Open Mike 24/05/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 24th, 2017 - 78 comments
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78 comments on “Open Mike 24/05/2017”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    A Mark Jennings (formerly of Mediaworks & TV3) article on Newsroom, about the changes that have been made at RNZ.

    He makes a point that the changes at RNZ should result in ending RNZ’s funding freeze in this week’s budget. Myself, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    I think it’s great that RNZ are moving away from a siloed approach and linking with other media organisations,a s well as using video to great effect. The danger in doing this, is in loss of editorial independence to the commercial imperatives of RNZ’s commercial media associations.

    This bit on the approach used by Guyon Espiner is interesting:

    The early days of the Espiner/Ferguson combo were rocky. Morning Report’s ratings were in the doldrums after RNZ misjudged its coverage of the 2014 Election campaign.

    Espiner concedes his tone was a problem: “I think too often I was too aggressive and that turned people off. I was striving for accountability but that turned into ugly exchanges.”

    “I got quite a lot of feedback that it was terrible to listen to. Paul [Thompson] and Martin [Gibson] spoke to us about it, there were conversations but they let us work this stuff out on our own.”

    The change in style hasn’t been dramatic but much of the bluntness and haranguing has gone. The show is a smooth and comprehensive three hours of news and current affairs, unrivalled by any competitor.

    Espiner says he and Ferguson have tried to use more “humour and humanity” when eliciting information.

    I agree that haranguing interviewees could be a turn off for many Kiwis. The concern is that, using humour and humanity” needs to be done carefully in order to hold those in power to account. Kim Hill can do it. Can Espiner?

    • ianmac 1.1

      But on important issues holding politicians to account is vital in a democracy. So does that mean that wriggly patronising ratbags like Joyce should be treated politely and with humour and with humanity? As it is Ministers fail to front up on RNZ but if they know that the interview will not be rigorous then they will smarm their way onto the airwaves.

    • Bearded Git 1.2

      @ Carolyn Agreed.

      To me it looks like the pro-National RNZ management leaned on Espiner to back-off because he was actually forcing the pollies, especially the Nats, to give answers. We can’t have that can we?

  2. bwaghorn 2

    hay Weka is there any truth to the rumour that the green s ”organic farmer ” candidate John Hart is really an it consultant with a 20 ha lifestyle block.?

    [1. why are you asking me? 2. This conversation has run long enough re Hart and unsubstantiated speculation. If you want to discuss John Hart and his farming, you now need to put up some links with evidence. Putting you in premed until you do. Otherwise withdraw the accusations, and then you can continue the conversation in the general about what is farming without reference to him – weka]

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.1

      Can you not be both?

      • bwaghorn 2.1.1

        i wouldn’t call 20 ha a farm if its sheep and beef as it would be unviable[it’s a nice hobbie} .also you can’t prove organic farming is viable if you fund the farm from the outside , imo

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          It’s interesting to consider what farming is. For me it’s not how you are defining. It’s simply when someone grows on the land with primary purpose of providing food or other useful things for other people. As opposed to growing things on the land for one’s own use. Size has nothing to do with it. There are people urban farming on less than an acre.

          If you are objecting to him calling himself a farmer because he can’t get all his income off what he grows, then I’d suggest we take a look at how conventional farming gets subsidised in various ways. And how many subsidised inputs they need.

          Likewise organic viability. For me the test is whether one can grow actual food (etc) using organic principles and then market that. The model you are talking about is inherently unsustainable, so it’s hard to see why one would want to make organics (really, the lowest of sustainable ag) to that test. But of course there are plenty of large organic farms doing just fine and have been doing so for decades.

          • bwaghorn 2.1.1.1.1

            from me at 2.2.1
            ”,(though it doesn’t have to be all their income)”

    • 20 hectares isn’t a farm, bwaghorn?
      Really?
      How about 25? 30? 300? What hectarage is needed before your “farm” status is reached, I wonder? I’ve been surprised, over the years, to watch and hear “conventional” farmers belittle farmers who choose unconventional methods of farming; it amazes me that the industry would have infighting like that. I’m not saying you do this, just that it happens. I previously imagined that farmers would exhibit a strong “brother or sisterhood” and support all practitioners of the ancient art of farming, but no, divisions are rife. I wonder why that is? In any case, you sound as though you’ve got a sniff of something exciting up your nostrils – “really” an it consultant with a 20 ha lifestyle block? Pffttt! He’s no farmer and in any case, organic. That’s not real farming.

