Open Mike 24/02/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 24th, 2018 - 346 comments
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346 comments on “Open Mike 24/02/2018 ”

  1. eco maori 1

    Good morning Rock radio awesome music Ka pai Ka kite ano

  2. xanthe 2

    Surely the most significant news this week is andrew littles speach on prisons, if labour can stop the new 3000 prison beds that were planned by national then just maby they really do mean to “do this”

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1


      We have to stop basing penal policy on vengeance fantasies.

      I expect the government to face fierce opposition: the National Party’s owners want to build private prisons so they can profit from crime. They can’t say this, so their greed will manifest itself in the usual litany of lies. hate speech and character assassination.

      • xanthe 2.1.1

        Yup I really do think this that labor has chosen this issue to make a stand, this will be a big fight and very dirty tactics will emerge. Brace yourself for a series of “evil criminal” stories in the herald. If we can just keep the message live that the resources are better applied to poverty the govt might prevail on this one

        • Colonial Viper

          If Labour were serious about prison reform, it would eliminate prison sentences for personal marijuana possession and use, and reduce the sentences of those currently in prison for such to time served.

          This is a concrete act which would change the system. Stopping another prison being built does nothing to change the system. It just overcrowds existing prisons.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Good thing stopping the prison being built isn’t the only thing Little proposed, then. I’m sure you have some sophistry to help you deflect from that fact.

            • Colonial Viper

              Let’s see where they go on marijuana reform then. Tens of thousands with criminal records in the community for basically nothing.

              This would be real penal reform.

              • red-blooded

                There’s more than one way to approach penal reform. Just because your pet issue isn’t the main focus right now doesn’t mean that this initiative should be dismissed or disparaged.

                Plus, get your facts right. People are not imprisoned for cannabis possession – in fact it’s rare to even be charged unless there are other matters being dealt with at the same time. Check out this link to Community Law website for more details. They say even a second offence will result in a fine. Dealing is a different matter, especially to someone under 18.

                • Macro

                  Am not up with the play on this one – but where is the “3 strikes” law on the agenda? You have ur ear more to the ground with Labour that I. Have you heard anything with regards to that?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Plus, get your facts right. People are not imprisoned for cannabis possession…

                  How embarrassing for you to ask me to get my facts right yet you’re the one who is ignorant:

                  Between 2007 and 2011, 1050 people were sentenced to prison for minor cannabis offences for an average of 49 days each. Cost to the tax payer of this prison stay was $12.9M.

                  Far more people were imprisoned for minor cannabis offences than for all other types of minor drug offences put together, including for meth.

                  • red-blooded

                    Well, CV, without a link I have no way to check your claims. Here’s the relevant section from the Community Law site I linked to above, though:
                    It will be rare for the police to bring a charge against you just for possession of a class C drug like cannabis if you haven’t committed any other offences at the same time. Usually class C possession charges are brought in addition to other charges like assault, disorderly behaviour, resisting arrest, or receiving stolen property.

                    When there’s no other offending, the police are likely to deal with class C possession with a warning. If they do charge you, you may qualify for the police “diversion” scheme or be able to get a discharge without conviction, both of which will prevent you getting a criminal conviction (see the chapter “The criminal courts”, under “Alternatives to going to court: Diversion and restorative justice” and “Sentencing”).

                    If you’re convicted of possessing or using cannabis (marijuana) or some other Class C drug, the maximum penalty is three months’ jail or a fine of up to $500, or both.

                    One has to wonder how many of your claimed convictions were actually linked to other offences as well.

                    I also repeat my main point – we should welcome any changes the penal system that aim to reduce imprisonment. Your pet issue isn’t the only consideration and the fact that it’s not the main focus for Little doesn’t mean that we should disparage the work he is doing.

                    • red-blooded

                      Your link totally ignores the issue of whether the drug possession charge is the only charge, or whether it’s linked to other non-drug-related charges. That’s the issue I’ve been discussing. So – not that helpful, really…

                      Anyway, I’m not closed to the issue of drug reform. I just don’t think we should rubbish any penal reform that focuses on other issues, and that is the point of view I’ve been responding to throughout this exchange.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That’s the issue I’ve been discussing. So – not that helpful, really…

                      OK I get it, goodie two shoe socially respectable types don’t get prison time for minor cannabis offences, only criminal undesirables do, so no biggie.

                  • alwyn

                    The last date in that period is now more than 6 years ago. The first is more than 11 years ago.
                    If you want to use such out of date information can you tell us how many of the offences were in the first 2 years when we had a Labour Government and how many after that. Then we can have an even more irrelevant discussion about which party is to blame.
                    To have any relevance at all can you provide numbers in and after at least 2015.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      nothing material has changed in the justice system re: sentencing guidelines and sentencing options for minor cannabis offences. Thanks.

              • funstigator

                I read somewhere that the average is something like 40 convictions before someone ends up in prison. I can’t see them all for merely smoking pot. In fact I’d be surprised if anyone is inside for possession offences on their own. Be interested to see how many are inside only for any pot offences – growing, dealing included.

            • The Chairman

              “Good thing stopping the prison being built isn’t the only thing Little proposed, then.”

              Yes, he plans to increase police numbers. Adding to correction’s capacity problems.

              • One Anonymous Bloke


                Good thing those aren’t the only things he’s proposing.

                • The Chairman

                  Yes, talk on more emphasis on helping people once they’re already inside. And while that shouldn’t be overlooked, more needs to be done for those on the outside too.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    He speaks within his portfolio. Reducing the crime rate is a whole-of-government task. I’m sure you can think of a way to white-ant them.

          • savenz

            Stopping people becoming criminals with a good education and society support and assess to good quality basics from birth would go a long way.

            Also sentencing needs to be undated to 21st century, Pike River can kill 29 people in a known death mine and nobody is put in prison, man puts some fake powder in milk or man gets caught poaching seafood and gets 8 years jail.

            Developers can bankrupt people with leaky buildings and lose millions from both private and public (councils) but only need go to companies house and do a company change to avoid responsibility.

            • savenz

              Likewise with the financial scandals and massive bankruptcies nobody goes to prison (I’m not sure directors or executives were even fined) but plenty of people lose a lot more money than in burglary or individual fraud. Things like MainZeal directors like Jenny Shipley, just go on and become directors of China Construction bank, (bad luck contractors and employees from Mainzeal), business as usual.

          • xanthe

            somehow we need to get away from prison as retribution or revenge and see that its only ethical place is to hold those who are an ongoing risk to themselves or others that cannot be mitigated in some non-custodial way. prison should have no other roll in society.

            • savenz

              The problem is that since Rogernomics the prison population seems to be increasing rapidly – another +success+ story of our rockstar economy construct by deregulators, government and media.

              It’s great to have to borrow money to pay for all the social +shit+ fallout from decades of flawed policy and decisions and then have government genuinely think things are pretty good and they can somehow borrow more money to pay for the growing social welfare bills they are creating by global policy.

            • Antoine

              > its only ethical place is to hold those who are an ongoing risk to themselves or others that cannot be mitigated in some non-custodial way

              In exchange, can we agree that it would not be sensible to let these people _out_ of prison as long as they remain a risk?

              For instance, someone who has committed dozens of burglaries and shows no sign of rehabilitation should not leave prison until they are so old as to be unable to carry out more burglaries.

              Seems only reasonable


              • andrew murray

                Yeah, or we could just ensure better life options for them beyond unemployment.

              • mauī

                Thank you A for that, it’s like stepping back in time 150 years.

                • Antoine

                  What is like going back 150 years, sorry?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    For instance, someone who has committed dozens of burglaries and shows no sign of rehabilitation should not leave prison until they are so old as to be unable to carry out more burglaries.

                    It would be likely that such a person has a personality or mental health disorder – keeping them in prison permanently at the cost of $50K to $100K per annum is hardly a cost effective treatment for that.

                    • Antoine

                      Buzz off CV, what are you gonna do, treat ’em with chiropractic??

                      (Edit: If a person has a personality or mental health disorder, we should offer them treatment. I recognise this involves providing more funding to the mental health system and am happy with that. If however they continue to reoffend, then ultimately they should end up in prison or a secure facility. And stay there)


                    • mauī

                      Oh look A doesn’t want to debate they’re just here to flame.

                    • Antoine

                      In my defense it is CV. I’m happy to debate with _you_, although I didn’t understand your “thank you A” comment, partly because I couldn’t see from my mobile which comment you were replying to.


                    • Colonial Viper

                      If however they continue to reoffend, then ultimately they should end up in prison or a secure facility. And stay there)

                      For sentencing to be just it must be proportional to the crime.

                      There is a reason that preventative detention is reserved only for the worst of the worst.

                      Buzz off CV, what are you gonna do, treat ’em with chiropractic??

                      Thanks for revealing your true superficial self here via this ad hom.

                    • It would be likely that such a person has a personality or mental health disorder…

                      Meanwhile, here in the world that hasn’t just been pulled out of Colonial Viper’s arse, the people who burgled my place and the ones who stole my car were pretty much standard-issue munters with no apparent mental defects beyond a complete lack of empathy.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m sorry to hear that your personal space, security and belongings have been violated.

              • xanthe

                well there may be other non-custodial options for recidivist burglars just as the there may be for those who commit fraud on vulnerable members of society or major fraud on a governmental level, but looking at it from an other point of view people who have killed are being released from prison having “paid their debt” when expert advice is that they are still a danger and have then gone on to harm others. in this case the ethical approach discussed would result in them not being released. however i do wonder if they might have been able to function “outside” with better support and supervision and if that would have in the end been less “cost” (in the widest sense of the word) on society

                • Antoine

                  Support and supervision sounds great, we should do that. But if they reoffend again, back to jail and throw away the key – say I.

                  • xanthe

                    Antoine… can we send you the bill for that? and direct any aggrieved relatives or dependants to you for support?

                    • Antoine

                      > Antoine… can we send you the bill for that?

                      Hey, I’m not some crazy ‘small government’ neolib. I am quite happy to pay my fair share of tax to contribute to the cost of providing social services. Including the justice and corrections systems.


                    • Barfly

                      Antoine rather than life imprisonment surely it would be more “humane” to just cut one of their legs off? Burgling being a bit hard to so with one leg.


                    • Antoine

                      I see your sarcasm but am not quite sure where it takes us

                  • Incognito

                    Support and supervision sounds great, we should do that. But if they reoffend again, back to jail and throw away the key – say I.

                    So, give up any hope and write them off, just like that? Don’t try harder or something different – one size doesn’t fit all?

                    Does “pretty damned hopeless” sound familiar? Now I realise to whom it does apply …

              • savenz

                How do you propose we pay the $100,000 plus per annum ongoing court costs to imprison all the burglars.

                Stop them before they become criminals! Or try to rehabilitate them would be a better use of money, might create jobs too.

                • Antoine

                  > Or try to rehabilitate them would be a better use of money

                  Yes! Let’s do that. It is a good use of money.

                  I’m just saying, where rehabilitation fails, imprison.


                  • Incognito

                    I’m just saying, where rehabilitation fails, imprison.

                    I know it would be very naive to say that failure is not an option. However, to define it as a simple binary or a one-dimensional spectrum between rehabilitation and imprisonment fails to take into account the complexity of human society and human behaviour and the personal circumstance, history and context of the convict. These aspects and dimensions, which you are undoubtedly aware of, are ominously absent from your comments and for this reason they come across as lacking in compassion and emotional intelligence and are just riling other commenters here. That’s not debate and you can do much better that this …

          • millsy

            I dont think being caught with pot leads to prison anymore. Scanning the court reports, seems to reveal that the worst you can expect is a fine and some hours community service, and home detention if you deal.

            • xanthe

              its not quite as simple as “being caught with pot” we have generations being brought up in poverty who view the cops as the enemy , where the only reason is criminalization of marijuana. thus the impact of criminalization need not be direct to be a very significant driver in creating and maintaining a outlaw underclass.

          • North

            CV……do you have any statistical back up to show that actual sentenced imprisonment for simple even repeat possession in personal use quantities adds significantly to the 10,000 prison roll ?

            More than 40 years after first being in a position to observe I might have observed one or two instances where it’s worked like that. For decades judges have resisted sending people to jail for mere non-commercial possession. The vast, vast majority of cases it’s a $100 fine. The maximum penalty is three months which if imposed (and it never is) equals six weeks. The out-of-control level of custodial remand on a broad range of matters (frequently for periods well exceeding six weeks) is what significantly boosts prison numbers, not mere personal possession.

            You needn’t blather me that I support continued criminalisation (I support the opposite and view glumly that we waste so much money enforcing criminalisation)……just because I’m sceptical of the straw man foundation of your assertion that simple dakkers in prison exemplifies that the powers-that-be aren’t serious about ‘prison’ reform.

            You get it CV ?…….there are bugger all simple dakkers in prison solely for being simple dakkers. Check the Drug Foundation figures. I agree they shouldn’t be but that’s not your central wrong-headed point.

            There’s a strangeness here: In the US the NRA and Trump’s answer to gun reform is MORE guns…….ipso facto NZ prison reform MUST mean MORE prisons ???

        • Draco T Bastard

          They can’t say this, so their greed will manifest itself in the usual litany of lies. hate speech and character assassination.

          The big lie being that the private sector can do it better and cheaper despite all the evidence to the contrary. The MSM will regurgitate these lies without even doing the most cursory check.

          • funstigator

            Yes, now that Serco is gone we can look forward to ending violence, corruption, suicides etc in Prisons. And more rehabilitation etc – proved by the muster reducing.
            Much like homelessness, poverty and living in cars has almost ended (judging by lack of MSM headlines) now that Labour leads the Govt.

        • The Chairman

          “If we can just keep the message live that the resources are better applied to poverty the govt might prevail on this one”


          However, I’ve yet to hear Little or the Government talk of further resources (other than what the Government has already announced) going to address poverty as a means to lower the prison muster. Thus, the message is far from live within this Government.

          To his credit, Little has talked about addressing wider problems people have, but that was in reference to when they are already in prison.

      • Incognito 2.1.2

        Profit from crime, you say; isn’t there a word for this and isn’t this a crime in itself, morally if not legally also?

    • Antoine 2.2

      I like the sound of the rehabilitation/mental illness side of things.

      I’m not so sure of the bail/sentencing changes, don’t know enough about it.

      I doubt these measures will achieve even a substantial fraction of the touted reduction in prison numbers (so let’s not stop building prisons), but that’s not a reason not to do them.


    • millsy 2.3

      In my opinion, the growth in the prison population is related in some way with the closing of the mental hospitals in the 1990’s. Ejecting mental health patients into community care with a $150 a week sickness benefit and a place in a boarding house wasnt a really bright idea.

      • Antoine 2.3.1

        Well said

      • red-blooded 2.3.2

        I agree that there should be more support for people with mental health challenges, and more places for respite and emergency care. There do need to be supported living arrangements for some people, but this doesn’t have to be in big institutions and I would argue the quality of life in “mental hospitals” was pretty bloody awful.

