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Open mike 24/04/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 24th, 2012 - 109 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

109 comments on “Open mike 24/04/2012 ”

  1. Some people are gambling addicts so we should ban pokies.

    And what else?

    Is a temporary increase of numbers of pokies in one location a big deal? The number of locations throughout neighbourhoods must be a more critical factor in feeding addictions.

    • tc 1.1

      What’s temporary about it? Try harder PG otherwise it’s obvious you’re a shill for shonkey attempting to shroud it in that ‘ moderate ‘ influence you roll over for the baubles every time.

      Timing is good with the comedy festival starting soon, you and James 111 could do a double act. You’re also diverting from the rather more serious issue of selling legislation, no due process, robust business case etc etc

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        It’s temporary because the number of gaming machines has been trending significantly downward for about the last decade, and even if there is a few hundred blip upwards the trend will continue downward.

        Numbers peaked at over 25,000 about 2002, and have since fairly steadily declined to about 18,000 now, averaging about -700 per year.


        • logie97

          Okay Pete, what does shrinking lid mean?
          If the desire is for them to eventually be phased out (i.e no renewed licences) then the legislation will have had its desired affect..
          Ultimately we have none out in the suburbs.
          And, of course, the casino will begin to reduce theirs?
          Don’t think so.

        • muzza

          Pete has never played monopoly I guess, can’t understand trickle up, or consolidation…

          Pete are you alright mate, I think you might have forgotten to take your meds again.

        • DH

          Maybe you could stop to wonder why they’re trending down. The pokies not at the casino are non-profit, sites such as pubs & clubs that host pokies can only charge rent and expenses. 37% of gross pokie revenue has to go to charity and 100% of nett profit also has to go to charity.

          Pubs installed them because they brought in extra customers and helped pay a bit of the rent, maybe those customers now spend so much time in front of the pokie instead of buying booze it’s not worth it for the pub any more.

          They’re likely trending down because they’re no longer profitable for certain types of pubs & clubs. Since they are very profitable for Sky City, who have a totally different payout arrangement, you can’t compare the two.

          • Fortran

            We are reading the suggestions of many of the Pub pokies proceeds being “donated” in very unusual ways, not in the ways anticipated.
            This has been going on for many years and needs to be corrected again again.
            Ther are deep smells in this.

    • Descendant Of Smith 1.2

      As usual the link is to his Pete’s website but playing his game:

      Some people like having sex with animals so should we ban bestiality
      Some people like robbing other peoples homes so should we ban burglary
      Some people like beating the shit out of their wives so should we ban assault
      Some people like biking without a helmet so should be ban not wearing a helmet
      Some people like starving and beating animals so should we ban animal abuse
      Some people like signing off incorrect financial prospectuses so should we ban fraud
      Some people like revealing peoples private details in public so should we ban privacy breaches
      Some people like to speed so should we ban speeding
      Some people like to discharge cow shit into rivers so should we ban polluting rivers
      Some people like playing Grant Theft Auto at 8 years old should we ban them til they are 18
      Some people like keeping chickens in town so should we ban roosters

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        Except that you are listing things that are deemed socially unacceptable, whereas most of what I listed are seen as safe and reasonable for most people.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Actually many of the things you have listed various people find socially unacceptable in some way or another.

          Drugs – marijuana would be the classic example
          Fat people – just read any rightwing blog – and actually NZ should enforce the original WHO guidelines (before they were edited by the sugar company who paid for the report) to have a maximum level of sugar in food. That would have the greatest impact on obesity of anything I have ever come across
          Pokies and casinos – these were banned in NZ for many, many years without any difficulty. there’s no doubt in many peoples minds that they have made and created more gambling addicts and caused more problems than not having them. Socially unacceptable absolutely.
          Music – there has been plenty of effort over the years to ban unacceptable music – my favourite punk included but feel free to go back as far as Elvis if you wish.

          Social mores change as we have seen with the unbanning of pokies and casinos which is actually the point isn’t it. They were allowed with a stroke of the pen and can simply be un-allowed in the same way.

          We wouldn’t suffer at all without them and given only people who can afford to lose money should game they can all afford to go to Aussie to the casinos there.

          We make moral choices about what we allow and don’t allow all the time – btw you must know that if you find uranium on your land it’s unlawful not to tell the government.

    • tc 1.3

      Gunna answer my points about the issues you’re diverting from or just play the opinion game like your masters.

      • Pete George 1.3.1

        The only thing you asked was “What’s temporary about it?” I showed that after about six months the proposed increase would be negated by attrition.

        I wasn’t diverting, I raised one of a number of relevant issues – which you could be accused of diverting from.

        • mickysavage

          Sky City is obviously immune to attrition.  All it does is snap its fingers and the Government increases the numbers of machines that it is allowed to have.

