dunners. You are yesterdays news nobby.

            • adam 6.1.2.1.1.2

              When did a the left become a lumpen grouping? There is no left as a homogeneous group. Least of all on this site, so it’s getting tiresome bro. Especially when it the same line trolls use!

              And some of us critise trump for the 1%er he is, carries on being, and always has been. I know your under some delusion he is not, but then again you don’t want to admit his alt-right connection either. Nor the fact his appointments so far, have been very much in favour of the corporate elects.

              • Clump_AKA Sam

                We are talking about the country that produced capitalism. Taking capitalism out of the White House would be like Hollywood trying to make a movie whit out white people.

                Said another way, you couldn’t make a movie in North Korea with out a glorious leader uniting country against hordes of white salesmen.

                On the other hand we are seeing a dangerous move to unwind what ever hard work was left over from Martin Luther Kings days, if we are to have any shot at halting total fascist I think Bernie Sanders Has to win in 2020

              • Colonial Viper

                Trump is a 0.1%’er thanks. Just like Hillary Clinton.

                It’s the American system. It’s the only way you can win the White House. No one earning $100K per year has a chance.

                I know your under some delusion he is not, but then again you don’t want to admit his alt-right connection (1) either. Nor the fact his appointments so far, have been very much in favour of the corporate elects. (2)

                1) Trump isn’t “alt-right”. He is the new radical working class focussed centre. And it is going to gut the Democratic Party.

                2) Trump doesn’t owe a single thing to the corporates, the corporate media or to Wall St. Reince Priebus is not a corporate lackey. Bannon is former Goldman Sachs but as far as I can tell he despises his old Wall St/Investment banking set. Ben Carson who is likely to be the new HHS head is a neurosurgeon. Lt Gen Flynn is a career military intelligence guy as NSA. Probable SecDef Marine Corp Gen Mattis is a career military leader. SecState could be Giuliani or Romney. Both are entrepreneurs with their own successful businesses.

                Further Trump is implementing rules which say that no executive in his Administration will be able to work as a corporate lobbyist for 5 years after leaving his White House, or EVER work lobbying for a foreign govt.

                That’s totally paradigm changing.

                • adam

                  When have I said h.r.c was not? You know it’s the lies, that hurt.

                  Just one, Lt Gen Flynn thinks Islam is a cancer, I know he spins it to say Islamism, but he thinks Islam is a cancer. If that not the voice of the 1% then someone hand me a cottontail.

                  Do I need to remind you that the nazi party put socialist into their title to be the ” new radical working class focussed centre” Following the example of the Italian fascists.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    Flynn is right – Islam is a cancer, a death cult, a blight on the civilised world, a barbaric misogynistic relic from the Dark Ages

                    • adam

                      Good to see you have not given up your fawning over the 1% Richard. But lets go through your juvenile response line by line shall we.

                      How can a religion be a cancer, unless you are some sort of unreconstructed Marxist still in the throws of “opium of the people” argument.

                      “A death cult”, you what, never heard of the Sufi revival, nor I’m guessing the 5 pillars.

                      “A blight on the civilised world” OK now just don’t use any maths which uses the symbols 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, ok as you seem to think your better than that. Actually I could go on for hours what scientific contributions Muslims have given the world. But I’ll leave it at one more , Richard don’t bother going to a hospital ever again, as it was a pesky idea from Islam.

                      “a barbaric misogynistic relic” So the right to own property, get an education, and rights in relation to children. Rights for widows. Yeah we have slowly adopted those ides in the west, took a while though.

                      “Dark Ages”, That term just sums you up there Richard.

                    • lprent

                      You could say exactly the same about Christians – leaving aside the vast majority of them who aren’t in killing and maiming for their religious beliefs. Just like you could with Muslims like the guy who sits next to me in prayer everyday – right opposite the fundie christian that does in the same way. We respect each other right to be wrong. Ity makes for interesting discussions.

                      Of course I’d be hard put to say the same about the misogynist bigots known as the type of “liberals” who take a set of economic principles and make it a religous experience. Where were they when compassion and intelligence were being handed out. People who really couldn’t understand the word ethics because they think it means that they can’t screw others without consequence in the way that they prefer.

                      You appear to be one of those semi-intelligent animals.. Buts that’s ok. We understand you are evil and fuck yourself up the belly button each day (to get back at your mother) like all good conservatives whilst praying to Mammon to release your from your torment. Provided you don’t preach to us, we can tolerate you being a fuckwit…

  6. Paul 7

    Political science lecturer and commentator Bryce Edwards has put forward a 10-point manifesto for change in New Zealand.

