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Open mike 24/05/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 24th, 2016 - 86 comments
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86 comments on “Open mike 24/05/2016”

  1. lprent 1

    Over last year the fuckwits at Lauda Finem have targeted me in a time wasting and long running legal farce that I really can’t talk about for the usual reason – court orders. However the mechanics of the case aren’t that interesting apart from the ironic entertainment value.

    And I’ve also had their technically illiterate mate Cameron Slater trying to buy a crime – something that is in itself a crime under section 311 of the Crimes Act. Fortunately he was too technically and politically incompetent to know what to look for and got whistle blown and/or scammed.

    Also that he was too incompetent to make it happen does not mean that Cameron didn’t commit a crime regardless of how many times he tries to spin that line. A failed attempt to procure a crime is still a crime.

    And that is the case regardless of how many times Cameron tries to violate the precepts of the police diversion by proclaiming his lack of criminality. A repeated act of lying that directly violates the remorse for the crime that he is meant to have shown to even have a chance at police diversion.

    But we all knew that Cameron Slater is a self-deluding hypocritical liar. Also from the light pats on his hands from the police in the way that they charge him for past offences that he appears to be extremely lucky. Or have some great friends in high places with influence on the police (which is my current working theory about how he got that diversion from them).

    But it has similarly wasted my holiday time in court dealing with it. Not to mention the large and expensive waste of my evening and weekend time checking my computers for intrusions and to keep high paying technical illiterates from hiring people who were a bit more competent from actually achieving his criminal intent. Cameron Slater is, from his actions, just a simple lying hypocrite and a serial criminal.

    But I guess both of these local sets of criminals just wanted me to join the fun – which I suspect is a mistake on their part. I’m sure that at some point in the future they will begin to understand that.

    However there is a serious point to this comment that actually affects The Standard.

    This is the first time I’ve had to get involved with legal even indirectly to The Standard (beyond writing a few response emails to upset people explaining the legal basis for the site and its posts) in over 8 years. It is probably time to start dealing with having to deal with similar legal idiots in the future. For a starter, next year we will have have whatever technical and legal incompetent agency that this even more technically illiterate government’s ministers tries to get to run the flawed and probably unworkable Harmful Digital Communications Act (HDCA)

    Personally I’d prefer to concern myself with my role of being the system operator, the odd rant when I write a post or comment, and helping to enforce out moderation policies. About once or twice a year I get involved as one of the trustees of the site. And I have been known to get somewhat acerbic around the backend of the system.

    But I’ve already been dealing with various people who have heard about the HDCA, but clearly haven’t bothered to deal with the actual legalities. Amongst other things I have been asked to pull down posts from 6 years ago – 5 years after the Act was passed. I have also been asked to prevent abuse attributed as coming from this site, which is in fact being published on a overseas site that has nothing to do with NZ politics. Similarly at least one politician who should have been at least vaguely aware of the limits of the Act appears to have been stated that she could use the Act if her feelings were hurt by criticism of her actions. FFS…

    None of these are possible of standing up under the HDCA. But I am expecting that there will be a small flood of similarly deluded adults pouring such test cases into whatever unprepared and probably irresponsible agency gets made responsible for much of the regulation of the HDCA. I am sure we will be part of that and will need to go into court either preemptively or after having received a court order without being called in on a defending position. Then of course there will be actions to recover any costs incurred. That will take some immediately available money.

    And while the legal targets to date have either been me or my computers. Eventually even these legal lunatics from the nutty and criminal right will get around to actually targeting The Standard itself. I suspect we as a community should start figuring out how to build a specific legal fund later in the year to deal with such threats in the future.

    In the past 8 and a half years, we haven’t actually needed any money for legal matters for The Standard Trust. Back in 2010 -2012, we grew a fund out of advertising to handle such threats. When they never showed up, we used it to deal with the more immediate problem of our ever rising server costs as the site grew.

    These days that particular problem has abated after we were able to get the site back to its technical roots. Some processes running on one of my servers on my living room floor, but with better offshore backups.

    But the way these kinds of criminally vigilante right wing idiots have been fumbling around with legalities, I’m sure even they will eventually learn enough law to attempt the legal entity of The Standard Trust. Probably they will do so while they are still stupid enough to think that they can actually ‘win’ despite a distinct lack of the types of legal excesses similar to those that they have routinely perform on their sites.

    Similarly, I’d expect that most blog sites, especially the political ones in election year, are going to be targets of the nutty fringe using the HDCA. Some of those are going to get through as tests of the HDCA. Probably including our rather deliberately legal site.