          Another question Petey.  United Future actually supported the Gambling Act 2003 which capped the number of casinos and the machine/table combination in each casino.

          Will it continue to do this? 

          • Pete George

            I’ve got no idea what UF will do about that. And I have no idea what Peter Dunne’s thiking on the convention centre proposal is, apart from what I saw of him on TV3 last night, and other non-committal reports like:


            I agree that he should wait to see whatever deal ends up on the table – if it gets that far. If it does it will be a difficult one for him, weighing the pros and cons. And regardless of which way he goes he’ll be criticised vehemently by some.

            Greg, will Labour oppose any deal with Sky City to build a convention centre? How much would Labour spend (and borrow) to help build a convention centre? Or are Labour anti the whole idea?

            • mickysavage

              Clearly Labour is opposed to the selling of legislation for money and the increasing of accessibility to poke machines.  Labour and UF put the cap there in the first place and it is clear that this was the right thing to do.

            • Anne

              Pete G: Your beloved leader is a liar, turncoat and hypocrite extraordinaire. He’s also a pathetic weakling living in the pockets of his corrupt boss, John Key. He will not be missed or even remembered by anyone when he finally is kicked off his undeserved political pedestal.


              • Dunne has made it clear – on TV3 and elsewhere – that until details of any convention centre deal are known he won’t make any decisions on it. That sounds sensible to me.

                But fire ahead opposing things that aren’t known if that’s what you like to do.

                • felix

                  Is it unreasonable to expect him to comment on what is already known?

                  After all he’s not just a passive observer in all of this. The expression of his opinions and views can actually have a material impact on the outcome.

                  In a very real sense it matters what he thinks. Not just after the fact as if he were some kind of parliamentary historian, but right now as an active participant in the process of decision making.

                  Of course if everything seems hunky dory by him, I guess he has no reason to speak up.

                  • Do you know a lot more about the deal that hasn’t been announced yet than Dunne? On FB this morning he said:

                    James K Baxter’s famous line “teach other ignorant people what you in your ignorance think you know best” comes to mind when considering all the media and self appointed social watchdogs rushing to judgement on an Auckland convention centre deal before any such deal has actually materialised. Another reminder of the wisdom of taking things one step at a time.

                    The fact that some Labour MPs and some in the media chose a slow news week to try and comment on a lot of unknowns doesn’t mean all MPs have to follow suit in the conclusion jumping.

                    I’d expect someone in Dunne’s (and Bank’s and the Maori MPs) position to wait for actual facts and deals to be known and to then weigh them up carefully rather than give a running commentary on whatever pops into his head when someone on a blog wants to know.

                  • Perhaps this is the sort of up front guidance you prefer.

                    Speaking to Radio New Zealand this morning he said there was a huge need for a convention centre in Auckland, but if the deal goes ahead controls should be put in place to minimise harm to gamblers.

                    “I’m not anti gambling at all. I think there is a place and time for it and people are entitled to make their choices and they do that.”

                    “What I would be looking at and what I looked at previously is harm minimisation, so if there is an extension as a part of any deal I would be very very concerned to ensure that we did everything we could to minimise harm from the extension of gambling outlets,” he said.

                    Conditional support for deal

                    That sounds fair enough too.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      The thing is Pete, he’s a politician. It’s not like he just has to sit there, and express conditional concerns and whatnot. his vote could swing this, so why dopesn’t he put some bloody effort in and come up with some actual proposals?

                      This harm minimisation thing, sounds fine, except that he doesn’t flesh it out. If that’s what he wants, he should talk about what he means. Is he talking about an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff? Cause that won’t cut it.

                      And who is going to pay for whatever it is he is talking about? If it’s the government, or anyone other than skycity, then it just becomes more subsidy, doesn’t it?

                      The man’s a coward.

                    • Treetop

                      “That sounds fair enough too.”

                      Do you know what I think sounds fair enough to.

                      1. A new transparent tendering process for a national convention centre.
                      2. For Sky City to pay 37% tax on every pokie machine.
                      3. For every pokie machine at Sky City to have a max bet of $2.50 per spin and not $100.

                      Really Pete George in no time a national convention centre would be paid for were Sky City to come into line paying what a pub has to pay.

                      40 pub pokie machines = one Sky City pokie machine when the bet is $100 on the Sky City machine.

                    • so why dopesn’t he put some bloody effort in and come up with some actual proposals?

                      Because it’s not his project. It’s an Auckland and National driven project, it’s up to them to come up with something that they can get approved in the city and in parliament.

                      It would be more valid to ask John Banks what he thinks. It’s his city. But it’s ridiculous to expect a single MP to fully research and lobby on every project around the country.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      PG, selling the law, which is what the John Key/SkyCity deal is, is immoral and PD and UF would be coming against it if they had any sort of ethics.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      PD and UF would be coming against it if they had any sort of ethics.