    Its content is worth a thread on this site.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11749955

    • Garibaldi 7.1

      That is a very good manifesto, but in our current political climate it has two chances of getting off the ground…. fat chance or no chance.
      I would love to see it get some traction . But how?

    • ianmac 7.2

      Yes. 10 out of 10 for Bryce’s Manifesto. If only…

    • save nz 7.3

      Thanks Paul, very interesting, much better than I was expecting – especially the rise of the careerist and the cartel mentality.

      “Since the first MMP election 20 years ago, not a single new party has broken into Parliament. From New Zealand First to the Maori Party every group was either already in Parliament, or created by a party-hopping MP”

    • Bob 7.4

      Good article, I think he may have hit on one of the main reasons for Labour’s recent poor showing at the elections too:

      “All political parties focus more these days on the easier answers of posing as bicultural, more politically correct, or culturally sensitive. This usually has minimal impact on improving life for those in poverty and hardship, but makes the coterie of liberal politicians feel superior.

      There is a place for this cultural approach – highlighting sexism, racism, or transphobia – but an overwhelming focus on this can lead to a larger disconnect between politicians and the public. An anti-establishment movement would not simply mimic the parliamentary parties’ increasingly metropolitan, socially agenda. Instead, the primary focus would be on material wellbeing, economics and class politics.”

  7. Cinny 8

    Ministry of Health publicly admits the P testing of Housing NZ properties is wrong. Someone has been making money. Many of us knew it was a bogus scam, this better not get swept under the carpet by media. Thanks Labour for your attention to this matter.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/86233216/phil-twyford-housing-new-zealand-breaking-bad

  8. Muttonbird 9

    Rudman highlights how woefully under-prepared for an increase in disaster threats this government is.

    What had just two operational NH90s assisting last week – this is an effort praised by Ad on this very forum, remember.

    It’s worrying that six years after Christchurch, reference to natural disasters in defence planning had to be added at the last minute.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11752831

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Personally, I wouldn’t put civil defence in to the armed defence forces as a primary goal. I’d ramp up civil defence and get better coordination between the two going.

      I’d ramp up our defence forces so that they’re capable of actually defending us. That $20 billion over the next 10+ years is chump change. I’d be ramping it up to around $5 billion per year – most of which would be R&D. As I don’t believe weapons of war should give a profit that would be all government department spending.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Partially back your comments on a much stronger and better resourced NZDF but we have no need to do our own weapons research. Just license weapons and munitions manufacture here in NZ.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          No, we really actually need to do our own research. It’s what develops our economy.

          Much of what’s developed for military use crosses into civilian use as well. Manufacturing techniques are an essential area of research as well as looking into better resource extraction and processing.

          And then there’s the simple fact that, as far as military tech goes, we should not be dependent upon other nations. Being so dependent decreases both our ability to defend ourselves and our resilience economically and socially.

          • Sanctuary 9.1.1.1.1

            In terms of pure weapons research into high tech weapons NZ is an advanced first world economy which has already developed what is effectively a lightweight ICBM in the rocket labs satellite launch project. We could, if the funding was available, probably develop our own high tech missiles and precision guided munitions in a matter of several years. Such armament development though should only be undertaken if we identify a potential direct military threat to us within a decade. Otherwise, to develop such an industry would require we export the weapons to pay for them and I do not ever want NZ to become that sort of country.

            When I say direct threat to us I mean exactly that – someone who is hostile to our freedoms, and/or attempts unwelcome interventions in our internal affairs and/or violates our sovereignty and is a credible invasion threat. Which means, realistically, a future aggressive China in the absence of us having an alliance with a probably fascist United States – I can’t imagine any other situation that would lead us to end our US alliance.

            This is still a long way away, although both China and the United States seemed determined to push us along the road to becoming a well armed ocean fortress.

            • ropata 9.1.1.1.1.1

              This is still a long way away, although both China and the United States seemed determined to push us along the road to becoming a well armed ocean fortress.

              Well John Key said he wanted NZ to become the Switzerland of the Pacific, perhaps he meant neutrality and armed to the teeth?

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Such armament development though should only be undertaken if we identify a potential direct military threat to us within a decade.

              Wrong. Such weapons development is needed at all times.

              We may be peaceful – not everyone else is and they could attack at any time.

              Otherwise, to develop such an industry would require we export the weapons to pay for them and I do not ever want NZ to become that sort of country.

              Nope. Paid for through taxation and possible sales of civilian tech that has been developed through/from the military research.

              Weapons of war should never have a profit motive to them.

              Which means, realistically, a future aggressive China in the absence of us having an alliance with a probably fascist United States – I can’t imagine any other situation that would lead us to end our US alliance.