        It would be good to see more emphasis on employment options too, even if that is via community/state organisations. There should be very few people sentenced to live out their lives in institutions, though. People used to be confined to those institutions for life and the longer one resided in on the more institutionalised one became. I for one am glad they’re not operating anymore.

        • millsy

          “There do need to be supported living arrangements for some people, but this doesn’t have to be in big institutions and I would argue the quality of life in “mental hospitals” was pretty bloody awful.”

          I actually have in mind a block of Housing NZ flats with a support worker living ‘at the end’ to render assistance.

          • greywarshark

            That sounds like a better idea for mentally challenged.

            I found out that Wellington was planning the first NZ ‘wet house’ for alcoholics who often require mental illness assistance. They are allowed drink but have to keep to minimum standards. Tried in the USA it has worked and looks promising, but as someone commented here, Wellington cut down all the trees around her place, and doesn’t seem to have strong environmental chops for trees or people. The wet house doesn’t seem to have got further than initial talks and publicity.

            And housing for people who have lost the ability to handle their own lives individually seems missing in Wellington – probably the same everywhere. I looked at the on line info for ‘social housing’ by the Sallies and the image was two nice ladies with permed hair having tea at a tableclothed table, (pakeha). Dealing with the people who have slid down the ladder of middle-class living is a bit beyond most of the mainstream churches. Time
            for Government super-man to arise.

    • patricia bremner 2.4

      I don’t think Andrew says things lightly. He may lack “sparkle”, but substance was never an issue.
      I agree Millsy.

    • mauī 2.5

      Little is becoming something of a legend. Thanks to the commenters yesterday who highlighted his good work. Labour are really saying the right things which is such a welcome relief and could really change this country immensely.

    • The Chairman 2.6

      “Surely the most significant news this week is andrew littles speach on prisons”


      Isn’t it interesting the Greens have nothing (no press release) to say or add to it?

      As one who voted for them, it makes you wonder what the hell they are doing down in Wellington. Though, I see they had time to attend the festive pride parade.

      • red-blooded 2.6.1

        Has it occurred to you that they’re probably working in their own portfolio areas and will have an input into this process via the inter-party discussions that are built into the coalition arrangement? It’s only right that the announcements about this policy initiative are being handled by the person who’s responsible for initiating and overseeing the actual work.

        • The Chairman

          Has it ever occurred to you that the Government isn’t made up of one party? And while a handful of Green MPs have portfolios within the Government, it doesn’t give the rest of them a pass to sleep walk to the next election.  

          • red-blooded

            Yes, TC, I understand what a confidence and supply agreement is (which is a step down from a full coalition agreement, but that’s a technicality). It’s my understanding of the nature of this kind of arrangement that leads me to note that we won’t necessarily have all parties commenting on all policies at all times. That would be chaotic and confusing for the general public, and would undermine the unity of the government. Note that neither Labour nor the Greens commented on the NZF announcement about regional spending today, even though Labour had a very similar plan as one of its policies leading into the election. They left it to NZF because their guy Shane Jones is the Minister and in a 3 party government it’s important that all parties are seen to get some runs on the board.

            The Greens will get credit for policies in their Ministerial areas. They have some high-profile, important roles. Otherwise, they may well speak up on policies they disagree with (eg the waka jumping bill) or on private members’ bills – that’s the flexibility of being confidence and supply partners rather than being in a full coilition. You shouldn’t expect them to constantly be commenting on other initiatives in public and you shouldn’t be disappointed when they don’t.

            I don’t think it’s fair to talk about them “sleepwalking to the general election” – there’s only 8 of them, 2 of whom are entirely new and 4 of whom have Ministerial duties covering Climate Change, Statistics, Women, Conservation, Land Information + Associate Ministerial roles in Finance, Transport, Environment, Health, plus Jan Logie who has a focus on domestic and sexual violence in her role as Parliamentary Undersecretary to the Minister of Justice. That’s quite a broad swathe of public policy – we should hear plenty from the Greens and when we do we won’t want the other parties stepping in and adding their two cents’ worth just for the sake of visibility.

            • The Chairman

              “It’s my understanding of the nature of this kind of arrangement that leads me to note that we won’t necessarily have all parties commenting on all policies at all times. That would be chaotic and confusing for the general public, and would undermine the unity of the government.”

              Yet, we’ve been told the unity of this coalition Government is robust enough to withstand parties having differences of opinion on certain issues.

              Moreover, to maintain their identity and hold true to their supporters, they (the Greens and NZF) need to be seen publicly expressing those views.

              And as politics is often a contest of ideas, it’s healthy for our democracy for alternative opinions to have airtime.

              So although the Government as a whole may take the lead and set the direction as Jones and Little did today, the public understand (as most know what a coalition Government is) there may be a difference of opinion on certain issues from time to time. Therefore, there is nothing chaotic and confusing about that.

              Additionally, as there is commonality within the coalition, there will be times when their press releases largely align, reinforcing that unity.

              I agree acknowledging their individual achievements is also vital in helping them maintain their identity and highlight their wins.

              But to suggest parties must be gagged to maintain a perception of unity is not only wrong, it looks shady. Suggesting to voters their so called unity is far from strong, thus can’t afford to be seen to have differing views.

              Therefore, it’s totally fair to call them out on their failure to speak out on more than just their portfolios.

              And while they may be small in number, issuing press releases is far from onerous and is expected in their allocated roles (party corrections spokesperson, etc).

              • red-blooded

                Nobody is suggesting “gagging”, TC. I’m responding to an original comment from you bemoaning the fact that the Greens haven’t chosen to make a press release on this issue and saying it makes you wonder what they’re doing down in Wellington. I’m suggesting that they’re doing the work they’ve taken responsibility for. Sheesh!

                • The Chairman

                  But clearly you are in support of them being silent as you believe it would be chaotic and confusing for the general public, and would undermine the unity of the government.

                  Moreover, I’m pointing out their responsibilities extends to more than just their Government portfolios. Firstly, and ultimately, their responsibilities is holding true to their supporters.

            • weka

              That’s how I understand it. It would be a waste of resources for parties to speak on issues where there is general agreement and one of the other parties is the one doing the public announcements etc.

              • The Chairman

                “It would be a waste of resources for parties to speak on issues where there is general agreement…”

                Firstly, a general agreement is not a total agreement Thus, there may be points of differences that required to be aired. And as explained above, as politics is often a contest of ideas, it’s healthy for our democracy for alternative opinions to have airtime.

                Secondly, press releases that largely align reinforces the perception of unity. Thus, it’s good for the public to see.

                Additionally, it takes little resources to put out a press release and the communication with the public is is not only healthy, but expected within their allocated roles as party spokesperson in the role they represent the party on.

                It’s called doing their job.

              • The Chairman

                If that wasn’t enough to convince you, weka, here’s a few more points to consider.

                It presents them with the opportunity to promote their own policy (thus highlight synergies within the collation) by highlighting how it could possibly tie in. Such as the Regional Fund that has just been announced and say the Green Investment Fund for example.

                It allows them to control the narrative while filling voids. Thus reducing the scope of the media to fill them with their own narrative.

                For example, after leaving this site last night I came across a story on Stuff, titled ‘Greens pour hot water on fund’ (it may have changed by now, but punch that title into Google and the story should still show) but the story was pointing out the Greens concern for a potential conflict of interest. The panel tasked with assisting the decision-making of the fund is headed by the former head of New Zealand Oil & Gas. Now I’m sure a Greens press release would have chosen a far better title. If they had put one out.

                Keeping on top of current events, press releases keeps their website fresh. Thus, helps maintain and grow new interest in them and their site. And, of course, the issues they care to highlight, keeping their supporters informed while reassuring them they have a voice speaking on their behalf.

                Silence accomplishes nothing.

                This is politics 101, thus I’m astounded I have to explain this on a political site. Moreover, I can’t believe the Greens themselves don’t know and understand this. Talk about being green (inexperienced)

                Therefore, while some may see my first comment on this and ignorantly write it off as simply me having a go at the Greens, after reading all I’ve put forward, one can clearly see I have damn good reason for doing so.

                Hence, I’d like to think that you and others reading would agree. More so, I’d like to see the Greens up their game and adopt this approach.

                • red-blooded

                  So now putting out press releases extends to supplying (and having the media outlets use) headlines for press reports, does it? Good luck with that approach.

                  You are in for a lot a disappointment over the next few years if you are going to keep feeling betrayed by the fact that the component parties of the government will act in unison on most things. That’s how governments work. If they don’t ally themselves and work together, they don’t last long and don’t get much done.

                  When the Greens have a significant disagreement with a government proposal not aligned to one of their Ministerial posts, they have the option of speaking and voting against it. When they agree but aren’t responsible for a particular bill, they are almost certainly going to leave it to whoever is responsible for the bill to explain it in the media. Great – everyone fronts the policies they are responsible for, with the Greens responsible for some pretty weighty matters.

                  This is the last comment from me on this matter. Feel free to keep shouting into the void.

                  • veutoviper

                    Well said. As I say in my comment to TC, I agree with most of what you said in your earlier comments to him but Friday’s announcements on regional growth funding were joint Coalition Govt announcements (L/NZF/G) not NZF ones. No criticism of you personally intended in this. Easily misunderstood from some of the media articles.

                  • The Chairman

                    Due to timing constraints and cost savings in news rooms, journalists tend to use well constructed press releases, adding and changing little.

                    But the point you seem to be missing is press releases rob the media of the opportunity to fill the void (of not having a press release). Hence, it’s far more difficult for the media to create their own narrative when one has already been well laid out in advance.

                    “You are in for a lot a disappointment over the next few years if you are going to keep feeling betrayed by the fact that the component parties of the government will act in unison on most things.”

                    Nice try on the straw-man but clearly that wasn’t the issue I was raising.

                    “When the Greens have a significant disagreement with a government proposal not aligned to one of their Ministerial posts, they have the option of speaking and voting against it”

                    Yes. And press releases are one of the ways they can speak out.

                    “When they agree but aren’t responsible for a particular bill, they are almost certainly going to leave it to whoever is responsible for the bill to explain it in the media. Great – everyone fronts the policies they are responsible for, with the Greens responsible for some pretty weighty matters.”

                    I have no problem with that, or with them sharing the limelight. However, a separate press release along side can enhance that

                    “This is the last comment from me on this matter.”

                    That is totally your call and prerogative.

                    “Feel free to keep shouting into the void.”

                    Just because you have decided to no longer partake in the discussion, doesn’t make this place void.

                • veutoviper

                  I want to address the statements etc made in this thread in relation to the announcements etc on Friday in relation to the new Provincial Growth Fund (not called the Regional Fund as suggested by TC) as I have been delving into this in detail over the last few days.

                  This new Fund and the first tranche of funding announced on Friday were announced as an overall Government programme – not as a NZF one. The announcement of the establishment of the new Provincial Growth Fund and its first tranche of funding were made in Gisborne at a formal gathering of local mayors and other community leaders, iwi etc hosted by the Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon.

                  In attendance was a frontline team of Government Ministers from all three parties:
                  • the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern (L)
                  • the Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters (NZF),
                  • Shane Jones (NZF) in his capacity as Minister of Regional Economic Development
                  • David Parker (L) as Minister of Economic Development, Minister of Environment and Associate Minister of Finance,
                  • Fletcher Tabateau (NZF) as Parliamentary Under Secretary of Regional Economic Development
                  • AND James Shaw (G) as Minister of Climate Change and Associate Minister of Finance.

                  This Ministerial Team was accompanied by other Labour and NZF MPs from the regions which will be the first to get funding.

                  The PM and Shane Jones were the only two to actually speak at the formal announcement. Following ceremonies of speeches in Maori, waiata, and a welcome speech by Mayor Meng Foon, Shane Jones spoke at length on the process through which the agreement on regional funding was reached; the procedures and infrastructure set up to manage and administer the Fund etc; and the first projects to receive funding (and why). This was followed by a shorter speech by the PM outlining the importance of regional development, how it fitted into her overall vision for NZ in terms of jobs, prosperity for all, the elimination of poverty etc – and the need for this development to be environmentally friendly, sustainable, and carbon neutral etc. A short video on the Regional Growth Fund was then played.

                  While James Shaw did not speak, Shane Jones made a special point in his speech of acknowledging James Shaw and the need/aim for all regional growth funded from the Fund to meet criteria relating to the environment, sustainability, carbon footprint etc. The PM did likewise.

                  The announcement was followed by a 20 minute press conference fronted by the PM, Deputy PM, and Shane Jones with the other Ministers and MPs behind them – including James Shaw (although he and some others were out of sight of the cameras). About two thirds of the way through the press conference, Jones and the PM encouraged Shaw forward to front the cameras and mikes to answer questions on relevant environmental etc aspects of the funding, while they stepped back.

                  In other words the whole announcement etc was a team effort showing unity between the three Parties making up the current Government on this need for regional development and the path forward for this through the Regional Development Fund. The press releases etc are also joint Govt releases not Party releases – and it would be inappropriate for separate Party press releases in this instance.

                  Apparently similar presentations fronted by a team of Ministers and MPs will be made in each of the regions receiving funding in the first tranche and other regions as things move forward.

                  I have video footage of the whole process of this Regional Growth Fund announcement – two videos from Jacinda Ardern’s Facebook account on the actual announcement totalling over 50 mins plus a video of the full press conference from the Herald’s Facebook account which is 20 mins long. (The Herald have only used a very edited excerpt of about 2.18mins of this footage in their various articles on their website.)

                  I am mindful of the discussion on posting long videos further down this Open Mike at 16 – it was quite an evening on TS; glad I was otherwise occupied! So I won’t post these videos here.

                  Before seeing this thread, I intended preparing a very neutral comment for today’s Open Mike including the videos for anyone who is interested in seeing the actual announcements as I found them much more informative than the actual press coverage and press releases. I mentioned this in a comment yesterday and there seemed to be some interest. I will stick to this intention and the comment will include a summary of each video with which bits could be skipped without losing the substance. I hope to do this comment on OM 25 Feb later today.

                  I have also found the Stuff article that TC mentions in his unnumbered reply to weka at 7.06am today, 25 February.


                  The title has certainly changed and the only mention in the article to the Greens is this:
                  “I’ve had to explain to one or two of the Green ministers that we should still back the guy, irrespective of the fact that he’s had an important role in the oil and gas sector and we are going to continue to need gas as we move forward in our long-term transitions to meet our climate change obligations,” Jones said.

                  Jones said he had been asked whether someone with a leadership role in the oil and gas sector should have been ruled out of contention, but in his view that was “quite a pernicious approach to take.

                  So, in conclusion, I agree with most of what red-blooded has said on this thread although the comment at is not correct that Friday’s announcement was a NZF one which neither Labour nor Greens commented on and they left it to NZF as Jones is the Minister.

                  As for you TC, too many things to mention and I am inclined to think you are stirring/concern trolling – albeit it in a more gentle, subtle manner compared to some others. LOL.

                  If you really are genuine in your concerns and suggestions that the Green Party should be putting out press releases on everything, I suggest you go directly to the Green Party rather than raise your concerns/suggestions here.