    Better to plan for it rather than have to deal with it unprepared.

    So if anyone has got any ideas (good, bad or indifferent) about ways to build such a legal fund then they should start raising them here.

    Personally I’d be reluctant to put paid advertising back on the site, mainly because it is such a time wasting pain in the arse to organise. It also messes up the site in terms of blocking out content in the most visible locations. But that is an option.

    The easiest would be something like google ads. They already know a great deal about the site because we use them for most of our data collection.

    We could do a straight donation drive like a GiveALittle campaign. Or to follow the path of something like the Transport Blog and do a social fundraiser like a film evening. Or look at some kind of micro subscriber model like Scoop has been doing.

    Or whatever someone else pops up with that someone else hasn’t already been doing?

    I personally won’t be particularly interested in taking money with strings attached beyond the straight commercial. That isn’t something we have done in the past and I can’t see it as being something that we should do in the future. The rather proud and oftimes extreme independence (albeit loosely moderated) of both The Standard 2.0’s author and commenter communities is something that I am rather happy to keep.

    But I suspect anything else (that is legal) is up for debate.

    • b waghorn 1.1

      How big does the fund need to be $ wise?

    • The lost sheep 1.2

      User pays?

      Allow 30k per annum for 1-2 legal cases.
      500 comments per day average? = 176,000
      / 30k = 17c per comment.

      Run like Trade Me. You pre-load x amount into your account, and when it is gone you get the auto email requesting the top up.

      • lprent 1.2.1

        One of the things that we have deliberately not done is to require real emails or logins.

        In fact one of the things that I’m going to do as a response to the HDCA is to actually remove the ability of us on the backend to even have access or even any knowledge of real emails and IP numbers. They get replaced with a special MD5 like hash.

        I wrote that code last year ago. About the same time that I shifted the autofill on comments from being server side read and filled to being client side filled.

        If we had any such list, it’d have to be filled on a voluntary basis specifically for the purpose of being a donor, and probably held by a separate body.

        • weka

          Will that make it harder to manage trolls, banned people, and sock puppets?

          • lprent

            It would be slightly less fine in terms of ’emails’ but not a lot different. We’d just have to make the IP exclusions coarser with a higher probability of picking up false positives.

            However otherwise the HDCA process could force us to give the real world identities of commenters literally because some politician or other friend of a HDCA authorised agency agent had their feelings got hurt. The HDCA could do it in an uncontested hearing with no real evidence being offered in support of the application apart from that of the process being followed.

            We are specifically prevented by the Act in pursuing the HDCA official for information. We can neither OIA the agency nor drag their agents into court to find out.

            It is simpler to simply not have the information on who people really are, what their emails are, and what IPs they have been using.

            I’m considering making an argument for it being mandatory not to have anything that looks like real names for any commenter for much the same reason. It reduces this sites risk of having to violate our privacy policies.

    • lprent 1.3

      Good question. I envisaged it more as being to enable a rapid response than anything else. Basically something to get a lawyer in front of a judge as soon as possible.

      In particular where the HDCA approved agency has applied for a court order and we know and get someone in to contest it, or where we immediately contest one after they got one in uncontested.

      Those orders will be a complete pain. They require immediate compliance and can be gained literally without us knowing that they are being sought.

      If they had any merit, then we would have already complied within the first 48 hours after being informed. If not sooner. We tend to be somewhat abrupt.

      More than $5k. Probably not more than $15k.

      • weka 1.3.1

        Where costs are awarded later, is that likely to be all costs or partial?

        Will you be looking at having continuity with a specific lawyer or using whoever is available?

        Any chance of some pro bono work?

        • lprent

          Probably we’d be able to get pro bono. But the costs of filing documents won’t be insignificant.

          Costs are usually partial if you get them at all. I suspect that costs awarded against the HDCA authorised agency will be as hard to get as those against the police and crown after they drag you through 18 months of court to for the crown to finally lose in the high court. Virtually non-existent (I have done that before for rocky).

          I suspect each case would be money sunk. So the best way to operate will be to cause the HDCA authorised agency to spend their budget in defending their decisions for as long as possible. Think of it as a way of educating the agency.

          It’d probably have to be whoever was available. The time frames in the HDCA are likely to be tight.

          • weka

            So no costs from the complainant? Because if the authority accepts the complaint in the first place it’s considered reasonably legitimate?

            • lprent

              In this case, as I remember the Act, I don’t think we could even try to claim from the complainant unless we want to bring a very expensive civil case against them.

              That is pretty normal. Unless the complainant brings a private prosecution against you, the authority that brings the action is making the decision.