      • bwaghorn 2.2.1

        Under the current settings a real farm is one that pays all its own costs plus provides the person running it a dividend,(though it doesn’t have to be all their income) if Mr Hart is not getting that from his block he is just arming the anti greens with ammo by billing himself as a organic farmer.
        And yes size matters
        20ha of fruit would be a different story

        • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.1

          “Under the current settings a real farm is one that…”
          Can you link me to those “current settings”, I don’t recall seeing them. Ditto for the size question; a link to that information would be most valuable. In my ignorance, I didn’t know that there was a minimum size for a farm, nor did I know that dividends were a measure, nor that unprofitibility mean’t disqualification from farm status. Cheers, bwaghorn.

          • bwaghorn 2.2.1.1.1

            perception is everything in politics , and mine says that if you a pouring outside cash into a farm you are either a tax avoider or a idealistic dreamer , James Cameron with his nut farm is the latter , what Mr Hart is remains to be seen.

        • Sacha 2.2.1.2

          When farms start paying the full costs of the pollution they impose on the environment, then you can try that equation.

          • bwaghorn 2.2.1.2.1

            I wonder if Mr Hart can fit enough trees on his 20 Hectares to mitigate his flying round the country consulting in it land? as well as the nasty farts his cows are emitting
            or does he buy some eastern european carbon credits

            • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.2.1.1

              So yours is an attack on Mr Hart, not a general questioning of what constitutes a farm. I too wonder if Mr Hart is as assiduous as the Green MPs with mitigating their flights. He’s only a candidate still, so we’d be expecting a lot from him in that regard. Still, good question, bwaghorn, I expect you’ll want to know whether Bill English, who knows full well the situation with aviation fuel and its role in accelerating climate change, mitigates his flying and requires his National Party MPs to act responsibly. Note on “it land” – most consulting would be done, I imagine, on line? Correct me if I’m wrong; “IT” is kind of a remote thing to most people, I’d have said. And “nasty farts”? – revealing some sort of Victorian prudishness there, or do you really find farts to be nasty. In any case, Mr Hart would surely steer you straight about belching, rather than farting, being the primary delivery vehicle of methane from ruminant animals; it’s the sort of stuff clued-up farmers know. Your reference to “eastern european carbon credits”, I’m guessing, must be intended as a slight on the National Party, given they’ve mired themselves in their purchase and are being slated for that in the news just now. Your arguments seem all over the show, bwaghorn, but it might be that I’m misreading you.

              • bwaghorn

                ”misreading you.”
                no your misleading me and others away from the very simple question i asked at the start.
                sasha was jumping in with horse shit so i thought i’d throw a bit back

                • Your “very simple question” was too vague to be answered simply, bwaghorn. I’m guessing you farm. I know you comment on blogs. Though it’s said you are a farmer, rumour has it you’re really a blog commenter! True or not?

                  • If you work on a farm you are a farm worker not a farmer? Farm workers know about working on a farm but not much about farming how could they they are just farm workers. A hobby/lifestyle farmer knows more than most farm workers because they have to think within tight confines and do it not just do what the farmer says to do. ☺

                    • weka

                      I would say each in their own field. Farm workers build up some impressive skills and varying levels of responsibility.

                    • Of course – I’m poking waggy to show how flawed his reasoning in his original post was.

                    • “poking waggy”

                      That made me laugh out loud. Gotta go; got a kid’s “nature club” to lead; we’re out on the sands of the estuary, feeding whelks today; that’s more gruesome than you can imagine, and they love it!

        • mpledger 2.2.1.3

          Many dairy farmers at the moment wouldn’t meet your definition of a farmer.

          I suspect a lot of farmers are in the red pretty nearly all the time.

      • Bearded Git 2.2.2

        Around 1000 ha is the minimum for a genuine farm in Central Otago

        • Robert Guyton 2.2.2.1

          That doesn’t sound like a very efficient use of the land, bearded, especially in light of Stuart Munroe’s comment about the size of some Asian farms. What are they “growing”

          • Bearded Git 2.2.2.1.1

            Sheep mostly, some cattle, some cropping.