                      Rhetorical question?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      lol. It’s pretty onbvious he is in ‘discussions’ with the Nats about his support. Why won’t he go public with what his support will be dependent on?

                      It looks to me like he will be happy with some fig leaf of ‘harm reduction’ probably paid for by the taxpayer, or by some insignificant levy.

                      I mean whatever happened to that guy who was asking for votes on the ground that he would stop the nats doing crazy shit? this one is sitting right over the plate, if he doesn’t smack this one, he won’t smack anything.

                      That press release on this was just a boring tired nasty attack on labour, as if they’ve got anything at all to do with this.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I’ve got no idea what UF will do about that.

              Wow, and here’s me thinking you were a member of the party even a possible candidate. Have you now switched over fully to National?

              I agree that he should wait to see whatever deal ends up on the table

              No, he should be opposed to selling the law.

              • No, I’ve switched back to my normal life and my normal ambitions. The election campaign finished five months ago.

                I have some minor communication with UF still but I’m not a part of the organisation and have nothing to do with decision making. I’m simply an occasional opinion they may or may not take any notice of, and I sometimes ask for clarifications and explanations.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  have you resigned from the list then?

                  • For parties without any list MPs (Act, Maori, Mana and UF) their list becomes redundant after the election.

                    The next list probably won’t be put together until about August 2014.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You need to find a political party with a future (haha) if you want to further your ambitions.

                  • Depends on what those ambitions are. There’s a lot that can be tried without needing a party.

                    Are you in a party?
                    Do you need a party to pursue your ambitions?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah mate Labour.

                      And as always, I am ambitous for New Zealand.

                      Edit – what is a decent length of time between which you could distance yourself from U,F and subsequently not appear too unseemly joining another political party?

                      6 months? 12 months?

                    • You need to find a political party with a future (haha) if you want to further your ambitions.

            • Jasper

              So United Future didn’t have a policy manifesto for 2011?

              Ban political parties that don’t have a manifesto 30 days out from the election from having their votes counted.

              Whats that you say?
              UF did have a manifesto?

              Well good on them. Then they should go and ask their voters in the single electorate they hold, what the voters think.

              We should really have local referendums in the decider seats on burning issues. Democracy speaks then.

    • aj 1.4

      Some people are gambling addicts so we regulate pokies.
      Alcohol causes a lot of damage to society so we regulate alcohol.
      Speeding cars are more likely to kill people so we speed.


      opps DoS beat me to it

      • Fortran 1.4.1


        I hate being dragged into a casino to gamble. Same with smoking.

        • aerobubble

          The problems are three fold, one big government intervention into the pokie market to select one winner SkyCity at the expense of all the small Pokie establishments – i.e. could they form a class action under the free trade agreement against the government for loss of customers to Sky City. Second, people only allowed these machines because money went to charity and so back into the community. Third, after the social slave addicts have been used to pay for the convention centre, they will be handed over to the private investor Sky City to profit off. In what world do we live in that allows profit from the addiction of others. Are we going to get drug addicts to break rocks up and keep the profits from the sale, are we going to have alcoholic addicts put in a ring and beat each other to a pulp for the viewer entertainment??
          Its immoral and unethical to build a convention centre off the backs of addicts.

  2. There you go, it’s all just a wild conspiracy theory according to John Key. I wonder where he learned that one!

    • muzza 2.1

      Use of the the word “wild” is the giveaway there….

      “Mr Key said he “sensed” that ACT MP John Banks and UnitedFuture MP Peter Dunne would support the deal when it emerged.”

      – Key must be reaching Jedi Master levels with his “sensing”, again attempting diversion, away from the obvious corrpution that has gone on around this deal.

      It’s getting so transparent now, you could put a good case together for self sabotage!

  3. Getting married should be an equal opportunity. Here’s marriage rights made simple.

  4. prism 4

    Mexico is getting lots of foreign investment and is moving ahead of being a low wage economy so their representative says. I suppose that efforts to both invest in and control drug cartels can be regarded as major by free market enthusiasts measuring ‘foreign investment’.

    David Shearer compared our Australian neighbour situation to that of Mexico and USA and based his comment on real facts. Radionz tried to conflate it with Jerry Brownlee’s flight of fancy about Finland. David stopped Geoff Robinson and put him right about the reality of the Mexican situation and our similarity to their problems with their wealthier neighbour. Good on him for bringing truth and facts to the news, and keeping Radionz on its sober path of reporting correctly when they do meet truth.

    • I presume you meant David Parker.

      • prism 4.1.1

        Thanks Pete George – I heard ‘David’ as I dashed around and as I would expect to be hearing more from Shearer I just assumed it was him.