              Think of how the police operate. Or WINZ. Or IRD, Or any of the quasi-legal authorities. The way the criminal system operates is that if an authority thinks that there may be a prima facie case that is winnable or where they think a point has to be made and they have a prima facie case, they will go for orders and/or charge.

              But they have to be very very wrong in their estimation of the prima facie case before the law before the judge will order costs against them. They will instead get some words from the judge about why they were mistaken about their understanding of the law.

              In the case of new law, then even this toleration gets extended. If you are the subject of those then you wind up paying the cost of establishing precedents.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.2

        I think we raise $15K to $20K just sitting there, earning a return. Then we get pledges for another $15K to $20K for the if and when necessary event.

        Having a fighting fund on hand is one way to deter the morans from going ahead with action as well as actually deal with the inevitable cases.

      • adam 1.4.1

        The above is to show how ridiculous it all is.

        The right and certain elements of the left in this country, don’t like democracy, which is silly really.

        But, ideas for a legal fund.

        Well ask some lawyers if they will help for free. You know civic duty and all that. I will ask one in the next few days. For free in the defence of civil liberties, the freedom of speech, and the freedom of expression.

        Then we just need to get some funds to cover the things which are not free, like the photocopying, lodgements, and coffees. Sorry, being a wee bit glib.

        Just a thought, I’ll be asking anyway, and will pass them onto Bill if they say yes.

    • Chooky 1.5

      I can’t see a problem with advertising that is ethical or ethically neutral

      ….if it keeps the site safe from right wing predators with deep pockets who want to use challenges by the legal system to close it down

      …this site is an important vehicle for political analysis and a critical voice imo…it is important for a grassroots democracy

      The Daily Blog has some advertising…and it isnt too intrusive

      The problem with crowd funding is that the crowd often does not have much disposable income…they are too busy trying to keep ends meeting eg for paying for kids university debts, or housing , or health…or looking after the needy in their families

      I also don’t see a problem with paying some of the regular workers/posters and Iprent for the upkeep of the site …in fact they deserve payment imo….if ethical advertising could do this then I am all for it

      • lprent 1.5.1

        Maybe others. I already earn quite a lot in my real life work.

        The biggest hassle with advertising isn’t particularly having it. The hassle is in exactly what you pointed out. The time involved in making sure it is ethical, appropriate, etc for the site. And that we are getting enough of it to sustain whatever we are doing.

        That is a long-term need that requires time to dribble out in phone calls, emails etc. These usually within work hours.

        The issue for us is that none of the current authors really have the time nor the inclination for that kind of work. Nor has anyone we have ever had as an author in the past. They come on to write, comment, and some moderate. Each requires small bits of time chopped out of other things we are doing. We don’t have to coordinate, manage, or waste any time.

        Consequently, when this last came to a decision point at the start of 2014, I looked at the time required vs the revenue required to run the servers. I invested quite a lot of my free time in an effort to drop the effective cost well below requiring any advertising revenue. The reason wasn’t so much the money as it was the time I was spending scratching around making sure that we had sufficient money to pay for the servers.

        It is a lot less work to tolerate a system that may throw up lousy ads (eg google adview) but which doesn’t cost much time over a year, or alternatively spend a moderate amount of time on one or two small campaigns per year to get large dobs of cash.

        Rather that than trying to get something that requires moderate amounts of time all year AND which will get in the way of the available time for the site. In that case I’d prefer spending less site time and more time at work to just give me the option of doing simplier donations from making more income.

    • Rosie 1.6

      First of all Lynn, sorry for all the ongoing hassle with Slater and Co. You don’t deserve all that shit to deal with and no one has time for that anyway. It’s also really frustrating that Slater pretty much got away with it in court. He’s managed to not be held fully to account for his behaviour in general, and it’s not even that satisfying that he lost that boxing bout.

      Raising fighting funds. It’s been great to read The Standard ad free but I don’t think too many people would have a problem with google ads. I certainly don’t, if it would be helpful.

      If you were to look at paid advertising there may be a reader or commentor who has retired from the marketing or advertising sector who may like to help out on a voluntary small part time basis – as you say it’s a pain to organise so having a dedicated advertising admin person might be beneficial – if there was any one out there who could fill that role, and could commit to it long term.

      Givealittle seems to be the way things goes these days. It would be a nice change to see a recipient of Givealittle funds who isn’t someone that missing out on what should be government funded, eg, cancer medicine or housing.
      Personally I’m broke as and struggle to get through the week, even my party membership has lapsed because I never seem to be able to find the small donations for the unwaged! So I’m sorry I can’t help out.