                  After all, my understanding is that TS is no more a Green Party website than a Labour Party one.

                  • The Chairman

                    “In other words the whole announcement etc was a team effort showing unity between the three Parties making up the current Government on this need for regional development and the path forward for this through the Regional Development Fund.”

                    As stated above, I have no problem with that. However, an individual press release can allow the Greens to add to that in more detail and talk directly to their supporters. Covering all the aspects they wish to cover, opposed to being squeezed in as a small part of a larger production.

                    “The press releases etc are also joint Govt releases not Party releases – and it would be inappropriate for separate Party press releases in this instance.”

                    Now you are more on the mark as this is where the problem begins. No problem with them putting out a joint press release, but in doing so it should be posted on all their individual sites to cater to their supporters and those considering supporting them.

                    Moreover, for the many reasons stated above, (which you are free to address, showing us why you disagree) the Greens should enhance that by adding their own release. So clearly I totally disagree with your assertion that its inappropriate. The reasons why are stated above.

                    As for your accusation (stirring/concern trolling) you’re way off the mark. This is a genuine concern for the reasons highlighted above.

                    “I agree with most of what red-blooded has said on this thread …”

                    As you can see I’ve countered Red’s concerns and Red has now tucked their tail and bowed out. But you are more than welcome to carry on for them, if you wish.

                    “I have also found the Stuff article that TC mentions”

                    Using the title I highlighted?

                    “If you really are genuine in your concerns and suggestions that the Green Party should be putting out press releases on everything, I suggest you go directly to the Green Party rather than raise your concerns/suggestions here”

                    I didn’t say they have to put out a press release on everything. Just what’s relevant to them and their supporters.

                    Next time I’m in Wellington, I’ll be sure to personally raise it with Shaw. Along with a great number of other issues I have. However, considering the response I get here, it may be best to let them come to their own realisation.

                    And while this may not be a Green site, a number of them do visit (and some even partake) from time to time.

                    • veutoviper

                      The Chairman, I am really, really concerned – yes concerned – at this obsession you have about the need, in your opinion, for the Green Party to release press releases.

                      You seem to bring them up time and time again. It seems to be a form of OCD for you.

                      You really should seek some professional help IMHO. I am concerned – very concerned.

                      Aren’t there an over-supply of press releases already, day in and day out? We are drowning in them and unable to sort the wheat from the chaff. And think of all that paper … And I thought you were a Green voter. Very concerning.

                      Does it really have to be press releases? Can’t they just keep their website updated for example. But of course, with their lower number of MPs, and thus parliamentary funding, and thus lower numbers of staff, they may well be struggling to keep on top of their MP duties plus their new Ministerial duties etc. I am really concerned for them.

                      How about helping them out with a really big donation? I am sure they would really appreciate that far more than a lesson on releasing press releases.

                      Like red-blooded, this is my last exchange with you on this thread. I have better things to do.

                      PS – And I agree with what McFlock and One Anonymous Bloke said in their exchanges with you the other day on Open Mike 16 February 2018 @ 14 and 15 about – wait for it – press releases.
                      PS 2 – And no ,I did not use the title you gave to find the Stuff article.

                      vv -aka Concerned

                  • weka

                    That’s brilliant, thank-you so much! Maybe post it in tomorrow’s OM so it get’s more traffic?

                    There is definitely no problem whatsoever in posting videos of the kind you are referring to, and I’m annoyed about the bullshit that was going down yesterday if that is putting people off from sharing very relevant information that happens to be in video. What you are putting up is exactly the kind of commenting we need, because many people don’t have the time to wherewith all to go do the leg work that you have done, and understanding how this government works is important and pertinent to a political blog.

                    Agree with your assessment and recommendations re TC.

                    (btw, I would be happy to put this comment or your OM one and the video links up as a Guest Post if you were interested)

                    • veutoviper

                      Thanks weka. I will leave the comment videos etc until tomorrow as I have wasted a bit of time on this thread today. LOL.

                      Have just posted a reply (my last to TC) and could not resist a little humour … Doubt he will see it that way!

                      Must rush out now, and then menagerie feeding time. Then an urgent to help vis a vis the other non-political blog duties I think I mentioned a week or so ago.

                      Will get back to you as to whether OM comment or post. I just think that this regional growth funding is core to this government’s success (at some risk as stated by Jones) and the way it was handled on Friday IMO was brilliant with having the three parties’ leaders all together at the launch etc. The media reports just did not do justice to what was said and what it is all about and what is to come – the videos give a much clearer picture or rather words. The quality of the videos is not great but the sound is fine.

                    • weka

                      Look forward to it in OM, cheers!

                  • The Chairman

                    “Aren’t there an over-supply of press releases already, day in and day out?”

                    No, there isn’t. Clearly you don’t visit the Green’s website.

                    Moreover, press releases and blogs is largely how they communicate on their official website.

                    The obsession as you put it I have of holding them to account should be more widely adopted. People tend to blame Governments for the country’s demise, forgetting it was the people that put the enablers into power. And the people that largely fail to hold them to account.

                    And I will continue to bring it up again and again (when relevant) until it has been corrected.

                    Furthermore, playing the man and not the ball, as you have opted to do is rather poor form.

                    Did you find the points I raised to hard to directly counter? Can you not speak for yourself? Oh, I see you are bowing out too. Which kind of sums it up really. You didn’t post to me to have a serious discussion, clearly you’ve come to muckrake.

                    You smell like a Labour cohort worried the Greens may start speaking out

                    As for paper, it can all be done digitally now days.

                    “How about helping them out with a really big donation? I am sure they would really appreciate that far more than a lesson on releasing press releases.”

                    I’m sure they would too. However, they already got my vote and I’m already feeling vastly shortchanged.

                    Therefore, they won’t be getting a dime out of me until they up their game.

                    At this stage, they will be lucky to get my vote again. And I’m not alone on this.

        • McFlock

          I literally laughed out loud at TC’s true to form comment.

          There is no glitter ball that he can’t roll in a little bit of shit.

  3. Son of Don 3

    If the most modern and efficient rail cargo system in the world, Swiss Cargo; can’t make money then what hope is there for the 100km stretch between Napier and Wairoa?–swiss-pass-to-save-money/41543918

    • xanthe 3.1

      Is “making money” the only way that sucess is measured?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        We can take the money we save by reducing the wear and tear on roads, and offset any losses on rail freight anyway. Son of Don isn’t just cherry-picking, they’re ignoring the big picture.

        • cleangreen

          TO; One Anonymous Bloke; and Antoine,

          I come to defence on rail here as National spent six years running rail down to the point that few believed to would ever work again in our interests and OAB is right National ( and others (MBIE) do not see the big picture and cherry picked their own report we proved after the study was released to us and MBIE on request admitted to us that they failed to use all the Ministry of transport studies in their report that we sent them to use as ‘references’

          Over those 18yrs we have proven the viability of rail over road for many reasons be nit economic/environmental/ safety/ social public health & well being.

          National Party deliberately embarked on a propaganda mission to make rail unpopular and railed against any improvement of freight and passenger regional services outside of the big cities of Auckland/Wellington.

          OAB is 100% right when he/she refers to the matter of ‘cherry picking..

          We have for 18yrs attempting to make this line work and in 2011 we got the freight so high that kiwirail admitted they had no more wagons/loco’s to handle the extra freight so here is our letter today sent to ministers in defence of the Napier Gisborne rail service.

          Read carefully and please get tit to the Ministers somehow.

          We emailed these to PM, Minister Shane Jones and Winston Peters & Phil Twyford; this am.

          But we sense transmission issues here, as we seldom get any response back from any of the 15 emails we all sent them since 2017.

          COMMUNITY letter;
          24th February. 2018.

          Dear Ministers, – IMPORTANT;

          Our committee has requested a meeting with the Minister of Regional Economic Development, and the Minister of Transport please respond to me as Secretary of ——– (full details below please refer to them.)

          Subject is a community disappointment at the setback as no rail service to Gisborne after waiting six long years now.

          We remind you that it was the first labour government in 1937 who under Michael Joseph Savage that built the final leg of the East Coast Rail from Wairoa to Gisborne and finished it in 1942.

          In Gisborne; last Friday 23rd February 2018 you concluded the release of the Labour /NZ First coalition deal representing all regions with “economic and transport issues” and we are responding to this here as a public community release in Gisborne/HB.

          We are wanting Labour to re-open our rail services that National wrecked by cutting the rail maintenance funds and it caused blocked drains and a rail washout,

          As a result of this media report today in Gisborne we conclude this;

          GISBORNE HERALD BAD PRESS – SUPPORTERS of the Gisborne to Wairoa rail line received a setback yesterday with not even a feasibility study for the line’s reinstatement included in announcements launching the Government’s $1 billion Fund

          Disappointment is rife here as we read it quoted that;
          “Shane jones Shane Jones indicated this was because lukewarm support existed in the district for reopening the line.”
          Full extract from Gisborne Herald.
          by Wynsley WrigleyPublished: February 24, 2018 10:41AM

          SUPPORTERS of the Gisborne to Wairoa rail line received a setback yesterday with not even a feasibility study for the line’s reinstatement included in announcements launching the Government’s $1 billion-a-year Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

          Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones indicated this was because lukewarm support existed in the district for reopening the line.

          Our straight question to Shane Jones is;

          Where is our chance to meet you as Regional Economic Minister and the Minister for Transport, to show where the support for rail is please?

          You have challenged us by saying “there is little support for rail here”?

          This is patently incorrect.

          We produced an almost 11 000 signatured petition in 2012 on behalf of all Gisborne/HB residents that was presented to parliament by our local MP Moana Mackay labour for Gisborne to Anne Tolley so we could produce our evidence in front of the Transport Select Committee chaired by David Bennett and he refused to allow us to be heard!!!!

          So now we ask for our chance to present our case to your Government now please?

          After all the MP Jacinda Ardern promised everyone will have a voice and be heard, and Labour will be an “inclusive” Government.

          We in HB at CEAC have been for many years fighting to save the Gisborne rail service since the turn of this century, in 2000 when the last labour government emerged from the wilderness.

          We have over the last several months provided Shane jones emails among the list of Ministers about the reasons for saving the Gisborne rail for our future security and economic and environmental sustainability.

          It appears that Shane jones has never received our emails so we are concerned some blockage of community emails is being interfered with our rights to respond to the government here.

          I provide some past press releases about the past viability of rail services to Gisborne.

          The BERL study that proved the need for the rail to be restored to service.

          Lastly the new “The value of rail in New Zealand” Government report that was hidden by national 2 yrs ago but labour found it again. The study shows rail saves the country $1.5 Billion a year as is but would save vastly more if more rail was used. Report was produced for NZTA/Kiwirail in 2016 by Ernest Young accountants.

          TO; Minister Shane Jones,

          In this article (below) in the Gisborne herald in 2016 it was your Labour Government in 2016 that promised to the Gisborne people that when next in Government you would reopen the Gisborne rail service again so you do need to honour your Government word here.

          Labour promises free-to-air RNZ TV channel
          HENRY COOKE
          Last updated 10:52, September 12 2017


          Labour-Greens united on rail
          Published: August 23, 2016 11:17AM
          ‘Wrong government in place’ to make rail a reality: Labour and Greens.
          Labour-Greens united on rail
          Published: August 23, 2016 11:17AM

          ‘Wrong government in place’ to make rail a reality: Labour and Greens.
          THE Labour and Green parties last night committed to re-opening the entire length of the Gisborne to Napier rail line but pointed out that would only happen if the National Party was removed from office.
          but pointed out that would only happen if the National Party was removed from office. UNQUOTE;

          We say to labour;

          We will hold your Government to account Jacinda has requested we do so in her speech at Waitangi day 2018.

          Labour has promised in the Gisborne Herald press to reopen the rail services to Gisborne from Napier in 2016 before the election.

          Please reply to this request for a meeting please as soon as able.

          Warmest regards,

          • veutoviper

            Well done and good luck, cleargreen.

            At 3.1.2 below Antoine asked re utilisation and I tried to answer as a holding reply at bits from your posts yesterday. You may wish to clarify my attempt!

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Don’t forget that ministers have a huge workload, and may take the view that actions speak louder than words.

            There are always due processes to attend to as well. Not announcing things that the finance minister will cancel at a hastily-called press conference, for example, but also care around conflicts of interest.

            Having a government that sees the value in rail over road should certainly open some doors, at least, I bloody well hope so. Good luck with it.

      • Antoine 3.1.2

        A better question would be ‘will the line be utilised?’I don’t know the answer to this one


        • Psycho Milt

          I expect it would be severely under-utilised as long as we heavily subsidise road transport, which would be a tough one for the government to take on given the amount of money the RTA can throw at propaganda campaigns and buying Nat politicians.

          And we’re unlikely to see uptake of long-distance passenger travel by train, because trains will remain little use as passenger transport as long as we have narrow-gauge tracks and only one line, in other words most likely forever.

          • Antoine

            If you are right, then the line doesnt sound like a great investment.


            • Psycho Milt

              Government isn’t a commercial venture, or shouldn’t be. Getting rail to the point where it’s highly utilised is a worthwhile end in itself, for environmental reasons as much as for financial or convenience reasons – in fact, more so. The process has to start somewhere, so here is as good a place as any.

          • cleangreen

            See my evidenced based report above Milt.

            Yes we subsidise road freight to far now.

            Trucks are ruining our roads, and costing us other users dispropotionate costs than they do get charged so fuck off you truckies.

            You simply that want us public to keep subsidising you all while we go bankrupt so suck it up !!!

            If you want to gridlock our roads as your trucks pound them to ruin well you need to pay your fair share of cost.


            US engineers (gao) studies show that one truck wears road surfaces almost equal to 9600 cars every time they pass over each km of road surface, butwe dont see trucks paying 9600 times the cast that we pay for one car do we?

            (Quote ) “The American A CLI sac-iation of State Highway and Transportation Officials reported that concentrating large amounts of weight on a single axle multiplies the impact of the weight exponentially,

            Although a five-axle tractortrailer loaded to the current 80,000-pound Federal weight limit weighs about the same as 20 automobiles, the impact of the tractortrailer is dramatically higher.

            Based on Association data, and confirmed by its officials, such a tractor-trailer has the same impact on an interstate highway as at least 9,600 automobiles. Increasing truck weight causes an ever increasing rate of pavement damage. (See p. 23.) “

            According to the IPENZ (independent Professional Engineers of NZ) report on road freight vs rail and other users charges, the surface cost study showed that rail pays 77% of the maintenance of their rail system while trucks carrying freight only pay 54% of their damages to the roads they use while car uses (private users) pay 65% of their wear and tear of the roads.

            We are actually subsidising road freight now and have been for 20yrs or more.

            Rail is the future and we need to plan now to improved it after years of privatisation/deferred maintenance and neglect.

            There will never be a cheaper time to upgrade our rail than today.

            • David Mac

              I think the biggest hurdle with the uptake of increased rail freight is a matter of logistics.