    • ad 4.2

      Parker should have done his research and some basic scenario modelling of how it was going to play. Same as Shearer and Finland. Shearer was luckier only because Brownlee chose to dig him out of it. If you have to defend that much, you’ve already lost.

      It’s all very well wanting higher quality this and better paying that – I agree – but the fact is we need the jobs, we have a generally low-skilled workforce generating bulk agricultural products, we have high unemployment, and we don’t have enough of our own savings to continuously stop foreign investment set up here and provide those jobs.

      And as for drug production, it would be interesting to compare as a proportion of the economy and population New Zealand has in generating drugs, compared to Mexico. I suspect the comparision would not be as stark as we want.

      • prism 4.2.1

        @ad When did Brownlee dig Shearer out? I am confused about this statement.
        Same as Shearer and Finland. Shearer was luckier only because Brownlee chose to dig him out of it. If you have to defend that much, you’ve already lost.

        As for drugs in Mexico, I didn’t mention production as the trade and effects are very wide. People are being killed as they try to travel across Mexico and drugs are involved. We have some incidents here for sure but it seems their economy and wellbeing are in danger through this trade.

        I am glad you would like better paying jobs. We already know the other points you made. Can you come up with some ideas as to how to circumvent them and achieve better conditions?

        • ad

          Shearer was getting slapped all over the park about his Finland comments in the first speech, until Brownlee whent over the top with the attack in Parliament and the tv news got to spank Brownlee with Finnish protest. A very lucky dig-out.

          As for policy ideas, wait for Cunliffe’s set-piece speeches. He’s the one to watch.

          I would still rather give Shearer a break right now rather than support Robertson and Ardern continue the internal takeover.

          • prism

            ad I had to refresh my memory about Shearer talking about Finland, found in Standard archives March 16th under David Shearer, also unzipped Google and finally found piece from Tapu Misa with an interesting book summary as well. For interested parties –

            Perhaps it’s time we stopped trying to emulate others and remembered that we’ve been world leaders, too: think the women’s vote, ACC (whatever its current problems), the Waitangi Tribunal, and being nuclear-free. We’re apt to forget that we might have something to teach others.
            We don’t come off too badly, in fact, when held up against the US, the theme of a new book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer, Fairness and Freedom: A History of Two Open Societies, New Zealand and the United States.
            Comparing our histories, Fischer suggests that our social and political choices have been driven by the dominance of different values: freedom and liberty in the US, and fairness and social justice in New Zealand. …
            Fischer’s rich cultural analysis leaves little doubt that New Zealand’s achievements are largely rooted in its “highly developed vernacular ideas of fairness, a complex set of values that Kiwis prize and pursue earnestly. The result: by virtually every measure, New Zealand has a more just and decent society than ours – while resorting far less readily to legalistic and legislative remedies”.

            • ad

              Tapu Misa is wrong. We haven’t had anything to teach the world (other than as a textbook global lesson that accelerating neoliberalism leads to gradual poverty for almost everyone) since the first term of the Lange administration re nuclear powered ships. After that it’s thirty years of neoliberalism in softer or sharper guises. If the left had had something to get really excited about in between, the left would never have split in the first place.

              Fischer’s book is a coarse, simplistic overstretch.

              • Campbell Larsen

                ad – It seems to me that both writers are expressing a hope and desire that our respective countries actually strive to be better than they are.

                I think they both deserve better than your offhand dismissals.

                • ad

                  Tapu Misa speaks of a New Zealand that only those over 40 can remember. Utter nostalgia. She is scrabbling for a national virtue long lost, like Chris Trotter this morning mourning the loss of Norman Kirk in 1974. It’s not a critique, just elegaic prose.

                  Comparing New Zealand with the UNited States, about anything, is of no academic merit at all. One of the better paralles is John Ralston Saul’s Reflections of a Siamese Twin on Canada always the silent other to the US, similar to our statehood-in-all-but-name within Australia.

                  • Campbell Larsen

                    That was kind of my point – If we accept that our nations virtue is indeed lost then we will never regain it. Should we accept that?

                    I do appreciate where you are coming from, which is presumably that we should acknowledge that currently we do not exhibit much (if any) virtue on the international stage these days as a country, and that looking back and pining for days of yore (Trotter and Kirk) is not the same as doing something about it.

                    Re: Canada and the US Vs NZ/ Australia relations and the ‘silent Siamese’ relationship I totally agree – the boat people/ refugee issue is a perfect example of this – NZ has lost its independent voice – even the withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan comes only after the Aussies pull theirs out…

                    Thanks for the book reference, sounds like an interesting read.

                  • Fortran

                    Tapu Misa should come into 2012.
                    She lives in her own dream world of pacific plunder, pakeha wrong.
                    She shoul dget really real.

                    • Bored

                      I think that is a bit unfair Fortran. Tapu appears to me to be the only columnist the Herald allows to tell it how it is about social issues, and she either has great experience of her community or is a superb observer.