      However, I get the feeling that there are people in better circumstances than me who are users of the site and appreciate and value the site and all yours and the authors hard work as much as I do, who may be able to donate.

      Good luck with the funding and all the best for keeping the site safe and free from interference from nutty rw pests.

      Love your work 🙂

      • lprent 1.6.1

        No problem.

        After all this is why we aren’t interested in the lost sheep’s “user pays”. Cuts out way too many interesting people.

        I get somewhat well paid. I found I was still a member of the NZLP last year after they triumphantly sent me the first membership card that I’d seen in a few years – plastic even.

        After I hunted around for a while I found I was still leaking $25 per month in a old VFL payment from a bank account that I use for its debit visa for some internet payments. Still haven’t got around to doing anything about it – just like the unicef and a couple of other payments. I’m pretty slack like that.

        Perhaps I should set up a “help people retain their membership” for political parties.

        • Rosie

          Or I could just forgo the the once a week coffee outing and clear up that membership payment once and for all……….. 🙂

          Better still, a Labour coalition win in 2017 would mean, theoretically, a modest $ boost for Labour’s lowest paid members, who then would have a little more of the disposable $ to keep up with their membership and the middle bracket could shift from a one off payment to a VFL payment.

      • greywarshark 1.6.2

        What Rosie said at 1.6. Is there someone retired, temporarily invalided, would like to get stuck into this worthwhile task of organising non-sickmaking adverts? No loose boobies please unless they are birds, blue boobies?

        And lprent #1 your ideas all sound good. Is there someone in each of the main centres that could arrange film nights?
        So if anyone has got any ideas (good, bad or indifferent) about ways to build such a legal fund then they should start raising them here.

        Personally I’d be reluctant to put paid advertising back on the site, mainly because it is such a time wasting pain in the arse to organise. It also messes up the site in terms of blocking out content in the most visible locations. But that is an option.
        The easiest would be something like google ads. They already know a great deal about the site because we use them for most of our data collection.

        We could do a straight donation drive like a GiveALittle campaign. Or to follow the path of something like the Transport Blog and do a social fundraiser like a film evening. Or look at some kind of micro subscriber model like Scoop has been doing.

        And CV on fund practice at 1.3.2

  2. lprent 2

    Incidentally r0b. Private + published, then back to draft and public, and finally schedule appears to work for adding early comments. I’ll see if I can find another easier way 🙂

  3. miravox 3

    Very pleased Austria has beaten back the far right and voted in a Green party-backed economist, an EU supporter and a child of refugees as the next president. Congratulations Alexander Van der Bellen and all who supported him. It was a very close call.

    After forcing the resignation of the Chancellor, the Social Democrats have a lot more work to do before the parliamentary elections in 2018.

    • Rosie 3.1

      Congratulations Austria! Am pleased to hear that the scary sounding Norbet Hoffer missed out. What a relief.

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    Look I’d be fine with a give-a-little campaign ( although I’ve always wondered whether a list of Nicky Hager’s supporters made it into other channels) it’s real easy to access, or a micro donations link staying permanently on the site. After all I used to pay for the stuff on stuff.
    I would be happy if it was just a general donation – we trust you to spend it wisely

    A fund raising evening would be great to socialise ( and guess who is who) but won’t take in the more far flung users.
    If it includes something for you I’m good with that.

    • lprent 4.1

      Oh I don’t need money myself particularly.

      I tend to regard the legal and illegal attacks on me and my computers as interesting examples of the rightly insane trying to grow a brain. It is like educating small children how to be socially responsible.

      You just keep unfolding the horrible consequences overhear actions in front off them and getting them to walk upon them in bare feet. It gives a outlet for some of my less socially acceptable tendencies in a good cause.

      The HDCA authorised agency are likely to be more of a problem. I suspect that most of the time we’d find out from them when they deliver a order from the court saying to take something down. There appears to be little need for them to prove anything to get one apart from that they followed a rather rapid process. If we see signs of them taking part in that process, ideally we’d want to get in front of the court with them before orders are made.

      I’m usually terrible as being social. It seems so slow as a communication device. I’m moderately good at it if I can get a heated discussion going 🙂

      Lyn likes the small talk side. I usually can’t really be bothered.

      • weka 4.1.1

        Does the standard get much via the donation page in general?

        • lprent

          Most of the time it covers or gets close to covering our operating expenses of about $260 per month.

          We’d have to do something different for the next few years while the actual procedural rules for the HDCA get established in court.