              If I have the hypothetical rights to import Bridgestone Tyres into New Zealand, right or wrong, damage to the environment or to the roads is unlikely to be near the top of my priority list of concerns

              Currently I have 10 containers land at Auckland port every 2nd month. A truck uplifts those containers and transports them to my Auckland based warehouse. My warehouse crew palletise orders. 1 pallet for the Wellsford outlet, 2 for the 2 Whangarei outlets, I for Kawakawa, 2 for the Kaitaia outlet etc etc. A truck pulls up on my forecourt and the pallets are loaded. The driver heads off up North, calling by each franchised Bridgestone outlet and drops each respective store’s order at their front door.

              Assuming there was an operational railway line up to the Far North, using a freight train becomes a logistical nightmare. I still need to prepare a pallet for each store, load them onto a truck, then the truck transports the pallets to railway warehousing and unloads them. Then another truck uploads the pallets and takes them to be loaded onto railway wagons. When the Wellsford pallet lands on the platform I need another truck to uplift it and run it out to the retailer and so it goes on for every centre with a Bridgestone outlet.

              Insurance costs, economy of scale, errors, theft, delivery times…thanks Kiwirail but I’ll load them on 1 truck that goes directly to each Bridgestone store thanks.

              I’m not endorsing the status quo, just pointing it out.

              • David Mac

                It’s an issue that can be addressed. Kiwirail need only add a fleet of electric ferry trucks to their service. Sell a package deal. From your door to your customer’s door.

            • Psycho Milt

              Coincidentally, TV1 news tonight had a story on how the NACT government’s pandering to the Road Transport Association means councils are facing huge bills for upgrading bridges that can’t cope with the new 46-tonne loads. (Can’t find a link to the TVNZ piece, but here’s the Herald referring to it.)

              As usual, capitalism turns out to be about externalising as much of your cost as possible onto other people. If we got a say in whether our taxes should go towards building up the rail system or helping trucking companies wreck our roads and bridges, maybe we’d have a better rail system.

          • Stuart Munro

            It would be interesting to see costings for high speed rail on main routes – I used it a lot in Korea, it was much faster and cheaper than air once inspection delays were factored in. A lot of domestic air travel Wellington/Auckland could be substituted out. Massive carbon savings.

        • veutoviper

          “A better question would be ‘will the line be utilised?’”

          Indeed, and there was quite a bit of discussion on this point on Open Mike yesterday (23 Feb).

          Cleangreen is the TS commenter heavily involved in the issue of rail regeneration in Hawkes Bay and has commented on it here many times over the years, including yesterday on OM both in his comment at 4.2 –
 – and several times in the thread under this (;;

          Here is a quote from his on demand back in 2011

          “We had a bad year for heavy storms in 2011 and the road between Napier to Gisborne was closed several times for days as many slips occurred on the road but guess what” the rail was still safe ad usable that year and our freight had increased from one train every three days to two trains every day and in the eight months before the fatal washout kiwi rail had moved 80 000 tonnes of freight which kiwi rail said in one year 100 000 tonnes would break even.

          Kiwirail admitted at the HB Regional Council Transport meeting on 21st December 2011 that it had to turn three large customers away, so we were Pissed off at that; – because we had worked so hard to get more freight clients on rail again.

          Kiwirail had no more wagons and locos to take on more freight that was asked to be sent on the lie so it was beginning to prove that rail was viable again.”

          More up to date mentions of tourism and freight exploding etc in and in

          Further down OM yesterday, cleangreen’s reply to grey area at 14.1.2 is also relevant.

          On a related issue, I note that no-one has replied to your question at OM 14.3 as whether there are actual business cases etc for the projects proposed under the announcements yesterday re the Provincial Growth Fund etc.

          During a bout of insomnia last night, at 2am I found and watched a 20 min Herald video of the press conference* following yesterday’s announcements when the issues of business cases etc were discussed. A very informative press conference which I planned to post here this morning but then could not find again! After much searching I finally found it on the Herald’s Facebook site and have bookmarked it, together with videos of the announcements pre the press conference posted on Jacinda Ardern’s Facebook page, for putting together for a comment here.

          Other personal priorities will probably prevent me doing so today, but all of these videos appear well worth posting for others’ information.

          Short answer is that some of this first tranche of projects are ones that were already under consideration for some time by local authorities, communities etc – and by the previous Nat govt (but not progressed) – so in some instances, business cases etc have already been done. For other proposed projects, the initial funding will be for development of business cases etc only, with further progression, funding dependent on the results, recommendations etc of the business cases etc. So much work to be done, and it was made clear that central govt agencies have been give a ‘pull finger’ instruction in respect of the projects already under consideration and those to come.

          * The Herald have posted on their website very short excerpts only of the full press conference- eg in their article last night re the announcement and in Tracey Watkins’ opinion piece today – but not the full video which is much more informative.

          • Antoine

            We’ll see if the Wairoa line gets used, hopefully it does.

            > all of these videos appear well worth posting for others’ information.

            Indeed, that would make a great post.

            > in some instances, business cases etc have already been done. For other proposed projects, the initial funding will be for development of business cases etc only

            Sounds like a good process. Hopefully they will expeditiously complete the meritorious projects and drop anything that turns out not to make the grade.


            • veutoviper

              And cleargreen has now provided a detailed update above at above. . .
              He and his colleagues have had a busy morning and are ‘on to it’ with letters now on their way requesting a meeting with Ministers.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      The No. 1 U.S. railroad Union Pacific Corp (UNP.N) reported a better-than-expected quarterly net profit on Thursday, driven by an 11 percent increase in freight revenue, and said it expected business volumes would pick up in the second half of the year.

      Union Pacific freight is very profitable, therefore the Napier Wairoa line will be too.

      No, wait, I’m falling into the dishonest stupid right wing conceit of cherry picking anecdata to suit my prejudice.

      Just like Son of Don.

      I wonder why Son of Don employs these stupid tactics, but not for very long. Then I conclude Son of Don’s comments all mean the same thing:

      “If this government does it, I don’t like it”.

    • Ed 3.3

      We needed to change the model son of don.
      Try looking at the world without your neoliberal blinkers on.

      • greywarshark 3.3.1

        Why would Son of Don choose that particular pseudonym? It sounds connected to neolib economics. I wonder if there is a connection from the writer to such thinking, or not?

        • solkta

          I’ve always taken it to mean “son of a donkey”.

          • veutoviper

            LOL – with or without the “a” ?

            Or Son of Don (Brash)? Trump?

            Fairly new here, though – 25 Jan 2018 under that pseudo at least.
            [Source: Search facility here at top of right column.]

    • Remind us again how much money roads made last year?

    • savenz 3.5

      Is there any plans to actually transport people on these new train routes or are logs and goods the priority to get the trains first. Cos, people actually need passenger trains!

      Someone was telling me they can go up North, (at present via bus but clearly people would prefer a train) and then they hire an electric car for the weekend. Could be a good model for people who don’t have full cars travelling ‘the holiday highways’. (The logistics get harder for a family of 4 compared to a single or couple travelling as does the costs to go partially via public transport).

    • patricia bremner 3.6

      Perhaps savings in carbon offset other losses?.

    • joe90 3.7

      Swiss Cargo; can’t make money

      Two and a half years…

      SWITZERLAND’s rail freight operators continued to gain market share from road in 2016, according to figures published this week by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

      Rail’s market share increased by 0.9% compared with the previous year, while road’s share of the freight market declined by 1.5%

      Total traffic across the two sectors fell 0.6% to 27.8 billion tonne-km, with rail accounting for 39% of freight carried.

      This means that rail has regained the market share it recorded in 2008; it lost ground in 2009 because of the financial and economic crisis, falling to an all-time low of 35.9%.

  4. dv 4

    Morning Trump laugh.
    Calls the cop who didn’t intervene in the shooting a coward.

    This is from the guy who dodged the draft for vietnam twice because of flat feet or some other ‘problem’.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Once, it was the left which championed the concept of dodging the draft and championed draft dodgers themselves during the Vietnam War.

      • Muttonbird 4.1.1

        On the grounds of conscientious objection, not cowardice.

        But then presumably you equate the two.

        • Colonial Viper

          Every American who dodged the draft dodged killing kids in Vietnam. Whatever their officially stated reason was.

          • Muttonbird

            But your hero Trump celebrates vets every single day.

            You’re as conflicted as he.

            • Colonial Viper

              If you can’t distinguish between the immense personal and family sacrifices these veterans made in the line of duty, with the goddawful often illegal things that they were asked to do by the Empire’s Elite, why are you even in this conversation?

              • Muttonbird

                Where have I done that?

                You however have just refused to separate personal motivations for refusing to go to war when ordered.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Like many you wish to enforce ideological purity tests on people choosing a particular course of action.

                  But I think that its enough for someone to decide that they didn’t want to go to a strange foreign country to shoot up and bomb strangers, and be shot at and bombed by strangers.

                  • Muttonbird

                    Hasn’t stopped you dissecting and concluding the motivation of the cop who didn’t go into the school.

                    I guess it’s ok to enforce your test on those who Trump targets but not ok when he’s the target.

      • North 4.1.2

        CV…….check this out:

        No disrespect CV but how is it that for all appearances you’ve switched from being a serious (and respected) leftie to being a damned near reflexive Trump apologist ?

        You’re the only one who can tell me otherwise but I suspect that in your leftie days you were a vehement opponent of the Vietnam War and loudly applauded those who defied the draft.

      • millsy 4.1.3

        I think the issue here is that the most belligerent seems to be the ones who have never put themselves in the firing line.

        Cast your mind back to the early 2000’s when most of the supporters of war in Iraq/Afghanistan were those who had managed to get out of the Vietnam War.

      • JohnSelway 4.1.4

        Also a lot of the left wing draft dodgers didn’t go on to be I position of power where they were happy to send others to war.

        CV you need to think better

        • Colonial Viper

          Obama never served and he droned many and sent special forces into action all across the globe.

          And don’t be such a condescending arse, thanks.

          • JohnSelway

            I’m not being condescending, just pointing out your flawed thinking that somehow draft dodgers and objectors were somehow the same.

            Was Obama a draft dodger? News to me

    • adam 4.2

      Attacks from the right are not helpful dv.

      • Macro 4.2.1

        And comments from you, CV, et al, are even more harmful because you repeat or justify memes spread, not by the left, but by the alt right.
        We are sorry you cannot see that that is what you are doing because I believe your heart is in the right place – the fight for social justice and peace in our world and a right relationship with the planet – but you constantly attack the people you should be supporting!

        • Colonial Viper

          And comments from you, CV, et al, are even more harmful because you repeat or justify memes spread, not by the left, but by the alt right.

          How can alternative political viewpoints be merely “memes” if they can be discussed and justified in detail?

          Downgrading others views to the status of soundbites or ‘memes’ shows little interest in seriously engaging with other viewpoints on important issues.

          the fight for social justice and peace in our world and a right relationship with the planet – but you constantly attack the people you should be supporting!

          it appears to me that the last 30 years shows that the establishment left has been heading down a wrong and ineffective track. Neither will I agree with continuing that tack or supporting the people who do.

        • adam

          Marco, you’re just repeating tribalism. It’s sad and not a bit tired. I’m not in CV’s camp ideologically, not even close. I agree with him sometimes, as I agree with you sometimes.

          I don’t support trump or what he says – actually point to one point where I have supported him – just one. I’m saying we need to be critical of him in smart ways – not with conspiracy theories, nor with hate.

          But if your OK with going down that line, well Macro that your problem not mine.

          I think it’s better to offer a difference, rather than play into the hate mongers, promoters of war, and violence. Oh wait that’s an alt-right meme…

    • joe90 4.3

      of flat feet or some other ‘problem’.

      TBF, Cadet Bonespur did endure his personal Vietnam.

  5. North 5

    The school security guard who failed to enter the Florida school as a massacre unfolded is a “coward” according to Trump. That’s mighty rich from Trump the five times draft dodger. DV above…….it was five times…….bonespurs supposedly. Rich daddy more likely.

    • Muttonbird 5.1

      Now, now, bone spurs can be very debilitating – just ask Colonial Viper.

    • dv 5.2

      Thanks North.

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      Whatever else you think of Trump, this Sherriffs Deputy sat outside a school while on duty, in uniform, armed with a semi-automatic pistol (typically 17 rounds in the clip +1 in the chamber) for the 6-7 minutes Cruz took to kill 17 students and teachers, carefully keeping himself out of harms way while teachers put their bodies on the line and kids died.

      The Sherriff’s Deputy was a coward. And now a coward who has put in his resignation to try and avoid further investigation.

      Also deeply ironic that the “left” is criticising Trump for draft dodging when it invented and supported the concept as heroic, for the Vietnam War.

      • dv 5.3.1

        Also deeply ironic that the “left” is criticising Trump for draft dodging when it invented and supported the concept as heroic, for the Vietnam War.

        NOPE the irony is that a draft dodger is calling the cop a coward.

        • adam

          Silly question dv. Why do you think it’s OK to launch right wing attacks on trump?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            That’s called a “loaded question”, Adam. If it were merely silly it would at least have the virtue of being honest.

            • adam

              So I take from your response you think it’s OK to attack trump from the right.

              • Stuart Munro

                Isn’t it reasonable to attack Trump whenever he screws up?

                If you run his lines on what heroism is you just bought his value system.

                • adam

                  No I don’t think so – not if you want to take him down. This is a left wing worker based site, so take him down with left wing arguments. Rather than reactionary, violent based arguments.

                  In this case: the promotion of violence for violence sake helps no one, least of all the victims or their families. The culture of violence which pervades the discourse of USA politics, undermines working peoples right to life of liberty and freedom.

                  Just a couple examples, I’m sure others can come up with better arguments.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    CV is taking all the weight off Trump by extending the peace movement’s laurels to him. Let Trump make that claim if he will – I’m pretty sure he didn’t march against Vietnam, and if he claimed to have it would cost him with his hard right base.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’ve inverted my argument. What I am claiming is the irony of former peace movement lefties attacking Trump on the basis of his *draft evading cowardice*

                      This is ironic because this is exactly what the pro-war crowd said about the hippies, lefties and peaceniks of the 1960s.

                      I’m pretty sure he didn’t march against Vietnam, and if he claimed to have it would cost him with his hard right base.

                      You don’t really understand Trump’s base at all, do you? His base WANTS him to follow through on his promises to get out of all foreign wars and to bring US troops back home.

                      Did you not pay attention to his campaign promises around that?

                    • JohnSelway

                      It’s been pointed out to you twice now there is a difference between evading the draft and being an objector.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I’ve little interest in understanding Trump’s base CV – that would require too much time watching Fox news.

                      But you missed the point – Trump was laying the blame on some poor schmoe without media clout for being a coward. Probably ruined his life. The least response is to note that Trump never distinguished himself for courage, and so he is a fine one to talk.

              • So I take from your response you think it’s OK to attack trump from the right.

                Pointing out hypocrisy isn’t an “attack from the right,” it’s neutral.

                • adam

                  Pointing out hypocrisy is fine, but then to call trump a draft dodger or coward is just tribalism.