    • Carol 4.3

      Yes. An interesting comparison. Were there 2 items on this on morning report, or did you mean the other David (Parker) and not Shearer. The bit I heard included joint interviews with David Parker and the Mexican ambassador.

      I couldn’t help thinking Cunliffe would have done a better job on it than Parker though.


      • ad 4.3.1

        No I was making the link to Shearer, although in Shearer’s April speech he also mentioned Mexico unhelpfully. Whaleoil also made the double Parker/Shearer/Mexico link.

        There just needs to be a lot more thought given to how speeches and releases will play. National’s current glinting armour will simply ping these little arrows off. To me the gold standard of cold chutzpah opn making the deal was Key’s interview with Campbell last Friday night. That’s how good the progressive side has to be, and better, if the government is to be weakened.

        Right now, the television media are saying “deals are good”, rather than “greed is bad”. The Herald is donig a doughty job on SkyCity, even better than on the Ports of Auckland. Television is still king when it comes to turning the polls.

        • Carol

          ad, my comment above was a response to prism, but your comment @9am came in seconds before mine.

          I agree with the opposition needing to bring their A game. Parker is just not up to it. Bring on Cunliffe, Little and Mahuta.

          • deuto


          • bad12

            My view would be for the most effective opposition and the most electable pairing as far as the Labour leadership goes, Cunliff/Robertson or Robertson/Cunliff,

            Both when let loose have their own brand of ”presence” which in their different ways make Me stop and listen,within Robertson is a glimmer of what made Norm Kirk and David Lange so electable,

            The difference now,especially when I think of the Lange Government is that the reliance upon the Greens should ensure that Labour keep LEFT…

            • Fortran

              No way – Cunliffe has been cut out of play by Robertson and his Wellington ilk.
              He should leave and get a real job. There is no way he could be elected as a leader.candidate.
              Remember ABC – it has not changed. Mahuta forget it.
              Robertson and Maryann Street will be the next equation.

          • prism

            @Carol Yes got the wrong David. It’s a smorgasbord (is that Finnish) there in Labourland, with Shearer, Cunliffe and Parker.

            Has anyone ever done a study on men’s names? So many from the Bible. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John etc. The Davids’s follow on, also Andrew, etc. Or else they are drawn from royalty or nobility from the past, William, Henry, George, Edward. A nice striking name might bring votes even. What about ‘Elect Thor, or Red the Viking for a a change in the lacklustre political culture.’

          • Olwyn


  5. prism 5

    John Banks this morning said (isn’t it awful hearing his voice all the time) that he was on the Centre Right. Ha! What about 500 of us setting up a political party called the Centre Right.
    This would be on the basis of adopting a name carrying strong meaning and taming it, sort of like the Sluts and Queers movement.

    Are there sluts for the Centre Right, both male and female? Let’s give the description reality and upset the lie of the right wing hiding their extremism behind this political classification.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1

      I’m just enjoying the damage Banks must be doing to the centre right by his association with them.

  6. prism 6

    Why don’t educators think outside their coffin shaped boxes? They are dead in the head, little soldiers of entrenched conservatism.. They should know from their studies of sociology that children follow in parents footsteps, and parents attitudes are 80% or more in guiding students to achievement. Also I have read that there is a strong peer group amongst lower educated youngsters that acts against individual effort and enterprise to succeed beyond the rest.

    In Moerewa there are parents eager and behind their youngsters education so why doesn’t the Department pilot a family educator program. Parents learning along with their children and able to help as tutors and trainers in guiding organisation and commitment to timetables and aiming to finish and succeed at projects in general. I’m also in favour of a small sum of money to parents who undertake a course in tutoring and who if successful with their own children, would continue working with other families. What a smart and helpful and far-seeing move that would be by educators.

    • ianmac 6.1

      Yes Prism. A bit strange since Charter Schools will be allowed to set their own programs. But not Moerewa. Surely if the kids and parents really want to be in that school it is a giant plus and whatever it is that the school does they should bottle it and sell it. So many schools are seen by kids as disconnected – truancy. Does Assessment get in the way of learning and involvement?

      • prism 6.1.1

        Good question ianmac. You get a Well Done today!

        • Hateatea

          I watched Native Affairs last night and heard that the schools refusal to adopt National Standards may have been behind the initial Ministry attack on Moerewa.
          While there may be some deficiencies to be remedied, the fact that these young people and their parents seem engaged and committed to education should be celebrated not punished. While they are at the school, they will be learning positive things rather than truanting  and learning nothing.
          The obsession that the Ministry, their political bosses and the public has with tests and examinations is to blame, at least in part, for the number of people leaving school after being labelled ‘failures’ instead of their positive attributes being drawn out and celebrated. The importance of self esteem in determining achievement in life is undervalued, I think

          • Fortran

            It would appear also that they fiddled their NCEA results by using Google answers.
            Showed up as a number did the same thing – of their own volition ?