            • Robert Guyton 2.2.2.1.1.1

              Anyone on a smaller block profitably producing something else?

              • Bearded Git

                Not much around here (Wanaka area). Wheat on one farm, several vineyards on not particularly large lots; some walnuts. Mostly sheep, cattle and one large dairy farm….and heaps of creeping residential subdivision gradually eating up the landscape but producing the same or less than when part of a larger farm.

                • It can be done though, profitability from a block smaller than 1000 ha?
                  Tough, admittedly, in a degraded landscape. Around Alexandra looks like a moonscape but perhaps there are crops; thyme, grapes, saffron that could return good profit from an arid farm. I agree that there are critical dimensions for a farm that’s running ruminants; perhaps they’re the problem?

                  • weka

                    lol, that was sneaky.

                    Do you know the Hobbs near Roxburgh? 25+ years of organic orcharding. Can’t remember how big their place is, but it’s small. They sell everything from the gate or via direct selling to customers. Large variety of fruits coming on over the season. Very cool model.

                    http://www.hobbsorchard.co.nz/

                    • Very cool, and living at Hercules Flat – great address! I’m growing apricots from that area, heritage ones collected by an elderly Roxburgh orchardist from trees that somehow remain. She sent the pits to me, all sucked clean, in a box 🙂

                    • weka

                      Nice.

                      While we’re on the subject of real farming, the Real Farmers are busy pulling out the mature orchards further down in the Teviot Valley and putting in dairy cows. Unreal.

                    • All that will change; shame about the trees though. I enjoy discussions around farming. I’ve been putting together a possible guest post that begins:
                      “The most pernicious, aggressive and destructive invasive plant in the history of New Zealand; the plant that has usurped, displaced, and rendered near-extinct our unique native flora, is ryegrass, the pasture species chosen by farmers in their ongoing battle to dominate the natural world.”
                      How do you think that might fly, weka, and will bwaghorn be freed from moderation in time to engage in meaningful discussion? 🙂

                    • weka

                      I look forward to that! (and yes I expect b will extricate himself in time).

                      The thing that bothers me about the orchards is that it takes a year to chop them down and put in cows, but much longer when we need to go back the other way (esp given we don’t know how climate change will affect farming). A mature orchard is not something to be killed lightly. Stop trying to grow money and grow food instead, grrr.

                      Not that I need to tell you any of that, but maybe someone else is reading 🙂

                  • Bearded Git

                    Much more profitable to chop it up unfortunately, and Nationals RMA reforms (backed by the Maori Party-may they rot in hell) mean that this is easier to do.

              • bwaghorn

                purchase price would be the defining point as to how economic a block is, and unfortunately the smaller they are usually the more costly they are.

    • bwaghorn 2.3

      you put him up as proof of the greens inclusiveness the other day so i thought you might know , if you don’t like my approach ban away .

    • greywarshark 2.4

      Having a go at tenants. And some smart female lawyer so cool that butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, explains how tenants can now demand details of the landlord’s insurance blah blah… as if they were on an equal footing.

      I imagine the conversation between landlord and prospective tenant:
      “Tell me, my good man, have you reasonable insurance in case of our causing a mishap, and how much excess would there be for us to pay?”
      “Oh fuck off, I don’t want the likes of you causing trouble.”

      http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/you-break-it-you-bought-it
      The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2), introduced to Parliament yesterday, implements changes meaning tenants will have to pay their landlord’s insurance excess if they have caused damage due to carelessness….

      “The changes are needed to ensure tenants have an incentive to take good care of a property, and for the landlord to have appropriate insurance,” Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith said.

      But Renters United spokeswoman Kate Day said the proposed law was unfair on tenants, who were already paying rent that factored in costs for the landlord such as rates and insurance.
      “We see insurance costs as part of the cost to the landlord of running the business of a rental property,” she said.
      “They pass those costs onto the renters, so the renters already pay the costs of the insurance. It’s not fair that the renter pay twice – through their rent, then through the excess as well.”

      The proposed law caps the amount charged for excess at four times the weekly rent.
      Tenants will still be liable for damage caused intentionally.