                  I’m saying criticise trump, just do it smarter.

                  • Stuart Munro


                    I think there’s reasonable evidence to support the contention that Trump is a coward and a draft dodger.

                    Letting him off the hook isn’t smarter – it’s self-censorship.

                    • adam

                      So saying trump is a problem because his continued machismo, and unthink approach towards violence is damaging to individuals and their families. That his active support of the culture of violence and war is a problem for us as human beings.

                      Is letting trump off the hook. I’ve said over and over again we should raise our voices to the heavens over the radical increase of military budget of the trump regime. And we should also oppose the increased surveillance powers that were handed to trump.

                      But no, you and others just attack him personally and run with the russian conspiracy theory. And that somehow keeps him on the hook.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      It’s not a conspiracy theory – there is ample evidence of Russian interference, enough to support legal processes in any case.

                      Spare us CV’s nonsense pro-Trump arguments – he loves Trump, just like he loves Putin.

                      Trump wants to talk about heroes and cowards we go after him on that because he has no standing to judge either one.

                      Wake up – attacking Trump’s corrupt links with Putin is not a personal attack any more than attacking Jian Yang’s espionage links is personal. Working for a foreign power unfits a representative for office and would do so even if they were Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela rolled into one.

                      You want to have a serious think what kind of fool consistently boosts Trump and Putin – certainly no-one with any left credibility whatsoever.

                    • adam

                      I apologize for having to make you think about your behaviour, and asking you to actually act better.

                      Better to attack me with slurs, than that ah.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You’re not capable of making us think Adam, while you swallow and regurgitate this weird proTrump cant.

                      Condemning Trump does not require Herculean self-censorship, and describing it as tribalism is a rightwing defense of the kind you claim you’re so keen to eschew.

                    • adam

                      You think I like trump, then you’re the idiot. Just no other way to put that.

                      As you went to the gutter, I’ll point out you’re not condemned trump and co for the raise in the military spending, and spying.

                      Is that becasue the left elites don’t want to talk about it, and your just following the party line, or back to my original point, you’re an idiot?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      No, Adam.

                      You condemned our perfectly rational criticism of Trump. It wasn’t enough for you to independently condemn his military spending or explain why that was important – you had to disparage commentary on Trump’s assertions around heroism and cowardice.

                      In fact both critiques can stand, and if people aren’t following yours it might be to do with how you’re communicating it.

                    • adam

                      I’m pointing out your arguments are not rational in terms of left ethics or ideology. You all run with hate and want me to accept that or somehow you speak in my name.

                      My point is you’re just being the same bully trump is. if your OK with that, say it. Don’t pretend you talking with a left wing voice, you’re just being vengeful, angry and violent.

                      Calling someone a coward, or a doger or whatever – you are just part of that same language and culture which is actively engages in legitimising violence. And worse, political violence.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s not a conspiracy theory – there is ample evidence of Russian interference, enough to support legal processes in any case.

                      Correct. The Clinton campaign and the DNC paid a foreign spy (Christopher Steele) to communicate with and transfer money to Russian contacts in Moscow (likely Russian intelligence or other Russian government contacts) utilising them to dig up dirt that would be used to undermine a US Presidential candidate (and subsequently President-Elect).

                      Or to put it more simply, to pay off Russians to influence both the US elections and then to undermine the duly elected President of the United States.

                      As for the “legal processes” what do you imagine those above facts might kick off, in terms of “legal processes”?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    You seem to be saying that heroism and cowardice are not claims the left can make. Although the left probably doesn’t want them to be the whole foundation of its objection to Trump, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with rebutting Trump’s claims when he makes some with regard to heroism or cowardice. Nor is it bullying to do so.

                    If I look for a leftwing voice, Adam, it won’t be one consistently making poorly reasoned attacks on any criticism of Trump.

                • veutoviper

                  To Pyscho Milt @ 10.46am above. (Unnumbered)
                  Pointing out hypocrisy isn’t an “attack from the right,” it’s neutral.

                  Exactly. Stuart Munro deserves a medal for his forbearance in continuing to engage in the long thread below.

                  The comment that really got my goat is the one near the (current) bottom of the thread : “I’m pointing out your arguments are not rational in terms of left ethics or ideology. You all run with hate and want me to accept that or somehow you speak in my name.”

                  BS – he does not get to dictate left ethics or idealogy.

                  Anyway, I was interested in your comment at below re WP on Daily Review last night that “I’d forgotten about that weird segment of the left that’s difficult to distinguish from the alt-right” – and I am trying to decide whether this one is actually another example of this.

                  • veutoviper

                    The long thread is in fact ‘above’ not ‘below’.

                  • adam

                    So violence is somthing the left does not oppose veutoviper?

                    • veutoviper

                      Stop trying to argue semantics. You are not good at it, and cannot see that. And in such instances, practice does not make perfect. I will not be engaging in your games.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Depends which “Left” you’re talking about. Cf: Homage to Catalonia, Antifa, “punch a nazi”, The Angry Brigade, The Weather Underground, FARC, The Communist Party of Nepal, Action Directe, Jeremy “I am not a pacifist” Corbyn.

                      On the other hand many lefties are also committed pacifists. The Greens, the Occupy movement, Greenpeace, Peace Pledge Union, etc etc.

                      Does either side have a majority? I want to say the pacifists…

                      And it depends on context. Is self-defence violence?

                    • adam

                      So veutoviper your happy to criticise, just not engage. Then I hope you take the opportunity on this forum to engage with others.

                    • adam

                      My question to veutoviper should have been more around anti- war and anti-violence message coming from the left, becasue it sure don’t come from the right.

                      As for Antifa and “punch a nazi” I find both groups very unhelpful. We can not win any engagement with capitalism which involves any violence. Political violence is such a losing message, and game, I don’t know why some on the left continue to push it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The Nepalese Civil War in 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the proclamation of a republic in 2008, ending the reign of the world’s last Hindu monarchy.

                      One reason “some on the left continue to push it” is because they perceive that’s the only way they can win.

                      Sea Shepherd also springs to mind.

                      You didn’t answer my question – not that you’re obliged to – do you consider self-defence to be violence?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      As for Antifa and “punch a nazi” I find both groups very unhelpful. We can not win any engagement with capitalism which involves any violence.

                      Self-righteous, self-justified violence against dehumanised, caricaturized political enemies.

                      I cannot see what could possibly go wrong with this…

                    • adam

                      Yes, it is violence in a literal sense – but I do think we have the right to self defence, I get that you need to defend yourself, your family, and your community.

                      I support the Kurds in Syria.

                      I’m not the perfect pacifist.

                      Actually, I’m not the perfect anything.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The Kurds in Syria – that’s a seriously complex and difficult topic.

                      IMO their best choice would be to sue Damascus for a semi-autonomous region while accepting the overarching governance and protection of the Syrian state.

                      Trying to side with the US in the Balkanization of Syria…that’s not going to go well.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Do you? Jolly good. Plus what PM said.

          • dv

            Not a question adam, a statement.

      • Muttonbird 5.3.2

        From another site – the names have been changed.

        I bet his training wasn’t sufficient for such a situation and I bet his pay packet was nowhere near sufficient to go into such a dicey situation with no idea what he was up against. Yet ignorant fools think he should have acted like some f**king movie hero and go in and save the day. I bet [deleted] in the same situation would have pissed and crapped himself and ran off and hid in a closet somewhere. Just like what Trump would have done. We all know that orange plum is a coward and history proves it.

        These same ignorant fools, Colonial Viper, NRA apologists etc, never fail to ignore the enabling factor and that is guns and the sick gun culture.

        [Not interested in having flame wars Muttonbird] – Bill

      • Cinny 5.3.3

        Just goes to show that even people with guns don’t stop shooters. Arming the teachers is the most unbelievable solution Trump has put out there.

        A Sheriffs Deputy makes a remarkable scape goat for a President who probably won’t make any real difference re their gun laws.

        Side note…. I wonder if the deputy just froze up? He will feel bad enough with out being shamed hard out by potus,

        • Antoine

          I wonder if the deputy’s assigned role was to call for help rather than to run in with a gun

      • McFlock 5.3.4

        God I love it when you get all technical about firearms. Reassures me so much that there are action stars like you around to protect me. I know you’d throw yourself in harm’s way to stop the bad guy[s].

        How did you become so knowledgable and experienced in stopping bad people who are intent on doing bad things? Was it purely independent research, or do you go on weekend training sessions with Serious Men who do Serious Things?

        • Colonial Viper

          You can save yourself

          • Muttonbird

            CV’s journey continues. From hard-working leftie, to Dunedin anarchist, to bitter Trump groupie, and now bewildered evangelist.

            I’ll ask you again. Do you own any firearms?

            • Colonial Viper

              Now it turns out that FOUR Broward County Deputies were stationed outside the school while the shooting was ongoing, and they stayed safe and sound OUTSIDE the school as all the children and teachers were shot.

              Is it any surprise that people are not willing to rely on law enforcement for their protection!

              I’ll ask you again. Do you own any firearms?

              LOL you have got to be kidding. Who exactly do you think you are to me you little trumped up officious geek?

              • Muttonbird

                I’m just a concerned member of the public.

                You see (and I have been watching on and off), I think your descent into paranoid sceptic anarchism might render you a danger to your community.

                You’re talking about guns and soft targets, and you are bitter so you could be a candidate like Cruz.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Just a concerned member of the public.
                  You see (and I have been watching on and off), I think your withdrawal into paranoid sceptic anarchism might render you a danger to your community.

                  Wow what a hero.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  There’s a procedure for that.

                  Probably not wise to make frivolous allegations about it though. After all, there are so many other ways to respond to autofellation.

                  • Muttonbird

                    I only asked if he owned firearms, I didn’t accuse him of owning firearms without a licence.

                    Other than that I’m genuinely concerned about CV’s journey.

                    Given that I’d also be interested in his response to the Trump camp’s accusations that the survivors are ‘crisis actors’.


                    My guess is he’ll parrot whatever Trump says.

                    • Bill

                      Other than that I’m genuinely concerned about CV’s journey.

                      Are you fuck!

                      You’re a sad sac waste of space splabbing toxic shite.

                      Care to explain exactly what “paranoid sceptic (sic) anarchism” is btw? A school of thought is it?

                      If you really think CV is a dangerous individual, (you attacked him before) then stop grabbing at your withered internet ‘cock of concern’ and contact relevant authorities.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Paranoid sceptic anarchism isn’t a school of thought as far as I know.

                      It is though my description of CV having observed his multiple melt-downs and bannings, his distrust of any kind of authority except for Trump’s authority, and his general desire for massive, ill-considered political reform.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      his distrust of any kind of authority except for Trump’s authority,

                      4 Broward County police officers hid outside while they heard kids being shot up inside a school.

                      Can you blame people for being skeptical?

                      As for Trump?

                      I can give you a list of things that I think Trump has got wrong and done wrong, from supporting Israeli occupation of Palestine, to illegally occupying northern/eastern Syria, to escalating economic war against Russia, to selling more arms to the Saudis, to placing new restrictions on the Food Stamp programme.

                      But I’m a thinker you see, and you are not.

                    • Muttonbird

                      No you are not. You are a gadfly and a dilettante.

                      You are isolated and bitter about it. You are obsessed with foreign positions and problems, ignoring local ones.

                      You are a bullshit contrarian. This is indelibly marked into your post history and bannings.

                      You are interested in the breakdown of society and community to the point where you believe you might once more have relevance.

                      I can tell you now, it’s not going to happen.

                    • McFlock

                      4 Broward County police officers hid outside while they heard kids being shot up inside a school.

                      Can you blame people for being skeptical?

                      I can understand why they’d want a review of the response, maybe a public investigation.

                      I don’t understand the thought process behind ‘Gosh, 4 armed and trained professionals made a decision that I question, the only way to prevent this happening again is to arm even more people on the grounds that sooner or later one of them will make a decision I agree with’.

                      And then you might get to go to another funeral, like with Aramoana.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey Muttonbird, enjoy your amateur psychology, it makes me laugh and says so much more about your mental state than anything else in the world.

                      [don’t use mental health to attack other commenters. Take a week off and have a think about what you are doing here, because thus far I’m seeing the same shit as all the other times before. I don’t care who started what, I do care about preventing flame wars. I also care about the kind of atmosphere that the comments degenerate into when you are here and how that affects other people reading and wanting to comment here – weka]

                    • Muttonbird

                      Good luck with the mods attempting to analyse my mental state. I’ve not been banned multiple times. You have!

                      Like guns in the US, the common denominator to rancour on this forum is…


                • One Two

                  On Wednesday afternoon, doctors at Broward Health North in Pompano Beach and Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale saw their drills turn into reality as 15 people were rolled into the two emergency rooms from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student opened fire and killed 17 people

                  Are you concerned that yet another ‘drill’ was happening at such a coincidental time..

                  Drills on the very same day are, a ‘constant theme’…

                  The school and hospital were, ‘drilling’…


                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    The doctors conspired to murder the children, because George Soros.

                    I’m shocked! I can see it all clearly now.




                  • Muttonbird

                    What the hell are you talking about, freak?

                    Still, you’re more lucid than CV…

                    • One Two

                      Use that ‘imagination’ of yours…once again my response has gone over your head…

                      Do some reading, slow down on the insults…breath…

                    • Muttonbird

                      Would you mind explaining in plain english (if you can) what you are trying to say?

                      As far as I know, obtuse and unexplained comments such as yours are ban-worthy on this forum.

                      [take this as a couple of warnings. One is, stop concern trolling about moderation. If you have genuine concerns then flag one of the moderators. The other is that I don’t want to spend time reading through this whole thread, but it’s obvious that the aggro is increasing on TS again, and that you are part of that. Next time I see multiple comments designed to wind people up, I will ban without additional warning. – weka]

                    • Muttonbird

                      That’s fine, thanks Weka.

                      Quickly, and without challenge I’d say I’m a recent and guilty part of that aggro but CV is a well established and guilty part of that aggro, and has been banned many, many times because of it.

                      Also, I find reporting, or flagging of moderators quite difficult as there is no clear pathway to do this. I would happily take the discrete route if that were at all possible.

                    • weka

                      You don’t have to be discrete, just drop a reply comment to me in OM (you can try this with the other mods too, I don’t know what they will do with it). I’m unlikely to go looking for something, so if you are referring to a comment or conversation please link to it and say what the problem is.

                  • Are you concerned that yet another ‘drill’ was happening at such a coincidental time..

                    Er, no. Drills are good. It’s kind of funny though that you put the word “coincidental” in your comment, for all the world as though your subconscious were trying to work around whatever that is in your conscious that produces the conspiracy theories.

                    • One Two

                      Off you go, psycho…

                      Take a look into how many ‘incidents’ were running drill at the exact same time…or immediately before the ‘live event’…go back about 20 years…

                      Every single instance… a coincidence…

                      NOT A CHANCE…

                      Except in the mind of a coincidence theorist…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Eg. on 9/11/01 (mm/dd/yy)

                      Operation Northern Vigilance, was a NORAD operation which involved deploying fighter aircraft to locations in Alaska and Northern Canada.In order to simulate a hijacking situation including terrorist pilots.