            • prism

              Fortran The whole rigid structure of National Standards and the box ticking obssession of NCEA and teacher competence being glued to that is a predictable moral hazard and has been observed as so in other countries that use it.

          • prism


  7. Carol 7

    I have arranged my affairs so I can be at Britomart at 3pm this coming Saturday. Bodies on the ground will be important:


    A two-week long hikoi protesting against asset sales, privatisation, overseas land sales and the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will begin today in Cape Reinga.

    The ‘Aotearoa is Not For Sale’ hikoi aims to reach Wellington on Friday, May 4, after stopping in several North Island towns.

    Its progress through Auckland on Saturday will coincide with a public demonstration at Britomart on Queen St, which organisers expect over 10,000 people to attend.
    Saturday’s demonstration is a “family-friendly march” which will assemble outside Britomart in central Auckland at 3pm, then march up Queen St to Aotea Square. It will be followed by speakers and musical entertainment.

    A one-week series of activities and demonstrations will take place after the hikoi arrives in Wellington.

  8. ianmac 8

    Guess who would hang out against the right thing for a Rightie to do”

    Two Right-wing bloggers who allegedly published defamatory comments about Labour earthquake recovery spokeswoman Lianne Dalziel may face legal action.

    The Southern Asian and Little Saigon restaurants in Colombo St were forced to close with only 90 minutes’ notice last Thursday. Dalziel told The Press about the “tragic” situation from one of the restaurants that afternoon. ……….

    …….Farrar obeyed the request but Slater refused to remove the comments or apologise. He did not care if it turned into a “legal war”.


  9. Campbell Larsen 9

    No honour in Afghanistan

    Claire Trevett serves up today’s PR from the warmongers in two separate articles, both on the same topic:
    Leaders slam ‘thieving Digger’ slur
    The first paragraph mentions ‘Transtasman political leaders’ but then goes on to quote Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith (not a leader):

    “We have the highest regard for the contribution made by our New Zealand colleagues – as they do have for us. Anyone who has been to Gallipoli, who has been to the New Zealand monument at the top of the hill, who understands the contribution that our Kiwi brothers and sisters made in Gallipoli alone – let alone other conflicts, including and up to Afghanistan – would dismiss those comments with the disrespect they deserve.”

    Including and up to Afghanistan – Hmmmm…
    Claire isn’t done there- she has another article to say pretty much the same thing:
    Aussie soldier comments ‘offensive and inappropriate’ – PM
    This time quoting ole Shonkey:

    ” I’ve seen the Australian Forces in a number of situations when they’ve been in places like Afghanistan, in Gallipoli and various other places. The spirit of the Anzac tradition is alive and well – it was a tradition forged on the battlegrounds of Gallipoli and to take away from their efforts I find quite offensive.”

    Here it is again – Afghanistan – you would think that both Australia and NZ ‘political leaders’ would be better off not mentioning the shameful involvement in the US ‘war on terror’ in Afghanistan but instead it is promoted as being an example of the ‘spirit of the Anzac tradition’

    The Anzac tradition post Gallipoli is a tradition steeped in controversy. The unjust and brutal occupation of Vietnam by ‘Anzac’ forces is not something we ‘celebrate’ today, nor should we ‘celebrate’ the unjust and brutal occupation of Afghanistan.

    Those soldiers that died in Gallipoli would be horrified to discover that their sacrifice was being used as an excuse to draw future generations into battle.

    It is time that the ‘spirit of the Anzac’ tradition becomes one of peace. If we are to work together with our allies let it be not bound by blood and aggression, but united by respect – respect for each others sovereignty and that of all the peoples of the world. United by a commitment to humanitarian responses to conflict.

    Anzac Day – A day to remember and grieve for the fallen. A day to remember the folly and brutality of war. A reminder that we must not make the same mistakes again.

    • prism 9.1

      @ Campbell Larsen – I heard the comment about Australian soldiers and World War 2 and the reasonable reply to such an unreasonable comment. I thought it was an uncalled for comment from a historian, who would like to repeat war history apparently after not having learned anything from the past.

      Makes me think of the comment made this morning about some Perth team P.Glory I think who sound pretty physical and the NZ reply made me think more of an ultimate fight than a sport. Don’t start up extra aggravation with the Aussies thank you very much Jock Anderson.

      (From article on Stuff.) A New Zealand journalist who called Australian World War I soldiers “bludgers”, “scavengers” and “thieves” says he has “nothing to apologise for” despite the backlash his comments have received.
      Jock Anderson made the comments on Radio New Zealand’s The Panel last week.
      “The Aussies have been reluctant soldiers at the best of times. They’ve been essentially lazy, bludgers, some of them, and excellent black marketeers, scavengers, poachers and thieves,” he said on the radio show…However, the National Business Review chief reporter has said he wouldn’t apologise.