          So far all the indications are that the HDCA authorised agency will get inundated with largely spurious complaints from offended adults. Since they appear in the act to be established as being an advocacy mainly operating on behalf of the complainants and the Act is very vague on offences, I’d expect that a number of the less spurious complaints will be allowed through.

          After the grounds for successful cases are established, then it will be easier.

          • greywarshark

            I think solidarity with TS is needed now..
            Yanis Varoufakis interview had this in it:
            If capitalism is training us to think of ourselves as competitive entrepreneurs then we become less and less inclined towards feeling that kind of solidarity—on which democracy depends—and giving up even the smallest element of our financial wellbeing for the sake of other people.

            Yet democracy cannot survive without solidarity, because it requires us to give rights to one another, to people that we may not like. We have to have solidarity to each other and to some grander social and political system in order for it to work.

  5. Sabine 5

    i like the idea of a give a little fundraiser and or social evenings with a fund raiser attached.
    Blogs from the US that i have been following for years all have their 6 monthly fund raiser, give generously, give often, most accompanied with pictures of loose kittens or boobies cause you know ….i wuz told it helps collect funds.

  6. Karen 6

    My thought would be a Give a Little fundraiser to get a basic fighting fund in place and then one of the other options to provide ongoing income – maybe a 6 monthly fundraiser as suggested by Sabine.

  7. Puckish Rogue 7

    Sausage sizzle seems to be the main source of income for Labour so have you considered trying that?

    A stall could be run at the Avondale markets 🙂

    Kidding, kidding I jest, givealittle page sounds the way to go

    • Sabine 7.1

      you don’t like sausage sizzlers? Dang what sort o Kiwi are you?

      • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1

        I do like sausage sizzles but not enough to travel up to Auckland to have one 🙂

        • Sabine

          That will only make the city a better place. 🙂

          • Puckish Rogue

            Are you suggesting me leaving Christchurch to go to Auckland would improve both cities? 😉

            • Sabine

              i suggest that neither city deserves you 🙂

              You are too good for both of them. You should move to Clutha 🙂

            • Sabine

              i suggest that neither city deserves you 🙂

              You are too good for both of them. You should move to Clutha 🙂

              • Puckish Rogue

                Interestingly enough you’re quite close, I’ve got plans to eventually move/retire to Cromwell…

                • mac1

                  Have you seen the NZ play “Trees Beneath the Lake”, Puckish Rogue? It’s set in Cromwell, about sociopathic Ponzi swindlers and their endearing ways. I wouldn’t go there.

  8. Chooky 8

    This HIT on cheap alternative medicines by the multi billion dollar business USA BIG PHARMA makes me absolutely furious:

    ‘Are new regulations too tough on


    “Small natural health businesses say new regulations which will regulate the natural health industry are heavy handed and will hurt them the most.

    The Natural Health and Supplementary Products bill will allow the Ministry of Health to regulate the sector, so ingredients in supplements are permitted or prohibited and manufacturers are licensed.

    It will also restrict the claims that can be made about products so potential health benefits could only be made if there is proven scientific evidence, or traditional evidence that it works. Dr Guy Hatchard represents a group of 10 Natural Health companies and practitioners who are worried about the changes.

    Kathryn also speaks with Alison Quesnell the executive director of Natural Products NZ.”

    ( It is not as if BIG PHARMA products are properly regulated or tested…all too often one finds later that particular products have been withdrawn because of life threatening side effects)

    • DoublePlusGood 8.1

      What this actually does is just help protect the public from bogus frauds where people claim some extract from some Amazonian fungus ‘supports joint health’ or ‘assists in managing symptoms of aging’.
      Now of course, we should also be trying to protect the public from bogus frauds in the medicines industry like ‘mycoxafaline cures erectile dysfunction’ or ‘you need brand new bogustatin to stop you dying of evil cholesterol’ but that doesn’t mean we should be giving ‘natural’ products a free pass.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1


      • Chooky 8.1.2

        …actually the public needs protection from BIG PHARMA( big business ,big profits in pharmaceuticals ) and all those narrow minded in the medical profession)….who want to cut out smaller competition and people taking charge of their own health with natural remedies

        …a bit like marijuana…the natural stuff used for thousands of years in places like India is made illegal and is deemed supposedly BAD for you …but the politically legalised synthetic stuff sold by Western businessmen intent on a profit has far worse side- effects

        yes lets “protect the public from bogus frauds” made by monopoly capitalism and BIG PHARMA

        ….let the people decide for themselves what medications they want to use…especially the indigenous people

    • One Two 8.2

      Controlling ‘scientific evidence’ is a primary function in monopoly

      Legislation, regulations (pretending to be beneficial) influenced by lobbyist representatives of the corporations who manufacture ‘scientific evidence’, enshrines the monopoly

      Natural products and living organisms are both nemisis & prey item of petro chemical pharaceutical corporations and toxic poison peddlers

      • McFlock 8.2.1

        Still better than relying on placebos and bullshit to treat cancer.