                      Turns out that on the day, those fighter aircraft would have been useful on the exact opposite side of the country.

                      Random bad luck, no doubt.


                    • Thanks for those insights into how the conspiracy theorist’s mind works. I kind of knew the theory, but it’s nice to have it demonstrated live.

                    • One Two []

                      How does suggesting you do some reading, which you’ve clearly either not done…or are scared of what you’ve read…equate to you having ‘insights’ to my mind…

                      Statistical probability is against those coincidence theorists who express thoughts such as yours…

                      Psycho…nah mate…

                      That’s your handle…

                      Oh look, it’s McFlock and Andre…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “Conspiracy theory” was a term weaponised by the CIA to shut down broader discussion on John F Kennedy’s assassination.

                      Their well-thought out psyops technique still works on some, it seems.

                    • Andre

                      Just in case anyone capable of rational thought reads this thread and wonders whether there might be something to the conspiracy theory, consider how to debunk/validate the theory.

                      Imagine some fictitious incident happening somewhere in a population centre at a random workday time, then find all the drills/exercises/meetings etc scheduled near enough in time, place and subject matter to be somehow ‘linked’ to your imaginary incident.

                      I strongly suspect you would find that emergency services do enough different kinds of drills/practice/meetings frequently enough that it would be unusual for there not to be something going on nearby in time and place that you could somehow ‘link’ to your imaginary incident. They really love their drills and meetings in the US, they have lots of them all the time.

                    • McFlock


                      I love it when you talk dirty

          • McFlock

            If I have to save myself, how do I become as brave and experienced as you? Do I just need to read a lot of books and badly-designed websites, or will I have to play some computer games and watch youtube videos as well?

    • Bill 5.4

      Maybe he was a coward. And maybe he’ll beat himself up over it. And maybe he’ll kill himself one day because of the guilt he feels for having acted in one way and not in another.

      And then what?

      Trump and others will say “good riddance”?

      Ah. The humanity.

  6. Andre 6

    A lot of ranting kooks are obsessed with George Soros – here’s at least a partial explanation.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Soros, one of the world’s premier pro-immigration, open borders, anti-national sovereignty, billionaire globalists around.

      Happily funds regime change NGOs with hundreds of millions of dollars in order to destabilise countries and governments that he does not like.

      Notice whenever they hold a “colour revolution” somewhere and all of a sudden tens of thousands of protestors get the same coloured flags, tops, caps, signs, etc. That all takes $$$ and co-ordination in order to look that good for the international MSM.

      • North 6.1.1

        Make America Great Again ! Red caps only $4.95 for everyone !

      • savenz 6.1.2

        Yep, globalism could be pluralism, celebrating difference, unfortunately it’s turning into homogenisation of branding, financial products and investments funnelling money into the same individuals who already own/control 1/2 the world’s wealth.

        (Cheap labour and competitive pool of labour, obviously important to continually lower costs).

        Also when we see genocide around the world and it’s politically ok for MSM to report it, MSM never stop to report the people who supply and sell the weapons and the weapons country of origin as part of the crime. Surely fairly easy for human rights groups or whoever to list the suppliers and their origins as part of the war crimes.

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.3

        Why Soros, as distinct from the other global financial elites? Is it because he resiled from the economic determinism of the other financial raiders after the Asian financial crisis, or is it because he holds most of Putin’s debt?

        • Colonial Viper

          To be honest, Soros is identified because he is the most overt in that particular crowd of 0.001%’ers.

          I am sure there are others as well, both working for and against globalisation, for their own reasons.

          Also, against the likes of Bill Gates and Bezos, Soros is relatively poor…

          • Stuart Munro

            In terms of the international bankers who impose neo-liberalism on countries Soros is probably less active now too. He revised his stance after Korea repaid its debt early in the 2000s, and became one of the voices questioning conventional economic wisdom about financial raiding.

            There’s no doubt Moscow doesn’t like him – though he never did to them what he did to the UK pound, for example. It may be that he his constructive influence in the Ukraine that stymied Russian intentions. Ukraine at least likes him.


            • Colonial Viper

              It may be that he his constructive influence in the Ukraine that stymied Russian intentions. Ukraine at least likes him.

              This is a really funny comment. Ukraine, a basket case for the last 20 years, is in worse shape than ever. Neo-Nazi militias supporting the Kiev government operate freely and their industry has been decimated by civil war and abrogation of industrial contacts with Russia.

              And yes, Soros helped lead that country into this situation, for his own purposes.

              • Stuart Munro

                An insurgency backed by a large state will challenge the best of countries. Russia strongly wished to force the Ukraine into returning to a client status. Few Ukrainians want that. They may even choose pretty strange bedfellows over Russia – after all, they know what that kleptocracy has to offer.

    • “Why is the far right obsessed with George Soros?”

      I guess, the far right and whatever-the-hell-that-is that Colonial Viper is now.

      • Andre 6.2.1

        Even just here there’s several more than just CV with that obsession, hence my descriptor “ranting kooks”. Here’s a doozy.

        • Colonial Viper

          You don’t think that there is a multi-billionaire class consistently funding and working against the interests of the 99%?


          • Andre

            That class exists. King Con has filled his cabinet with them, along with them being a nice cozy group with the likes of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan.

            However, it appears unlikely that Soros is aligned with particularly nasty ones like the Koch brothers, the Mercers, Adelson etc. Hence the smear campaign against Soros.

          • Psycho Milt

            Sure – the Koch brothers, for instance. Multi-billionaires are better placed to promote their class interest than others, definitely. But the outrage directed at Soros has a lot more to do with anti-semitism than class interest.

            • Colonial Viper

              There are plenty of Jewish billionaires and corporate magnates around, so you’d have to explain why Soros is considered more Jewish and more worthy of anti-semitism than other 0.001%’ers.

              Personally I think its his open interference in sovereign democracies which has made him a lightning rod, and his status as a Jew is merely a distraction.

            • One Two

              Really, does it….anti semitism you say…

              Nah, you’re projecting again…beacuase you’re too lazy to spend some time reading into his background…

              Wiki doesn’t count….

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Too lazy…

                To link to anything you think is relevant…

                But call people lazy…

                Boring vacuous hypocrisy…

                Since Wikipedia doesn’t count…

                Soros obviously didn’t short the pound as Wikipedia says he did…

                Nor has he ever been accused of insider trading…

                It must be a lie…

                Because Wikipedia says it…

                Adding all these ellipses to the end of comments makes it look like you have more to say…

                Especially if you haven’t in fact said anything at all…


        • Psycho Milt

          Here’s a doozy.

          Yeah, I was surprised that he declared himself to be writing those comments sober. I’d forgotten about that weird segment of the left that’s difficult to distinguish from the alt-right.

          • ropata

            “weird segment”

            explains why Hillary lost and Trump won. the “left” is fractured and unable to respond coherently to the challenges of our time

            • McFlock

              The left is always fractured.

              The right is united by money and hatred of difference. Each person on the left has their own ideal destination for society and their own perceived path to get there. And everyone else is usually on “the wrong path”.

    • joe90 6.3

      Soros is an all purpose bogey man.

      George Soros didn't tie a woman to a piece of exercise equipment and then blackmail her with photos, you weirdos. That was Eric Greitens.There's no excuse. Get yourselves together and stop defending a guy who disgraced our state.— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) February 23, 2018

      Governor Eric Greitens, who campaigned on a platform of family values and law and order (and machine guns, of course), was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with felony invasion of privacy in an incident related to an extramarital affair he has admitted to that took place in 2015.

      Naturally, there is one person to blame: George Soros.

      That’s if you are to take the Missouri GOP at their word, anyway. This morning the group released a statement on Twitter pointing the blame squarely at the right’s favorite boogeyman.

      • One Two 6.3.1

        Well done, j90

        You’ve solved the case…With one lone example…

        Did you set a PB with the google search ?….

        • Muttonbird

          One Two, hi

          Is your username…your age?…

          Or your I.Q ?….

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            How many sound engineers it takes to change a lightbulb.

            • Muttonbird

              Snap. I just saw your post above. One Two’s writing sounds like an out of breath Kevin Spacey in his last movie.

              Oh, wait…

          • One Two

            Hello Muttonbird,

            If you seriously believe a human being of that age could operate a device having connected it to the internet, that would be very ‘inadequate thinking’…

            Let J90 speak for himself, unless of course you were looking for a rebuke from our comments, the other day…that would actually explain the ‘inadequate thinking’…

            If you’re going to ‘take a pop’ , use some imagination at least…

            • One Anonymous Bloke


            • Muttonbird


              I’m not speaking for J90…I asked you a direct ‘question’

              And , I did use some imagination !…

              • One Two

                Fair enough, Muttonbird…

                That’s your level of ‘Imagination”….

                So, whatever your age…..the ‘imagination’ is lacking….

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  And pop! Goes the weasel…

                  Posts nullities…

                  When challenged…

                  Posts ad hominem remarks…

                  Affects ethical superiority…

                  Half a pound of tuppeny rice,
                  Half a pound of treacle…

                  • One Two

                    MB’s question, asked if my handle represents age and/or IQ, is a challenge in your world…

                    Hardly surprising…

                    How many direct and indirect comments of yours have I ignored until now, and for how many weeks while you’ve been taking ‘free hits’…

                    Did you figure out I was ignoring you, or had you figured it out and decided to keep going…because that’s your level…

                    See if I’m right…hardly a challenge with you, I’ll say that much…

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Get a clue, twit: all I’ve done is criticised the vacuum in your comments where content should be. Close to 100% of your null remarks concern your opinion of other people’s comments. You usually add some snide weasel crap that casts aspersions upon their motivation and character too.

                      You just don’t like getting your own back.

                      “Free hits”? What you get for taking cheap shots.
                      That’s for nothing. Now do something.

                    • One Two []

                      Get a clue, twit

                      8 minutes and 4 words is all it took for the newest insult reply and exposé of hypocrisy from OAB…

                      Getting my own back

                      Only in a twisted mind could stalking and cowardly abuse [while blatantly being ignored] equate to getting one back

                      So keep stalking and insulting…I’m back to ignoring you…again…

                    • Muttonbird

                      Dude, you have to at least attempt reasonable discourse here. Your dramatic pauses and Keyser Soze schtick is bullshit and you know it.

                      Grow the fuck up.

                    • One Two []

                      You asked if my handle is age/iq reflective..

                      I responded to you, it looks like the response passed you by…[one or two yr old internet device operating with a one or two IQ]….yeah that was the response to your question…

                      Perhaps consider not telling me what ‘I’ think…or about ‘my shtick’…others here have also fallen into the same hole…

                      I ‘know’ your comments are of a level below your chronological age…

                      Take Bills heed, higher up…stop projecting…and look in the mirror…

                      Grow the fuck up…indeed

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @ One Two: As I said: you cast aspersions on the motivation and character of other commenters, and when your own behaviour blows back all over your trousers, you start whining.

                      But you’re still covered in it.

  7. Cinny 7

    Most amazing post cyclone story so far….

    A friend of a friend was driving through foot high water, then a mud slide came rushing down the road, the mud pushed her car 200m down the road, then turned the car on it’s side, with her in it. Freaking terrifying, she managed to get out the car door when it tipped over. So very very lucky.

    Personally I doubt the Takaka Hill will be open any time soon, if they do manage it, I’ll be seriously impressed, the Hill is a mess.

    Big up’s to everyone who is working hard cleaning up. That ‘mud’ sure is weird, it’s like Kaiteriteri sand, golden and grainy, on the up side it doesn’t stink, we were joking about gold panning it yesterday as we shoveled. Weather is stunning, makes things easier.

    • adam 7.1

      Thanks for the update Cinny.

    • patricia bremner 7.2

      Cinny our soils are prone to slips and erosion. Extra heavy rainfall, 150mm, will cause lasting damage. Thinking of you, and hoping you get good weather and help to clean up.

    • Antoine 7.3

      > That ‘mud’ sure is weird, it’s like Kaiteriteri sand, golden and grainy

      That really is weird. Hard to imagine

      (I have a rellie stuck in Takaka BTW)


    • veutoviper 7.4

      Kia kaha to you all, cinny. And take care.

      That mud does sound weird, but much better than ‘normal’ sticky, stinky mud.

  8. Sanctuary 9

    I see Judith Collin’s Pravda (the Slater-right that no one should ever link to) have run up the white flag on the National party leadership contest and have commenced agitating for a civil war against the moderate right. Even Mark Mitchell has now been labelled a betrayer and a heretic.

    All points to an Adams-Joyce ticket winning IMHO, which would be hilarious.

    When you’ve got a PM who like a Brazilian soccer star is so popular she doesn’t need a second name picking a sort of B-team Jacinda and a relic from the Key era as the best choice leadership team is going to be no problem for the centre left.

    There seems to be some thought that if Collins loses she will head off with some hardliners and create a party to suck up the 4% of Evangelicals and merge them with the wingnut right (think Cameron Slater and Garth McVicar funded by MOSSAD and SERCO respectively). That would be interesting.

    • …think Cameron Slater and Garth McVicar funded by MOSSAD and SERCO respectively.

      OMG, that sounds horrifylngly plausible…

    • millsy 9.2

      I see Slater has put up paywalls on some of his content now.,

      • Pete 9.2.1

        In the old days you paid to use a public toilet.

        Isn’t Slater putting up a paywall like paying to go in and look at what someone’s deposited in the bowl?

    • veutoviper 9.3

      “There seems to be some thought that if Collins loses she will head off with some hardliners etc”

      If Collins does lose, I cannot see her sticking around, (despite being an electorate MP. Its basically her last chance – AND its her 59th birthday today. We should all send her messages LOL.

      Seriously I can see her doing something as per your last para and it would be interesting. Alternatively, I can see her following the Shipley ‘China’ route to richness and influence – Go the Blue Dragons, China banking etc.

      However, I did enjoy this lighthearted piece on Stuff this morning

  9. savenz 10

    Trouble for the gold bricks holdings in Queenstown who want an exemption. Apparently they built the mansions for foreigners that are mainly empty and too expensive for Kiwis to own. Remember Queenstown struggles with affordable housing and has to employ migrants as local people can’t afford to live there, now a new problem, Kiwis also can’t afford to buy there.

    “The Queenstown Lakes District Council wants luxury houses exempted from the Overseas Investment Act’s foreign-buyer ban:”

    • Graeme 10.1

      The way I see it from knowing people at the business end of that market is that the foreign buyer ban won’t have much effect. It’ll create a few hoops to jump through and some ownership structures might change, but won’t really change the market. Most high end overseas purchases go through the OIO process anyway, and the community extracts quite a bit of good there. Real Estate companies already have OIO specialists in house and that’s getting widened out to include immigration as well as the proposed restrictions encourage the commitment of residency.

      You could interpret the QLDC submission as saying the restrictions will have no effect at the very upper end, so why have them.