      I think NZs might like to think they could have matched the Aussies for thieving etc. It was a way of surviving and getting extras. There is some story about an officer and a chicken going missing in a barn and a nice chicken dinner later. There will be other stories in greater detail too.

      • Campbell Larsen 9.1.1


        No argument from me – the comments from Jock were unnecessary, rude and insensitive.
        I am more interested in what came back in reply (thus the focus of my comment)

      • Morrissey 9.1.2

        I think NZs might like to think they could have matched the Aussies for thieving etc. It was a way of surviving and getting extras.

        Actually, the brave and heroic ANZAC troops were doing things far worse than “surviving and getting extras”….


    • Vicky32 9.2

      It is time that the ‘spirit of the Anzac’ tradition becomes one of peace. If we are to work together with our allies let it be not bound by blood and aggression, but united by respect – respect for each others sovereignty and that of all the peoples of the world. United by a commitment to humanitarian responses to conflict.

      Absolutely agreed!
      I generally have nowt to do with ANZAC Day, because it’s very problematic for me as a pacifist…

  10. ad 10

    Some lovely phrasing from the NZHerald today as the great MED merger is confirmed:

    “Hundreds of public service jobs are expected to be erased in the merger – though Mr Joyce said the jobs of the ministers overseeing the various sectors are safe.”

  11. Jim Nald 11

    Remember John Trickey’s bullshit brighter future?

    Darker future for NZ:

  12. ianmac 12

    Rod Oram on Crafar Sale.
    Shines a must hear focus on the absurdity of the Sale.
    It is the first time that I have heard Rod being angry/upset.
    He is very skeptical about the verdict and process of the approval.
    He says that it is very like the 100 year old plan where Brits “screwed” NZ by owning Meat and meat processing in NZ (like Dairy), but the real wealth was exported.
    And one major flaw is to show that National authorising the sale makes it OK for other foreigners to keep on buying up NZ land. Accumulative effect.

    And much more. A high priority listen by you folks who are economy/business wise.
    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20120424-1107-business_with_rod_oram-048.mp3" /]

    • Fortran 12.1

      If Oram does not like the decision it must be right.
      As a recent Pom arrival, from many lands in between, he must be right about the maurauding Poms, without whom this country would be even more backwards in the world.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        You’re a fucking dishonest liar, and a poor one at that. Oram has been around for years, loser, and actually cares about the future of this country.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        He mentions one English family “investment” in NZ that actually held back NZ and shows that the Chinese buy up of the Crafar farms is identical to it.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Interesting considering that all indications are that changes to the climate are happening faster than previously predicted.

      • lprent 13.1.1

        …changes to the climate are happening faster than previously predicted.

        Not really. There have been predictions made since the early 80’s that appear to be closely following what is actually happening that were less conservative than the IPCC reports. But Lovelock was always somewhat ‘enthusiastic’ compared to the climate scientists – it made for better books.

        It was more that the predictions made by the IPCCS in the scientific report are on the available fully verified evidence at the time – which for IPCC 4 was released in 2007 based on data with a cutoff date of around 2004-2005. That means that the IPCC reports are really really conservative we are talking of a geological process that takes time to happen and therefore the evidence to be measured. While it is happening at an extraordinarily fast speed in geological terms, it is still glacial in terms of human observers.

        So the data collection programs initiated in the early 2000’s, 1990’s and even the 1980’s took time to produce verifiable data across decades long climatic cycles. It is only in the past decade for instance that we’ve been able to look at the mass of ice in the Arctic across the whole area (and watch it diminish at about 10x the IPCC4 report predictions).

        But everything is happening faster now as the process accelerates with feedback effects. The data collection is now in place to see it happening. Of course the political will is about robust as John Key’s understanding of anything to do with science.

        So I’m pretty confident that the populations will get seriously concerned about the time that we get our first major deaths from agricultural failures and before we get serious sealevel rises. Of course by then, it will be too late to do much about changing the next few centuries of climatic turmoil.

        Once started geological processes are pretty hard to stop. But Lovelock just didn’t appreciate how much buffering there is in the system – especially in the ability of the oceans to suck up vast amounts of heat, CO2 and CH4.

  13. Latest stats show suicide being reduced:

    Newly released suicide and self-harm hospitalisation data for 2009, the most recent year available, shows New Zealand’s suicide rate is being reduced (there’s quite a lag for these statistics due to having to wait for cornoers reports).

    2009 – 506 deaths
    1998 – 15.5 per 100,000
    2008 – 11.8 per 100,000
    2009 – 11.2 per 100,000

    Youth suicide:
    1995 – 44.1 per 100,000
    2009 – 29.0 per 100,000

    Still far too high but an improving trend.