    • Bill 2.5

      Is there any truth to the rumour that seems a fair enough question, but no idea why you’d ask for clarification from a specific individual. What’s that about?

      you can’t prove (show?) organic farming is viable if you fund the farm from the outside , imo

      Yes and no. Within the current economic paradigm, it’s true that “viability” is measured in monetary terms. But there are plenty of meaningful ways to measure viability and there’s a cogent argument that current paradigms run counter to those other measures.

      So what if by non-monetary measures something is viable, but not viable in terms of the measures provided by current contexts? Should we throw away the context or the otherwise viable project/enterprise/hobby?

      Purchasing off-sets. Best I don’t get started on that front, eh? 😉

  3. The decrypter 3

    Is Mr Fnglish a farmer? What’s a Queen street farmer?

    • bwaghorn 3.1

      if he has input into the running of the property then yes , if not then he’s a queen street farmer ie an investor , queen street farmer is a term of ridicule .

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        Queen Street farmer was a term for men who had a lot of spare money to invest who were city professionals and put that money into the new gold rush which at that time was deer farming. They drove in the city in Landrovers etc which everyone thought they had bought and written off as a tax deductible farm vehicle. So there is a lot of background to that term. (The Queen Street would be the main street in Auckland’s CBD.)

    • There will certainly be a measure, a cut-off point connected with time spent on farm, where a person, Mr Fnglish in this case, fails the “farmer” test and becomes something else. bwaghorn will know.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    Many of the farms I saw in Asia were not 20 hectares – we could learn a thing or two from many of them.

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      did the owners live in a comfortable house with good health etc or were they subsistence farmers that you enjoyed gawking at from the comfort of your intrepid journey

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        bwaghorn
        I think you have unknowingly hit on the point of this argument bwaghorn.
        In Asia they were probably subsistence farmers, and living according to their means. The farmers here are getting to the point where they have leveraged themselves into poverty, living and investing beyond their means and believing that they will be able to pay it all off out of continuing profits as in the present buoyant market. They may yet end up as subsistence farmers too, and it will be their own fault, foolishness, and lack of financial discipline.

        I believe that some clear-headed financial studies find that many are farming in an extraordinarily profligate manner, and are practically insolvent, ie their farming methods and cost basis and receipts make their enterprise on present earnings, a failure. The reason could be that they have bought paid too much for land, or spent too much converting to dairy, to actually make a decent buck. Have you heard the term “He was hoist on his own petard” bwaghorn.

        Townies can feel sorry for struggling farmers, but some of us need to think and understand what their actual problem is. Perhaps my comment will encourage some informed person to come on to the post and give some background to this skewed theme, of poor, honest, hardworking farmers being unreasonably, unfairly criticised by ignorant townies living a life of ease, warmth and comfort sitting on their bums in the cities. That is partly fair criticism from farmers who actually work their own farms, but only on an 80/20 basis with 20 referring to the farmers.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.2

        They had hanoks for the most part – low ceilinged earth walled houses with tin roofs instead of the traditional tile or thatch. The ones who had 20 hectares would also have a large two-storied house, outbuildings, multiple vehicles, and typically several sources of income – rice, table grapes, mushrooms, dogs, hand reared beef, chillis, soybeans, ginseng, baichu. These ones also often supplied customers directly to improve prices, or sold through the massive markets that are a feature of the successful Asian regional development initiatives.

        • greywarshark 4.1.2.1

          Interesting info Stuart Munro. We are going to have to learn from other countries experience as ours are so set in the ruts of the past, and are determined to learn nothing new that is applicable to our present, and forecast future. We have a government that is there on the votes of people who consider themselves learned and intelligent, but measure everything in money.

          A couple I know of are dying, but have a number of attractive houses, and are building another for something to do in the meantime. After a lifetime they end up with the same stunted ideas they grew up with and can’t see how damaging it has been for this country and the world.

          • Stuart Munro 4.1.2.1.1

            NZ is unfortunately a very poor learner. Our economists for example, think they are rockstars, and the balance of payments confirms that whatever they may be, they are certainly not economists.

            Our dairy is stuck in the production mentality – 1960s thinking – our fisheries are 1% of Japans. We have little or no land-based aquaculture, and virtually no intensive sustainable operations.

            It’s as if they have ignored everything written in my lifetime. We should be a model country – but we are a nation of sheep led by goats and monkeys.

            • Robert Guyton 4.1.2.1.1.1

              ” we are a nation of sheep led by goats and monkeys.”