        • Chooky

          “placebos and bullshit to treat cancer”…that would be chemotherapy.

          • McFlock

            The improving cancer survival rates call you a damned liar.

            • Chooky

              not through chemotherapy..which is what I said ( you are the liar)

              • McFlock

                Not precise enough for you? Ok. Wikipedia also calls you a liar. Subject chemotherapy, section efficacy.
                If you want to get any more specific, which particular chemotherapy are you calling completely ineffective? Or is that not your position?

                • Chooky

                  links please…where does wiki call me a “liar”?…no it is you who are personally calling me a “liar” ( which is a reflection on you actually, but it doesn’t surprise me coming from you)

                  …and btw all the people i have known who have received chemo have died in short order

                  this is a link not for you, but for others with an open mind, who may be interested in this issue…even doctors admit chemo rarely works


                  …”It’s a business of mammoth proportions and must be treated as such. The most powerful anti-carcinogenic plants in the world such as cannabis must be demonized and be made illegal because they are so effective at killing cancer cells without side effects. Cannabinoids are so efficient at treating disease, that the U.S. Government patented them in 2003…”

        • weka

          I think you are all confusing a few things. The legislation is aimed at a number of things, including medical claims. I don’t have a problem with products not being allowed to make claims on the labels unless the company can back that up. But I think in Europe there was an exemption for traditional usage of herbal remedies. So if someone was selling traditional Māori medicines and they could demonstrate historical use, then that’s exempt. Otherwise no medical claims. They could still make general wellbeing claims (this is also used overseas). But if you make small companies do research costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to manufacture something that can be made at home, that’s daft.

          Then there are the issues of safe manufacturing practices, making sure that there are good processes in place. This is where small manufacturers will get screwed and the whole thing would get handed to the big companies (many of whom are multinational chemical companies). Not good for NZ businesses nor consumers. I’m guessing this is similar to the Food Bill of recent years where the govt designed a pretty stupid bill based around what the big manufacturers were doing and didn’t think to consult with the small ones. So we were going to end up in the ridiculous situation where people couldn’t sell the produce from their garden at a Farmers Market or save seeds without having to comply with extensive regulation. Public outcry and the Minister when oh, right, and changed it. There is no reason that we can’t have varying levels of regulation around supplements depending on the product and the size of the business. It’s what we should be doing.

          • Chooky

            +100 weka…well said

          • McFlock

            The article said there was already an allowance for “traditional evidence”.

            I don’t believe that small businesses should be held to lower standards just because they’re small, though. If you’re in business, your customers have the right to expect a safe product that does what you claim it does.

            • weka

              There’s a difference between what I am suggesting and no standards. A school group selling jam at the fair shouldn’t have to have the same practices as Craigs selling jam to Countdown. What they did in the US was have a separate legislation for cottage industry foods, and the label had to state that that’s what they were. But they still had standards regarding safety.

              “The article said there was already an allowance for “traditional evidence”.

              Oh good. I just skimmed it. Variations of the Therapeutic Goods Act have been around for many years (probably decades by now), my eyes tend to glaze over. A lot of the problem is trying to tie NZ in with Australia, and in trying to standardise things across an industry that is hugely variable (as per the examples above). There are some serious problems with some products (eg contamination of some over the counter traditional chinese medicines), but if you are making small scale garlic pills, all you really need is good, safe practices not huge industrial scale practices.

              People do have the right to safety in products. People also have the right to make choices about their health. With something like garlic that I can buy at the supermarket to treat a bacterial infection, why should I not be able to buy it in pill form assuming that the company had safe manufacturing processes? Maybe you’re not clear that across food and supplements, small scale producers are getting hammered because systems are being designed for the big players and for expediency. That’s not about extra safety, it’s just poor design and injustice.

              • McFlock

                In the supermarket loose garlic is sold as a food, with no medicinal promises as far as I can recall.

                in pill form it’s got a different implicit or explicit function. There should be evidence to back up those claims, and it should contain what it claims.

                My brother in aus had a story from the flipside, where it was a news scandal exposed that a herbal erection capsule brand had been found to have been dosed with viagra. He couldn’t understand why people were outraged that the product actually contained a demonstrably active ingredient.