    “We have a significant youth suicide issue, particularly among young men, and that is why the Government is investing $62 million over four years in the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project announced earlier this month.”

    “We want every young person who needs help to receive it in a way that works for them – and that is why the package will be delivered through schools, health professionals, online and at home.

    “We also want parents to know where to turn which is why we’ve developed a new fund to provide information to parents, families and friends.

    “Alongside this package we will be developing a new Suicide Prevention Action Plan this year. This will be a cross-government agency initiative that I will be leading to further tackle the issue of suicide.”

    The 10 year Suicide Prevention Strategy 2006–2016 and associated four-year Action Plan 2008–2012 form the backbone of Government-led suicide prevention.

    The Government will this year develop the next stage four-year Action Plan covering 2013 to 2016.

    There are concerns the statistics take so long to become available but this is being worked on. The 2010 figures will be available later this year.


  14. My despair with what is happening in education has changed to horror after witnessing the treatment of Moerewa school and its community.

    • ianmac 15.1

      Well said in that link thanks Dave. They have done us in but what to do about it. National Standards were just the beginning of dismantling schooling as we have known it. More trashing to come with the help of the Secretary of Education. Sad.

    • The PPTA are congratulating the minsityr for what they have done.

      PPTA president Robin Duff congratulates education minister Hekia Parata for taking a firm stand against the board of Northland’s Moerewa School .

      The board was sacked yesterday after extending classes to years 11 and 13 without the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) permission, with seriously questionable results.

      “Primary schools may have the best of intentions, but it is wrong for them to believe they can adequately provide specialist subject delivery to students over year 9,” Duff said.

      “They may provide a warm and nurturing environment, but PPTA has warned for years that primary schools retaining students after year 9 denies them the specialised support they need.”


      Is that just a turf dispute?

      • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1

        Wasn’t it Robin Duff who said that most schools supported Nationals’ Standards and then had most schools turn around and tell her and the nation that they didn’t?

      • Dave Kennedy 15.2.2

        Oh dear, thanks for this link, Pete, I hadn’t read this link related to PPTA’s position. I hadn’t picked up the fact that the school hadn’t asked permission for extending the classes. Whether this is fact or not doesn’t change my stance. It does appear that the school was responding to the needs of their community in good faith and the aggressive nature of the Ministry’s response was unhelpful.

  15. burt 16


    Stuff: SkyCity deal: Call for Auditor General investigation

    Lets hope the AG concludes that the PM did nothing wrong, I’d hate to see her denigrated as having made a bad call. I mean in this instance there wasn’t even a written warning that was acknowledged prior to claiming “The AG changed the rules”. So it would seem a lot easier for National to be self serving and attack the AG rather than be accountable than it was for Labour.

  16. burt 17

    One more thing about the possible SkyCity probe. Is anyone who comments here regularly likely to be in agreement with the PM if he says the business of government is whatever government say it is ?

  17. Jackal 18

    Low value exports fail

    The Productivity Commission released its International freight transport services report (PDF) today. I’ve highlighted a few extracts, and the one that really stood out for me was about the additional cost New Zealand faces because of the distance to our offshore markets…

    • KJT 18.1

      The actual difference in costs to the shipping companies is a few dollars per container.

      500 extra miles does not make that much difference.

      Overseas shipping companies in NZ, unlike most countries, Australia included, are allowed to carry coastal cargo which increases their profits and should cut shipping rates. Not that shipping companies have passed any of it on.

      The extra charges are shipping cartels, which NZ allows, price gouging.

      I note that they believe Unions are holding up port productivity. Not really surprised as the benefits to the Tauranga wharfies from being more productive than other ports in the Pacific is less pay, casualisation and reduced conditions.
      Having minimum wage slaves would , of course, increase productivity??

      • burt 18.1.1

        You just make this stuff up don’t you. 500 miles is not even a factor in the position of NZ relative to the rest of our markets. 500 miles is relevant when talking about Auckland to Wellington but inconsequential when talking about European markets.

        As for shipping/freight cartels… remind me again who’s making all the demands for “their share” in POA ?

        • KJT

          Extremely relevant when they are discussing competitiveness with Australia.

          Around 500 NM is the difference in distance between Sydney and Auckland to USA/Europe.

          (Reference. Ocean passages of the world)

          Sydney’s port, administration, safety regulation requirements and wharf costs are a lot higher than Auckland’s . There is actually no reason, apart from rorting, that our freight charges are higher.

          What about Europe’s distance from Chinese markets?

          Distance from markets is just another excuse from the RWNJ’s for the Neo-lib fuckup.

          And all the more reason for supporting local manufacturing to add value instead of relying on commodity exports.

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