    • Antoine 10.2

      > The Queenstown Lakes District Council wants luxury houses exempted from the Overseas Investment Act’s foreign-buyer ban

      Haha good luck with that

  10. savenz 11

    Also of interest is the growing pollution there. Not just Auckland, Northland, Canterbury actually pretty much everywhere now, folks in NZ, thanks to our poor RMA laws and council and government decisions and priorities, that fail to address and is actually increasing pollution.

    Area of Lake Wakatipu contaminated with high E.coli levels

    Signing TPPA is going to make that problem a lot worse.

    • Graeme 11.1

      Sewage overflows in to Lake Whakatipu are nothing new. In 1984 there was one that gave half the town the shits and spews. It’s what you get when a small local population has to cope with the infrastructure demands of booming cyclic growth of both tourism and the resident population. It’s happened every boom bust cycle here since the place started in 1862.

      The closest we’ve come to a solution was when council took a lateral interpretation of the rating legislation and hammered the hotel toilets with a huge differential. This went way beyond waste water funding requirements and financed most of the tourist related expenditure. “Development contributions” got pretty solid through this period too. Unfortunately the neo-liberal accountants took a dim view of this extravagance and got the law changed so that rates had to be spent where collected. this made it really hard for council to keep up with demands of a rapidly growing district. The previous government basically told Queenstown to get fucked with funding to bring existing infrastructure up to speed to cope with development and growth. National reluctantly poured millions into roads in Frankton so their developer funders could duplicate big box retail and make the problem worse, but was all.

      the new Labour government is showing some intent to do something and seem sympathetic. It won’t be hard to do better than National’s reluctant and counter productive tokenism.

      • Antoine 11.1.1

        Surely the responsibility for cleaning up the lake lies with the regional council, not central government??


        • Graeme

          Typical RWNJ deflection of shunting the blame to someone else.

          The issue is giving the local community the tools to be able to keep ahead of the development and visitor pressure. Current legislation and funding models don’t do that. We are always catching / cleaning up afterwards.

          The past government demanded Queenstown double in size to meet their economic objectives. The profits, and tax take, of this went out of the community to god know where. The community is now having to pick up the pieces from rating. But that’s the multi-national dilemma allover again.

          • Antoine

            > Typical RWNJ deflection of shunting the blame to someone else.

            I’m just trying to acknowledge reality, in which the responsibility for doing a job lies with the person who does that job. You can’t expect someone else to do it, if it’s not their role.

            > The past government demanded Queenstown double in size to meet their economic objectives.

            wut? How did they make this demand? I am not aware of such a demand.

            Or do you simply mean that the previous government supported the tourism industry, which led to Queenstown growing?

            > The issue is giving the local community the tools to be able to keep ahead of the development and visitor pressure.

            Sounds interesting, what do they need?


            • Graeme

              “> The past government demanded Queenstown double in size to meet their economic objectives.

              wut? How did they make this demand? I am not aware of such a demand.”

              Nick Smith rocked into town and demanded QLDC approve a heap of SHAs. Mayor at the time rolled over and said “Yes Nick, anything you want, Sir”. Once that lot were approved he came back and did it again. Totally fucked over the council’s strategic planning.

              End result is water and sewage mains under the new Kawarau Falls bridge that are costing nearly as much as the bridge.

              • Antoine

                Thanks for the info, I did once know about these but had clearly forgotten.

                Is this the first round –

                and the second round –

                > Totally fucked over the council’s strategic planning.

                I’m struggling a bit to see how these SHAs caused such problems. It’s less than 2000 sections, some well out of Queenstown (eg Arrowtown). Have you got time to explain where the trouble arose?

                [Edit: I see you added the explanation about the Kawarau Falls – thanks. This article seems relevant – According to the article it seems like the cost was rather inflated, at $5M it could have been done for rather less in various ways. Was the need for these pipes really driven by Smith’s Special Housing Areas? Or simply by Queenstown’s growth.]


                • Graeme

                  Pretty much totally the SHA. Councils hadn’t planned on that area coming on stream for quite a while and were restricted in their ability to recover development contributions by SHA legislation.

                  There’s also a lurking liability with another SHA at Shotover Country that could be a bit close to the Shotover if we get a flood bigger than ’99 or one of the mass movement areas (remember them from Clyde Dam days) goes down the gorge.

                  SHAs might have created a lot of business for National’s mates, but with the curtailed process have created a liability for the community.

                  Quite how we are ever going to fill all these houses without continual development has yet to be answered. It won’t be from tourism operations because tourism returns / wages won’t pay the mortgage on million dollar properties, and the AirBnB market would be flooded, irrespective of legality. And there’s real limits to development and population with getting everything in and out of the Whakatipu. The concquences of a Kaikoura like earthquake don’t bear thinking about. imagine trying to evacuate 50000 visitors and non essential residents (more than possible in the wrong month) without any roads or electricity.

                  • Antoine

                    > Councils hadn’t planned on that area coming on stream for quite a while and were restricted in their ability to recover development contributions by SHA legislation.



                    • Graeme

                      Yeah, Jack’s Point was a bit of a fizzer from a residential perspective and was expected to be self contained and not requiring services upgrades until next cycle, ie mid 2020s. Then along came two rounds of SHAs and big box duplication (really triplication) and all that got kicked into the year before last.

              • savenz

                SHA’s were a ponzi scheme. Just another way to make money for a few out of thin air by a zoning change and dramatically increased the price of land (not the opposite as the dimwit economists predicted against all practical reason) then leave the mess and fall out for others to pay for and fight over.

                Not sure what happened in Queenstown but many Lefties in Auckland, community groups and leftie politicians lapped the Natz bullshit right up.

                All you need to do is mention poverty and more houses in the same sentence and a zombie response follows. So much easier than doing the hard yards and looking at every factor that is contributing, what has changed to make the issue an issue a crisis and what to do about it, short, medium and long term. Maybe even rethink the neoliberal dogma of what constitutes progress and is it progress if you are creating more poverty and less business opportunities.

                As turns out, (in Auckland anyway) the affordable houses mostly never got built, those that got built now need more subsidy for travel to get the residents to their jobs and the cost of houses and land has doubled if not more. That’s because it was always bullshit in the first place and a way for the Natz to make some people rich out of nothing.

      • savenz 11.1.2

        The difference is decades ago there were a lot less people contributing to the sewerage and a lot less waste water! It’s a complete cop out to say in the past there was sewerage so meh, nothing new, lets not bother too much.

        Also with all the rates from those mansions you have to wonder what the Queenstown council priority is after collecting the rates. Lobbying for OIA exemption?

        • Graeme

          “Also with all the rates from those mansions”

          Part of the problem is that “all those mansions” are generally not in urban areas, so don’t pay any rates that can be used on the sewage network. The rating, and ownership, info is all public here so you can look it up

          Councils are severely constrained in how they can collect and spend rates. With our extreme development pressure in Queenstown Lakes a much greater proportion of rates goes into regulatory and governance categories, which is a direct result of the development pressure, but spread over the whole rating base. Water and sewage are only charged to those who use the services. This is how the legislation works. End result, a million dollar urban property (which is about bottom of the market for a standalone dwelling) pays about the same total rates as a 3 million dollar rural property.

          There’s lots of real people here to whom Whakatipu is their home and try to meet the challenges of surviving and hopefully thriving here. Those challenges are surprisingly similar now to what they have been at any point in the districts history. At present neo-liberal purism around rating is making it very hard for our council to do it’s job.

          For a different interpretation on the foreign buyer submission see my comment at 10.1

  11. greywarshark 12

    I’ve got a simple little mind-focussing motto for this blog and the whole western world and probably all. It is is question? –

    Are we, am I, here for the purpose of meeting people or eating people.

    People are driven by emotion rather than rationality, and we absolutely need to recognise this. Our refusal to do so has led now, in our present hypocritical society, to one that refuses to recognise reality as in the USA which has banned talking about evidence-based science.

    We are driven by the idea that we are superior, intelligent beings who think things through but if we don’t recognise the emotions that drive each of us, we are led to cruelty to people who are overcome by their emotions which are more real to them than the myths that are still driving the rest of us. These people are lumped together in a group called ‘mentally ill’!

    There are people on TS attacking those who are writing in expressing their direct and straight emotionally-related response to the lacks of our political leaders.
    The attackers go beyond being irritated and become emotionally hostile and want to quiet such people who are feeling the stress that all of us are thinking about our society and they are expressing it. The rational response would be to say, You may be right but it is of no help to us that you are not turning your attention to thinking of policies that will prevent the results you fear. No, we ignore the honest emotion in others and demean their humaness.

    We want to obliterate anyone who doesn’t maintain the myth of us as rational before anything else. That prepares the way for us to turn away from human interaction and seek the ‘metal mind’, the AI guiding the robot. This is what we are being led to by those business interests that know how to appeal to our emotional minds that are fascinated by intricate machines, cleverness, elegant toys etc.

    Do we accept our humaness? Are we on The Standard meeting people or are we eating people? Till they dry up, get depressed, wither and die before their time. We have to be kind to each other, which has already been thought of, in the Daily Review post description.

    And these attitudes apply, as I have said, throughout society. If we are so intelligent then we should be able to recognise them, reflect on them. We must find a way to introduce better ways of understanding and expressing ourselves without ignoring others humaness; to cut across emotional excess but in a more kindly and understanding way. Honest expression and information is being forbidden in Trump’s USA, and can be forced underground by a large negatived PC prohibition. PC should be a reminder not to be limited in thinking to negative stereotypes, and we are becoming limited in how we deal with thinking that is unpopular at any given time. There is often an attempt to dominate a view in each conversation or debate, and for humaness to succeed to its best outcome, we need to avoid excess assertion or protestation, or excessive denial of debate of thought or ideas.

    • Incognito 12.1

      I see that you continue the theme, which is great.

      Last night I happened to read another piece by George Monbiot in which he elaborated on the mind-body dualism and the fact that it has not become heavily skewed towards something that more resembles mind monism:

      It would be interesting to contemplate that most if not all gratification, pleasure, and other positive (hedonistic) sensations that we compulsively and obsessively chase & grave through consumerism & entertainment, for example, are experienced through the body. Even aesthetic enjoyment from creative endeavours & art can only be experienced through our body & senses.

      I have to resist articulating my thoughts on the commenting here on TS except to say that there has been ‘a disturbance in the force’ on 19th Feb 2018.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        It would be interesting to contemplate that most if not all gratification, pleasure, and other positive (hedonistic) sensations that we compulsively and obsessively chase & grave through consumerism & entertainment, for example, are experienced through the body.

        It may even be far beyond that – the ability to even interpret our surroundings and apply ‘meaning’ to our lives may also heavily rely on having a physical body that not only exists, but which we can act through.

        In Buddhism the concept is that of the body containing physical/biological senses – but that those physical senses only results in ‘sense consciousness’ when a ‘sense object’ comes into ‘contact’ with the awareness of the mind, generating a state of ‘sense consciousness’.

        It is our pursuit of (or evading away from) the various resulting states of ‘sense consciousness’ and their downstream effects which is a major driver (*the* major driver?) of human motivation and behaviour.

        • Incognito

          A very confusing (for me) comment because I know next to nothing about Buddhism. I know you’ve copped a one-week ban again here – it was inevitable, sadly – but if you do read this I hope you can and will clarify this for me (and others?): is it our pursuit to reach or avoid states of ‘sense consciousness’ or to come into ‘contact’ with or avoid ‘sense objects’? To use the analogy of the Matrix, should we take the blue pill and experience an illusion as ‘consciousness’ or take the red pill and experience the physical world and objects with our 5 senses and thus a fundamentally different state of consciousness? In the end our consciousness is what it is and we cannot tell what is ‘real’ (AKA The Truth) and what is not, can we?

      • Sacha 12.1.2

        ‘a disturbance in the force’

        I have noticed a disturbing amount of willy-waving.

        • Antoine

          Probly won’t last long

        • Incognito

          Are you sure? I have not witnessed it myself.

          There are definitely a few cocksure dickheads and dickettes here (they are everywhere!), there is chest-thumping, scent-marking, wolving, dog-whistling, intellectual masturbation, and other signs of hyper-gonadism but I’ve yet to stumble on (or over?) willy-waving.

  12. patricia bremner 13

    Thank you Greywarshark. A timely post, and one to remind us of our bias and weaknesses.

    We easily leap on others faults and flaws, but refuse to see our own, taking unhelpful positions.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      I’m not thinking of each of us personally actually Patricia but of the need to determine a different way of treating each other and looking at the world. It is amazing that we can advance so far, since say Jesus’ time to have a starting point that we can envisage. We are so advanced technically but have not been able to decide and hold to a culture that enables each of us to realise our potential for a good and fruitful life within a community that is basically kind but careful and practical.

      It’s interesting that as i write this, there is a doco about Fawcett who went missing while exploring in Brazil after WW1 with his 18 year old son and friend amongst others presumably. They were looking for a great hidden city and exploring an area with deep spirituality and different ways of thinking. James Fawcett was said to be the original Indiana Jones. But the clash of cultures left him and his son, and friend presumably dead, never heard of again. Someone else was found dead in the jungle with 40 arrows in and around him and 7 clubs. So interacting with a different culture can be dangerous to death. But now is the era of ‘spiritual tourism’ there, says Redmond O’Hanlon, the doco narrator.
      (The Lost City in Amazon Rainforest.)

      I hope we can do some exploration of the mind, and come together with similar others and influence a change in our world cultures before we destroy our known civilisation. But some of the people we may think align with us are not kind, and lack respect for others, or generosity, and are not even practical. That has been an experience of mine, and so I think there needs to be a check on thoughts, discussions and agreements, companions, and plans to see if they fit within those descriptions or false paths get followed. Look for the money and power desire to intervene in practical, principled thinking.

  13. adam 14

    Watching the Joe Rogan Experience with Bret Weinstein & Heather Heying, great show so far.

    Was interested in why they were asked on, got to this piece from Heather Heying. I think I’ve seen this type of behaviour that she speaking about. I’ve also done it myself.

  14. savenz 15

    Just the tip of the iceberg… so many people working illegally and paying no taxes. Hospitals are full, roads are full, houses are full, but Aucklander’s are not benefiting at all or are local companies being under cut. It is a race to the bottom.

    And having illegal workers is not decreasing the cost of building because every worker needs somewhere to live and easy enough to buy property here as a non resident or even a resident with false papers.

    The rate payers pay for the remedial repairs. The developer working next door under a new name or the scammers opening businesses and using illegal labour are flourishing.

    Operation Spectrum: Immigration fraud on Auckland building sites, nearly 200 illegal workers found

    • Antoine 15.1

      Sounds like some good policing there

      • Keepcalmcarryon 15.1.1

        Good policing would have nabbed “the man in the black Audi”
        Let’s see everyone in the management chain locked up.

        • savenz

          Agree with Keepcalmcarryon and Antoine.

          Of course the suspicious in me also wonders if the tip off is between rival factions of illegal worker gangs. Aka dob in one’s rivals so you get more share of the pie cos it’s not just the Malaysian workers that will be doing it. (They might just be the ones with little political power and therefore more likely to be caught).