      • Chooky 8.2.2

        +100 One Two

  9. Puckish Rogue 9

    So my view thus far, the positive

    Andrew Little pitching to the centre is a good move (imho), that’s where more of the votes are and that’s where the election will be won and lost, if Labour/Greens are too far behind National then Winston will most likely go National but if its close…well anything can happen

    Labour banging on about housing in Auckland is another good move as that’s where National is most vulnerable however that will need to be careful as theres a lot of homeowners out there that will definitely not be pleased if their house values drop dramatically but aside from that attacking National on housing is working well

    the interesting:

    Grant Robertson signalling an increase in taxes marks a clear difference between National so that’s a good thing (in my book anyway) however he’d better have had his calculator working overtime because if the numbers don’t match up or he can’t answer well…show me the money will get a refrain

    the dumb:

    “That meant the average family had lost out on more than $13,000 under the Government, and would miss out on an average of $50 a week this year.”

    I mean bringing something up that no ones ever heard of before just looks like making stuff up

    • BM 9.1

      The dumb:

      Labour is planning to announce tax increases before the next election to help fund its spending plans but will leave the detailed work until it is in government.


      Election lost right there.

      • Puckish Rogue 9.1.1

        I’m sure it must have happened before but I can’t recall “vote for us and we’ll work the details out later” ever working before

        Which is a shame because they’re dealing to National over homes in Auckland and then Robertson pulls this out…

        Like National won’t have a field day with this, if Labour can’t provide numbers then National certainly will (like that hasn’t happened the last couple of months)

        • BM

          You have to wonder if this wasn’t Grant Robertson purposely trying to sink any chance of a Labour win in 2017.

          • Puckish Rogue

            I find conspiracy theories as entertaining as anyone but surely Labour would have run their ideas through a group of people to see if there were any holes in their plans?

        • James Thrace

          Works for National

          • Puckish Rogue

            But this isn’t a case of what works for National will work for Labour. National are the incumbents and Labour want to replace them.

            National are a known quantity and Labour aren’t which means Labour has to prove they can govern and that means its not a good idea to just say we’ll work out the details later.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Labour are a known quantity: they always run the economy better than National. Always. Not that it’s difficult.

              • Puckish Rogue

                You think that and it may well be true but do the general voting public agree with you?

                The more Robertson continues with “we’ll work out the details later” the harder it will be for Little to try to convince NZ voters that Labour are a safe pair of hands

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Whereas National have left no doubt that they have stumps where hands should be.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    And yet National have won three elections on the trot

                    • Reddelusion

                      “National have one 3 election on the trot”

                      Not in OAB alternative universe

                    • Reverting to type, Puckish Rogue. Try harder to assimilate or they’ll start to notice.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I’m still going to type what I think is right, I’m not going to type what I think people want to hear

                      I mean Labour has done some good things recently but what Robertson is doing is really bad for Labours chances

                      Plus I also think that what you, I or anyone else on here thinks (or can prove) is largely irrelevant, its what the voting public thinks and I think that this:

                      “Labour is planning to announce tax increases before the next election to help fund its spending plans but will leave the detailed work until it is in government.”

                      will hurt Labour.

                      I also think that since Labour is the challenger it has to show more than National because the voters can judge National on what they’ve done but the voters can only judge Labour on its words.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s as though you are utterly ignorant of the election promises in 1999*. You think if you don’t look at it no-one else can see it either?

                      *either that or it’s deliberate dishonesty.

                    • McFlock

                      I think that this:

                      [insert something neither Labour nor Robertson actually said]

                      will hurt Labour.

                      I agree entirely.
                      In fact, that stuff report is a good example of why Labour and the Left have to campaign against both the government and the corporate media.

                      What Robertson was actually quoted as saying was

                      “While we want a comprehensive review there will be some interim steps that we will announce before the election … to ensure that we have the revenue to address pressing issues, particularly in health, education and housing,” he said.


                      He said an “enormous… multi-billion dollar” surplus would be needed for $3b of tax cuts given all the other cost pressures in the economy. He called on the Government to “come clean” about its tax cuts plans.

                      He said an extra $600m needed to be allocated to health in Thursday’s Budget just to stand still.