              Things change and, despite the wars of the last century, humanity still hasn’t learned that war is nothing more than a waste.

              This is still a long way away, although both China and the United States seemed determined to push us along the road to becoming a well armed ocean fortress.

              And it’s still better to prepare now than finding ourselves being invaded and not being prepared at all which is where your logic will inevitably lead us.

              • Colonial Viper

                Weapons of war should never have a profit motive to them.

                Why not? All the largest and most successful arms exporters and manufacturers in the world run on the profit motive.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That doesn’t make it right.

                  And a lot of those profits come from what are, essentially, massive subsidies. Just think what the government could do without all those profits sucking out the money that they have available for things like healthcare.

                  Profits are an additional expense that’s simply not needed.

  9. Pasupial 10

    Quite apart from the risk of being electrocuted whenever you walk down the street in Dunedin, the Delta maintenance scandal has highlighted some failings of management culture. PR is seen as the solution to public perception problems, rather than actually fixing what is wrong in reality :

    yet another staff member has come forward to slam management at Delta, which is tasked with maintaining Aurora’s network, saying staff were sick of the company’s “spin” downplaying the extent of the issues with the network.

    An Aurora spokesman said the $15,926.35 spent on consultants in the second half of October went towards legal firm Chapman Tripp and public relations company SenateSHJ, which specialises in “crisis communication”…

    Staff “knew damn well” the network was unsafe and in a badly damaged state and hearing the company say otherwise made them “furious”.

    He was so concerned about the safety of the network and the risk of downed lines – as happened in Tainui last week – he was considering taking out an advertisement in the Otago Daily Times telling people how to avoid being electrocuted.

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/16000-spent-consultants

    The short exchange on October 21 came only days after former Delta worker Richard Healey went public with his concerns, setting off a chain of events which culminated in multiple investigations and an accelerated plan to replace ageing poles…
    ”Give me a call if you need to talk it through or if you want info on the crisis PR people I have come to know very well.”…

    34% of staff thought senior management were honest and straightforward in their dealings with staff. (Which is 19 percentage points below average)

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/deltaaurora-good-hands-advisers

    • Ad 10.1

      That DCC holding company seems to be shielding Aurora from the worst of public backlash. It should get out of the way, and allow the Dunedin democratic leaders to give the full force of public pressure to bear on them.

      • Pasupial 10.1.1

        The DCC has been milking its lines company cash cow for decades to pay for the stadium and other such cash-holes. It didn’t start under the current mayor, but with the incentives to look the other way hasn’t stopped either. As for the likelihood of Aurora’s CEO getting out of the way of an investigation that might end badly for Delta’s CEO:

        Aurora Energy chief executive Grady Cameron was told to keep his head up and ”not get too stressed” as accusations mounted over rotten power poles… ”I rejected the claim that shareholder [Dunedin City Council] demands were impacting safety outcomes.”

        Delta, which manages Aurora’s network and which Mr Cameron is also chief executive of…

        • inspider 10.1.1.1

          But but this is a community owned business that is almost by definition good and pure and the model all businesses should emulate, not an evil corporate just bent on fleecing consumers. How can this be?

          • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1

            Because as a natural monopoly it shouldn’t be a “business” at all, but a council department funded by rates.

            • inspider 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Why should my rates fund a power network that is much more efficiently run almost everywhere else since the introduction of electricity on a user pays model? Would ratepayers have to fund the 50k it would take to connect my distant country house?

              • Chris

                It should be wholly nationalised therefore funded by tax. Except it wouldn’t cost taxpayers because the cost of power would be set according to the cost of production and the millions in profits currently going to the rich is simply transferred into much lower electricity charges. That’s what should bloody well happen.

              • McFlock

                Because you claim of efficiency is based on religious catechism and is not testable in reality.

                Because for every jumped-up sociopath living in an isolated country mansion, there are thousands of normal people struggling to pay power bills that are set to provide a return to shareholders rather than simply deliver electricity.

  10. Ad 11

    In Japan, women are finally finding that it is easier to deal with digital men on smartphone programmes than real ones. They email you on your birthday, set up chats at night, and wonder of wonders they remember every name and every anniversary and every friend you have and make sure they are all connected in as well.

    It’s a fairly intensive article that delves deep into the world of women choosing apps that focus on their romantic needs and ideals – and also the clubs that really focus on those needs as well:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/21/asia/romance-gaming-japan/index.html

    I can’t yet figure if this is a useful resistance against a kind of patriarchy, or against loneliness in general. Do not bother calling it porn – it’s far too nuanced for that smear. From the market share indicated, it sure ain’t unique to Japan, and growing quickly in the US.

    Guaranteed it’s going to put Tinder in its place good and smart once it hits our shores.