          • savenz

            Sounds like boasting of the ease of setting up a NZ company might have it’s pitfalls….

            • savenz

              If Labour and Greens want to get some taxes, obviously checking all the new visas and residents tax affairs from the last 10 years would be fruitful and also throwing the book at the employers with the fake or illegal jobs would help.

              For example in the modern building industry, there are subcontractors onto of subcontractors, then at the end it’s some non English speaking illegal workers probably doing the job for peanuts ($20 – $40 per hour sounds like great illegal rates for the Malaysians, other cultures seem to be only paying on $2 per hour to workers per scam plus $20,000 to organise it, but then they are ‘hopefully’ getting residency on top of the fake job).

              Having so many people go between actually makes building more expensive and takes longer managing all the scams and subcontractors. The focus is on the scam and making money for the builder/developer, not actually a quality job at a reasonable price in a reasonable time frame. Fletcher’s is a great example, just had too many bad and out of touch people making bad decisions and taking too long.

              It’s wrecking it for all the rest of the honest businesses and employers and people who actually call this country home, not just someone’s idea of a business opportunity to get something free, exploit someone or make money.

  15. adam 16

    Weka, I now your not a huge fan of videos – but you might like this one. Mayors of American cities, and citizens actively opposing the orange roughy and his cabinet on climate change.

    • weka 16.1

      Thanks adam, that looks interesting. It’s not that I don’t like videos, it’s that if I’m going to watch one for 30 mins it has to be something I’m really wanting to see. Too many things, not enough time.

      • adam 16.1.1

        Understand that. I really like Laura Flanders watch her stuff when she puts it out, thought this one might appeal to you.

        I’m not sure I agree with chunks of it, but thought it was good to think about how people have chosen to approach it all the same.

        Plus, positive action is better than doing nothing and/or just moaning about it.

      • Muttonbird 16.1.2

        +1. There’s been a surge lately elsewhere of blog and forum posters linking to long videos and podcasts in order to try re-enforce their argument.

        It’s lazy, arrogant, and BS to imagine everyone else has the time to watch 90 mins of their alt-right crap.

        • mauī

          scroll past

          • McFlock

            Yeah, but then that just becomes a way to shut down debate: post a vid, and if someone continues to disagree then just say “did you watch the vid? Your points were answered”.

            • weka

              who’s been doing that (apart from Ed)?

              • McFlock

                lol I hadn’t even thought of Ed.

                It’s just something I recall getting into with some arguments. A quick google search of the site for “watched the link” or “watched the video” (incl quote marks) turns up loads of links where the debate descends into “you haven’t watched it”-type point scoring. From loads of different people.

                Now a lot of those occasions do require watching the video and interpreting events, (e.g. Burrows running over a protestor), but others are more talking heads that can either be expressed in a commenter’s own words, or indeed the point the other person was trying to make was about the existence/posting of the vid, not its contents. And the thread still ends up with “watch it” instructions.

                E.g. there’s this thread where Bill and Adam say marty should watch the link. The Chairman uses it here. These aren’t necessarily intentional attempts to make counter-commenting more difficult than it’s worth, but it does throw the flow of discussion.

                It just seems to me to be lazy commenting, just putting out a vid without taking an effort to form a coherent argument. Even with posts, I follow the philosophy that links are basically “this is where I got my previous statement from, or here is further reading irrelevant to my main point”, and shouldn’t be integral to a case. The bigger the claim, the more words I should have to use to make it.

                • adam

                  Stop living in the past McFlock.

                  The reality is the video above was directly for weka, without me pushing any sort of agenda. I don’t need you to watch it, nor anyone else. I’ve stopped asking people to watch videos because they don’t have the time to do it.

                  On most of the video’s I put I I put up a timestamp as well. The choice is there’s.

                  I see now CV is banned I’m mutton birds next target with his lies, and Horse excrement.

                • weka

                  “Even with posts, I follow the philosophy that links are basically “this is where I got my previous statement from, or here is further reading irrelevant to my main point”, and shouldn’t be integral to a case. The bigger the claim, the more words I should have to use to make it.”

                  Me too, unless it’s a video that needs watching to understand something like an unfolding event, or support for quoting someone, or as you say, interpreting something. (in which case, time stamp it).

                  The Bill and adam vid is actually in a post where the post is pretty much just the video, so in that case having to watch the video before commenting seems reasonable.

                  I don’t like the whole watch this 60 min vid to get my point thing, and prefer people to explain, but I can’t say I’ve seen that being done a lot (I don’t follow most of the US/Russia, or Syria threads though).

                  • McFlock

                    Well, marty had more of a meta point about the post vid rather than the vid itself, but it’s no biggee.

                    I thought the TC one was pretty typical of the sort of thing – I seem to recall writing something along the lines BMs ‘that’s ten minutes I’ll never get back’ on more than one occasion.

                    But these days I tend to simply avoid videos completely unless I’m in the mood to watch crazy. That way I’m never disappointed. Maybe I’ve missed out on some enlightening discussion, but I doubt it. Clips take too long and you can’t skim read to get the vibe0.

            • mauī

              What I tend to think happens more often is people saying “did you read the assoc. link?”. People having no interest in what the other party is trying to say is the problem there.

              The way I see it videos are probably more an influencing tool than a debating one. I think they still have a place though.

            • greywarshark

              A commenter with a vid that is useful in part explains what it is useful for and then advises where the particular point is verified or illustrated by saying round 20m to save people’s time. That is fair and thoughtful and well done. Also if there are a number of vids opening in the post, it is better for the ease of reading and following the post, if a left bracket ( is put in front of the link for the vid. That will stop it opening until chosen.

              But as McFlock remarked there is sometimes a quite cursory approach to carry forward a discussion, with the answer directing you to somewhere on the vid itself. This is only justified when answering a bona fide troll not when someone is a genuine leftie of the type that doesn’t see the point as a nail to be smashed with a hammer. That is the ideal anyway, we can’t always do things right.

        • weka

          I don’t see adam posting alt-right crap and the video above certainly doesn’t appear to be that. Adam was offering something to me because of a previous conversation we had. I appreciate the offer. That is different to spamming the site with videos.

        • adam

          You know Mutton bird you have turned into the worst type of troll. A lying one.

  16. Stuart Munro 17

    Interesting summary of the major actors/malefactors behind the nonrebuild of Christchurch:

    • greywarshark 17.1

      That is quite a dossier and it was done in 2013. But we got a nice transparency international report.

      • Stuart Munro 17.1.1

        Yes – it’s unfortunate that transparency international has no objective measure of corruption. I’m sure one could be done, especially highlighting the major forms corruption takes in each locale, because corruption has a kind of culture.

  17. greywarshark 18

    I was thinking of Winston Peters and the cartoon that showed him as Super-annuation Man I think in the Listener at one time in his career. Didn’t find that but
    I found a piece on stuff from October 2017 by one Henry Cooke who has an interesting bio on him, starting off with how he has ‘careened’ from one topic to another. That sounded a bit off-hand from a journalist whose job is to do just that, especially now there is very little long-form journalism. (He also referred to him having asthma and a stutter, denied by Winston, when he was small so he hasn’t left many rocks unturned).

    Anyway he has put together an interesting article showing Winston as a young man who joined the National Party and in 1978 beat Malcolm Douglas (a brother of Roger) to Hunua, a South Auckland seat, (I detect nepotism in politics).
    there are some great photos of Muldoon.

    An interesting read for the weekend whether you have lived through all this or not.

  18. Muttonbird 19

    Perhaps a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for the American public.

    • weka 19.1


    • One Two 19.2

      A glimmer of light…No…

      The war machine is darkness…no light to be found there…

      The next ‘incident’….a kindergarden incident is ‘overdue’….that would be ‘good’ for some more finger wagging at the NRA…

      People who miss the obvious issues [not guns in a silo] are part of the problems going around…

  19. joe90 20

    Universities responding to school threats to discipline students participating in gun control protests.

    UConn would like to assure students who have applied or been admitted to the University that disciplinary action associated with participation in peaceful protests will not affect your admission decision in any way.— UConn (@UConn) February 24, 2018

  20. joe90 21

    Jeez Wayne!

    “We drop our kids off at schools that are so-called gun free zones that are wide open targets for any crazy madman bent on evil to come there first,” LaPierre, the powerful gun lobby’s CEO, told the Conservative Political Action Conference, as the country still reels from last week’s gruesome high school shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead.

    In order to stop the scourge of gun violence, LaPierre continued, “It takes a good guy with a gun.”

    But LaPierre’s forceful CPAC assertion sharply contrasts comments he made in the aftermath of the Columbine high school massacre in 1999 that left 15 people dead.

    “First, we believe in absolutely gun free, zero tolerance, totally safe schools,” LaPierre told an NRA conference in Colorado on May 1, 1999. “That means no guns in America’s schools, period, with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel.”

    To applause, LaPierre compared the sanctity of schools to that of airports.

    “You can’t talk about, much less take bombs, guns onto airplanes,” he said. “Such behavior in our schools should be prosecuted just as certainly as such behavior in our airports is prosecuted.”

  21. Sacha 22

    Thank you for the clean-up in aisle 5, Weka.

    • weka 22.2

      Cheers Sacha.

    • One Two 22.3

      Got what you were hoping for, eh Sacha…

      Was it as satisfying as you’d hoped for in your comment at 2.09pm?

      If I recall, your handle has been around a while….commonly responded to and referred to as a tr*ll…

      Why did you thank for the cleanup in ailse 5…..who would you have banned?

      • weka 22.3.1

        Sacha is one of the least troll-like commenters here. You on the other hand appear to be in the thick of the increasing aggro recently.

        • One Two

          If I’m incorrect about Sacha, that would be my error…

          The increasing agro is the attack clique who roam this site and have done for years, who honed in on CV’s return and went right back into their regular patterns…

          At times I play along and end up in a long winded back and forth, which I know are a waste of energy with handles like McFlock, so I exit and state I won’t engage with him anymore…I did the same with OAB some time back…

          OAB has been stalking my comments for months (without reply) now until I felt like I wanted to call it out, which i did yesterday…Along with stating I will not be responding again…let’s see if the abusive stalking continues….

          OAB IMO is a disaster for this site far beyond the sum total of the others like James, BM etc combined. Unable to change the MO, it’s protracted and ugly and IMO needs to stop, clearly he can’t help himself…it’s just the human being he is…

          My opinion…CV did not stand a chance, I do not think his comments warranted a ban yesterday, not singlulary anyway if there was to be balance…CV doesn’t help himself, but the group seems to want him gone for good…I was surprised he came back, actually…

          The agro, as you put it…comes from various quarters…yet its the same handles who are still here…abusing and insulting…eventuality even I will retort…and yet it still goes on…

          I’ve said it before…that safe place you’re hoping to create…not possible so long as the long term aggressors feel its their right/duty to patrol the site with virtual carte blanche on insults and abuse…

          Your articles and comments are high quality, Weka…and your moderating is most often fair and reasonable…but I don’t agree with your ban of CV yesterday…he was not the primary protagonist…IMO…and he stands no chance here…that much is clear…that’s also down to him…

          Have a good day, Weka…and thanks…

          • weka

            “If I’m incorrect about Sacha, that would be my error…”

            So you called someone a troll without knowing if they were? This is part of the problem. You didn’t like a very simple thank-you to a mod from a commenter you don’t know and you accused them of being a troll. That’s adding to the aggro.

            When I had a look in OM last night what I saw was a pattern of conversation that is familiar to many of us here, including those who give up and stop commenting because they find it boring, unproductive, stupid, or too stressful to be around. I call it macho as a shorthand, and moderators and authors have put effort into getting the culture here changed while still upholding the kaupapa of robust debate. That’s the context for my moderation.

            People still seem to think that moderation is about fairness first and foremost. It’s not. I looked at a pattern of group behaviour that had been building up for days and looked for the simplest solution to that for me as a moderator that wasn’t going to take up a lot of my time last night or over the coming week. Had CV been keeping his head down and not being a dick, he wouldn’t have been moderated and I would have done something else instead. I spent about 30 mins last night reading what I needed to, looking up past moderations, putting the bits in the back end that needed to be (including multiple notes, not just CV), and then the notes in the front end. I don’t see why I should have to spend any more time than that, so I will pick the thing out of the mess that I think is most likely to change the conversation for the better.

            Given you were one of the people taking part in that whole thing yesterday, and you weren’t trying to make the conversation better but were in fact adding to the aggro, I’m inclined to see your comment as partisan. CV has a very long history on this site of causing big problems and stress, much of which you will be unaware of. Of course he is going to be seen as the problem when he’s doing similar behaviour as all the previous times. If you think that is unfair, consider that he’s actually being given something like a fifth chance here. He can change how he behaves here, or not, that’s entirely up to him.

            I gave another commenter a serious warning (they will be banned without warning next time). My suggestion is that people consider that if this stuff continues, picking sides and throwing shit or darts across that line will increase the chance of bans, and what I personally will be looking at is net contribution to the site and how much the person is an instigator or contributor to the problem. My priority at this stage is the people who will leave if this kind of conversation takes over TS again. I am far less concerned about individual commenters and what they think their rights might be.

            I am also concerned about getting authors to want to write here and some of us have been working on this as well. I don’t want to see that undermined. I’ve noted this before, people commenting on moderation rarely look at the point of the site and seem very focussed on their own personal needs. That’s just not how the place works.

            • weka

              You might want to look at how many posts have been put up today and consider that my having to waste time on moderating the same old shit as every other time is likely to make my moderation sharper and more pointed.

            • One Two

              That’s ok Weka, I’ve been following this site since arpund 2012 so am well aware of the ‘personalities’, history and the ‘problems’…

              I am non partisan, fyi but do see and understand the factions here and the limitations the site faces because of those factions….

              You’ve also stated numerous times about how you personally see the moderators role as you choose to apply it…as opposed to other authors and moderating styles…

              Moderating is an important responsibility which you clearly take seriously…when you went from commentator to author to moderator, naturally there was change amd evolution in your approach…as you said a few weeks back you’d be interested to hear thoughts on the very subject, as you’re comfortable to respond to questions about any perceived change over the years…that IMO is being fair and reasonable…moderating to protect the site is about just that…protecting the site…but there are a multitude of approaches….

              Intention to have this site be as beneficial as it can be to get important subject matter to as wider audience as possible, is an admirable position…

              As for Sacha…there has been a handle of the same or similar name over the years who did have a ‘right learning bent’ is has been an agitator…if I’ve got that wrong, it’s not becauase i didn’t know…handles here change writing styles…it’s easy enough to pic…

              The recurrence of handles calling for bans, then ‘hoping’ it happens is something which is not only a piss weak thing to write, it should be moderated with more repercussions…like taking a dive …IMO

              Anyway, thanks for the response, the articles and the moderation for the site…

              Have a good sunday….

        • Sacha

          Thank you, Weka. Lack of comprehension, or arguing in bad faith, must be frustrating to deal with.

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