                      So while they might increase taxes overall, all Robertson really did was rule out /reverse the $3billion in tax cuts that key made up on the fly.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      But Puck, you’ve always known National will win in 2017 and generously shared that certainty with Labour supporters on TS. Now that you’re so reasonable about everything discussed here, we were beginning to think that you’d somehow come to realise that prescience is as rare as hens’ teeth and that perhaps your certainty was a little…presumptuous. But as I say, you’re slipping back into your ol’ trolly ways, with your wee knocks to resident confidence, making me think of that old maxim, about the leopard and his indelible spots. I’m picking you have a plan and that’s of the white ant variety. Closer to the election, you’ll be back into full undermine-confidence mode. I reckon.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Well that’s your opinion and of course you’re entitled to it however while I do think Robertson is being dumb (and I won’t shy away from calling it as see it), if you look at what I wrote you’ll see two positives, one interesting (may be good but may also be bad) and one negative

                      So I’d say that’s being even-handed

                    • Words

                      So ? Labour have also won 3 elections on the trot. Why are you making out election wins are unique ? because they are not Puckish Rogue. Its called politics, and NZ politics is largely cyclic.

                      In response to your other comment. If you think the voters can only judge Labour on its words, remembering that Labour has a far better track record than National to back themselves up, don’t you think voters will now judge National on the litany of lies, corruption and deception and the debt ridden shambles and its disastrous social and economic consequences that they have created, that can no longer be denied?

              • Bob

                Extend this graph to its max range and you will see National get voted in once Labour have finished tanking the economy, Labour get voted in once National have things flying again: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/gdp-growth

                • McFlock

                  let’s see: tanked in 1991 (admittedly after continuing lab4 policies), 1998, 2008.

                  Yeah, you’re on drugs if you think that correlates to national flying and labour tanking.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  That’s nice dear. Homelessness, unemployment and falling median wage value. Define flying however you like.

                  The graph shows nothing of the sort. The average is clearly higher throughout the 00’s, not to mention public debt.

                  That’s why English and Key both praised Cullen’s handling of the economy in 2008. Only to very selective audiences, mind: you fuckwits wolfed the red meat as usual

      • Poission 9.1.2

        Labour is planning to announce tax increases before the next election to help fund its spending plans but will leave the detailed work until it is in government.

        Not a good sale point,lets rephrase it.

        A future labour government will look to remove tax payer subsidies from boat shoe wearing, real estate investors such as the offsetting of loss making housing speculation against income by ringfencing housing investment losses.

        • greywarshark

          That would be a better thing for Labour to do than raise super to 67 or 70.
          A future labour government will look to remove tax payer subsidies from boat shoe wearing, real estate investors ch as the offsetting of loss making housing speculation against income by ringfencing housing investment losses.

    • Robertina 9.2

      The Uriah Heepish-style pose you’ve adopted of late to appear oh so reasonable doesn’t fool all of us, Puckish.
      The economy is unbalanced to the point it’s threatening social stability and the old economic levers only exacerbate the problem even when deployed to ease the situation.
      Labour will do the planning work on what’s needed tax-wise when it has the resources of Govt. And Robertson’s also found a neat way round the wee strategic blunder that was dumping the CGT. That’s good politics.
      And they’ll give more detail closer to the election about what the thinking is.
      What’s your problem?

  10. Rosie 10

    Auckland and Queenstown are notorious for their housing inaffordability, but the problem is spreading to places like Tauranga and Wellington. Here in Wellington we’ve been reading about it for a few months now.

    Things might be starting to get a bit silly though. Got one of those real estate flyers in the mail where they have a little brag about the sales in “your area”. Down the road from us was a 90 square metre very basic 3bdr house on a tiny section on the back of another property. Late 80’s, early 90’s flimsy construction.

    RV of $350K. Went for “mid 400’s” the flyer said, approximately $100K over the RV. That’s just nuts. There is no way that house was worth $450K.

    In the meantime, on the development, on a street north east from us 24 lots have sold within 18 months. The cheapest is a 3bdr townhouse in a row of 12 MDH setting, no section for $574K. The remaining 12 lots are all 4bdr, 2bth ranging from $700 – $800K depending on section size and specs. Over on the other side of the development they are selling 5bdr places for $890K. All lots except for a few have sold in recent months around the $700 – $800 K zone as well.

    Some people have the money honey and some developers are doing verrrry well. These developers have an SHA area BTW, they just don’t have any plans for it yet. Selling the pricey homes suits them far better. These kinds of people must think Nick Smith is a huge joke.

  11. Chooky 11

    ‘Absolutely brutal’ Chilcot Iraq war report will not let Tony Blair & Jack Straw ‘off the hook’ ( lets hope so!)


    “Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq war inquiry report will not let former Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and other officials involved in the ill-fated 2003 invasion “off the hook,” a source close to the inquiry says.

    Chilcot is due to release his long-delayed report on the legality of the war on July 6, seven years after the inquiry was commissioned…

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