  11. Andre 12

    An interesting article about how different electricity markets in the US deal with distributed generation and storage. A bit of a contrast to New Zealand’s situation, where the retailers do whatever they feel like.

    http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2016/11/22/13703348/ferc-distributed-energy-wholesale-power-markets

    • ianmac 12.1

      Thanks Andre. Back here of course Lines Companies are looking to penalise home units like solar energy, rather than investigate cooperative units as described in your link.

      • save nz 12.1.1

        We all know companies have a higher level of need that people ianmac.

        I mean, think of the profit loss from solar.

        Think of the Shareholders!!

        • ianmac 12.1.1.1

          And spare a thought for those unfortunate enough to fully insulate their house and install many other energy savers. You will be penalised! How dare you reduce your usage . Go on leave your windows open. Have 20 minute showers on 25 litre a minute shower heads. And so on. Companies must pay the Shareholders!

    • inspider 12.2

      The USA is at least a decade behind nz on this. I’m not sure why you think this is in any way special.

      Aggregation is a long established part of Nz’s energy market. Plenty do it on the load side. I suspect few do it on the home solar/wind supply side because there’s no reliable supply, volumes are tiny and so no money in it.

  12. Siobhan 14

    Pumpkin Patch….http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/316612/pumpkin-patch-staff-to-miss-out-on-redundancy-pay

    How can it be that the Union and workers can sign an agreement in good faith, while the third party, the employer, can sit there knowing full well that the agreement is meaningless.

    Where is Labour in all this??

    OH, THAT’S RIGHT…http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/83656652/Chris-Trotter-Do-unions-have-a-place-in-the-future-of-work

  13. save nz 15

    Great (sarc.) to see that for every 10,500 cheap migrant worker visas bought in to pick fruit, 500 unemployed Kiwis will be trained to do the work….

    source Granny Herald

    “The cap on foreigners who can work seasonally in horticulture and viticulture will increase from 9500 to 10,500 for the 2016/17 season.

    Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the horticulture and viticulture industries had estimated they needed an additional 2500 workers for the upcoming season.

    “The increase of 1000 recognised seasonal employer (RSE) workers shows the Government is committed to enabling the industry to continue to grow and maximise export returns, while ensuring jobs aren’t being taken from New Zealanders.”

    He said the increase was agreed to on the understanding the industry “continues to maximise opportunities for New Zealanders, particularly in regions with relatively high unemployment”.

    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said about 500 beneficiaries were taking part in a seasonal work scheme, and further initiatives were being developed.”

  14. save nz 16

    Good news for families and justice!

    “The concrete company contracted to undertake the sealing of the Pike River mine shaft has pulled out of the job.

    Allied Concrete decided not to supply the concrete required to seal the mine at the request of families of the victims, who are fighting to get a mines rescue team into the drift to find any evidence and bodies.”

  15. Adrian Landon-Lane 17

    Good on Allied. we need to encourage this kind of ethical behaviour. lets all send Allied a short email congratulating them and saying next time you need concrete youll use them.

  16. Adrian Landon-Lane 18

    Good on Allied. we need to encourage this kind of ethical behaviour. lets all send Allied a short email congratulating them and saying next time you need concrete youll use them. the CEO is scott.odonnel@hwr.co.nz .. all underscored.

  17. Adrian Landon-Lane 19

    Good on Allied. we need to encourage this kind of ethical behaviour. lets all send Allied a short email congratulating them and saying next time you need concrete youll use them. the CEO is scott.odonnel@hwr.co.nz .. all underscored.

  18. James Thrace 20

    I see that we are already being softened up for the mass importation of labourers from overseas due to not having the expertise in NZ for the fixing of SH1 from Picton southward.

    If only this short sighted government had put in place proper training and apprenticeship programs after the Christchurch earthquakes to enable young New Zealanders to develop much needed roading and engineering skills, we probably wouldn’t be in this position.

    Why can’t the MSM put 2 + 2 together and ask these critical questions?

    National: Short changing NZ since 1990.

  19. Macro 21

    Ooops!
    Just 55,000 votes could swing the election – and where else would you hack a voting system with a few votes for your best mate in those swing states using online voting!

  20. Macro 22

    thats around 110,000 votes – so 55,000 of those votes going the other way…

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      The time lines for appeals finishes in the next few days. Will the Democrats lift a finger?

      Maybe the Clinton campaign shouldn’t have taken all those voters for granted. They never even bothered to turn up in Wisconsin during the entire campaign.

      I have to laugh because before the election, it was the Clinton camp accusing the Trump camp of being reluctant to accept election results. Democratic Party hypocrisy at its best.

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