              Have you ever wondered, Stuart, why some animals consented to domestication, where others rejected the offer? Sheep, it seems, were easy.

          • Robert Guyton 4.1.2.1.2

            We’re all a bit like your dying couple, Grey; finding it difficult to grasp the reality of the situation and even more difficult to change our ways to accommodate what we sense is happening; our responses are a matter of degree. The “mythical” Asian subsistence farmer would shake his or her head at our behaviour, perhaps, and wonder at our stunted ideas. Un-stunting those is the first thing we have to do. This sort of discussion helps, imo, but individuals have to do the real, background work if they are to even approach becoming grandfathers (the use of that term will puzzle you, probably, but here’s the link if you’ve the time and inclination to read the article that provided it for me 🙂

            https://books.google.ca/books?id=tUnu_oCaVBQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=animism&source=bl&ots=hlOpRxivxM&sig=qmDiBwfQKLuEQx-sAu2NY1DA_PQ&hl=en&ei=T-UUTci1AYv6sAPPjuSvAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result#v=onepage&q&f=false

        • bwaghorn 4.1.2.2

          thanks ignoring my intrepid grumpyness, would you drink the water from the creeks in these intensive small block ares?

          [you’re in premoderatimon b, please have a look at yesterday’s moderation and respond. Thanks – weka]

          • Robert Guyton 4.1.2.2.1

            Can we loose him from his bounds, weka? He’s owned his surlyness and the topic is a great one 🙂

            • weka 4.1.2.2.1.1

              He’s only in premod, which means his comments will still appear, there’s just a delay until he deals with the issue I raised in moderation (or if it ignores it there will be long delays).

              Grumpyness isn’t a moderation offence 😉

              • weka

                I agree the topic is a great one and I hope he comes back soon.

              • bwaghorn

                Can you point to what accusations i made , i only see as yet unanswered questions , i would have stopped at the one first question but all the utopian dreamers leap in boots and all so i reacted..
                If people can’t see that the greens are setting themselves up for ridicule by
                billing Mr Hart as organic farmer when all he has is 20ha then they aren’t very bright.
                I’d also like to see proof of these subsidies that farming gets , i’d prefer proof of real subsidies rather than rekons from people who know fuck all.

                [the whole subthread is based on the premise that Hart runs 20 ha and is a consultant and doesn’t make a living from his farm. That is an idea that you brought into the conversation and have continued to use as the basis of your argument, even now. I have no idea if that is true or where you even got that idea from. You can either put up some evidence or acknowledge you made it up. It’s not ok to run lines about public figures that are factually incorrect, especially about candidates in election year. What is happening now is there is an ongoing conversation based on rumour. Again not ok in election year. Plenty of other ways to make your point or it should be pretty easy to provide evidence for if it is true. – weka]

                • greywarshark

                  I’m afraid that you are mired in cowpates bwaghorn. and we are thinking of beyond today, our shrinking other industries besides dairy ie they can’t get round how to make money from sheep and many farmers are putting all their eggs in the dairy basket for commodity prices, and adding to the poollution from stock. The cities have to keep their own under control with so many eyes watching them, but the red-neck country guy, the worst he has to worry about is his friendly neighbours pinching his stock.

                  The problem is not the farms being broken down into smaller less economic units as far as scale is concerned. It is farmers who are farming for a quick buck, instead of a lifestyle and business combined. It’s not for everybody but the rural population don’t need to think of themselves as bold business initiators, they are just finding ways to squeeze more money out of farms that many have paid too much for.

                  Turning your nose up at 20ha ‘farms’ is a mistake, small patches like that being intensively managed, with organic well established, with spelling and fallowing and haymaking, will be the backbone of the country when dairy goes belly up when it can’t get fertiliser and someone blows up the pipelines for the irrigation. Which will probably happen.

                • weka

                  You may very well have a point about the Greens b, and I’ll be happy to continue the conversation about that and subsidies, but not until we establish that there is actually an issue.

                • Jeeze, bwaghorn, suffering another bout of grumpyness, so soon?
                  Subsidies for farming…let’s see. How about total exemption from paying for the greenhouse gas emissions their animals produce which equal 47% of New Zealand’s total, an amount that has to be paid for with tax payer money. How is that not a subsidy, I wonder?
                  How about irrigation schemes, Ruataniwha et al. where farmers are the beneficiaries of public money through a very generous loan arrangement, not available to non-farmers? How about the exemption for all farms from the rules around contaminated land? A blanket exemption from rules that affect non-farm land? Subsidised? You bet. These are just my introductory examples. There are more that show how polluter doesn’t pay.
                  Oh, and tax. Kettle of fish.

                  • weka

                    Drought bail outs too. I’m actually in favour of people being helped by the govt during hardship, but it irks to have farmers creating drought with their farming methods and then getting help and then dissing smaller farmers who farm moderately more sustainably but apparently aren’t real farmers because they subsidise their farms themselves.

  5. Bearded Git 5

    This is what I’d like to see in Joyce’s budget. From Bernard Hickey’s May 9th article on the Newsroom:

    “..Australia’s banks have had a tough 24 hours at home with the surprise announcement in the Australian Budget of a A$6.2 billion tax on liabilities…

    Don’t hold your breath. But the Labour/Green bloc should be penciling in a similar tax in its manifesto.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Of importance on Radionz today.

    business rural
    9:28 am today
    What is the future for the sheep industry?
    From Nine To Noon, 9:28 am today
    Listen duration 19′ :28″
    Falling sheep numbers, meat works closures, low wool prices and a ban on fresh NZ lamb in some UK supermarkets – we look at the future for the sheep industry with Federated Farmers’ meat and fibre chairman Rick Powdrell and to sheep farmer, and former chair of the now defunct Meat Industry Excellence farmer group, John McCarthy.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201844949/what-is-the-future-for-the-sheep-industry

    and

    business environment
    9:47 am today
    What’s the deal with “trading” water?
    From Nine To Noon, 9:47 am today
    Listen duration 6′ :54

    Last night a story broke about a Christchurch wool scourer with a consent to extract 1.5 billion litres of water being sold to a foreign company – which is likely to become New Zealand’s second largest water bottler. Kathryn Ryan discusses the issue with Guy Salmon, executive director of the Ecologic Foundation.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201844952/what-s-the-deal-with-trading-water

  7. The United States and Britain are funding and arming Saudi Arabia despite knowing full well that the war it is waging in Yemen involves war crimes whereby hospitals, schools and homes are being bombed.

    How do they possibly expect to win the “War on Terrorism” when they fund and arm a despotic regime that has no time at all for human rights and bombs its smaller neighbour with flagrant disregard for civilian welfare?

    Why do we have anything to do with a despotic regime that commits the aforementioned war crimes? The Government of New Zealand is like “so what? We need to do business with them”.

  8. Ad 8

    OMG I think the US has just found a better international diplomat than Obama; killed it in Saudi, rocked it like a mensch in Jerusalem:

    http://www.politico.com/gallery/2017/05/22/photos-donald-trump-israel-visit-002438?slide=26

  9. ianmac 9

    Well well well:
    “Auditor-General Martin Matthews to stand down pending independent inquiry.
    The Offices of Parliament Committee decided unanimously to undertake an independent inquiry into Auditor-General Martin Matthews’ suitability for the position.

    He will stand down in the meantime. Review is expected to take a fortnight and will be done by Sir Martin Weevers. ”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/92941401/auditorgeneral-martin-matthews-to-stand-down-pending-independent-inquiry

    • Muttonbird 9.1

      Nice to see opposition pressure doing the trick again when the government wanted to sweep this under the carpet as usual.

      I expect this investigation to be another whitewash with very narrow terms of reference, though, and for Matthews to be reinstated.

    • Ad 9.2

      Great work.
      Good practise for what senior public servants should expect from a fresh government.

  10. Muttonbird 10

    Lol. Tolley backs down from yet another incredible poorly thought out idea. This pressuring of NGOs and charities aligns with Ngaro’s bullying of the same organisations at the Nats conference the other day.

    No wonder Tolley has backed down because the media have been very vocal in their criticisms of the Nats’ arrogance on this issue.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/331467/govt-backtracks-on-data-for-funding-proposal

    • ianmac 10.1

      I suspect that the pressure on some of their unscrupulous activities is beginning to tell Tolley and others to back off. They have an ends justifying the means mentality.

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    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    8 hours ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    24 hours ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    1 day ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 day ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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