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Open mike 24/06/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 24th, 2012 - 94 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

94 comments on “Open mike 24/06/2012 ”

  1. Morning.  Is this meant to be a politics free Sunday?

  2. just saying 2

    This is the second ‘weekend social’ this weekend. I got a bit confused for a minute there.

  3. IrishBill 3

    Looks like our open mike and weekend social wires got crossed. Fixed now.

  4. The Government is desperate to make cuts in primary education, closing down special and residential schools and placing high needs children back into their local schools is the next initiative. These children will be supported by “wrap-around services”, but the question is, who will provide them?

  5. Te Reo Putake 5

    Poll out in the Herald on Sunday, the vast majority want to retain assets, so no surprise there. Apparently 60% of us want to buy shares, but there is no indication of how many can actually afford to buy the shares (5%?).
    On preferred party polling, more trouble for Johnny Sparkles. The Herald is really, really reluctant to say it, but the tide is turning. Bear in mind, Key Research/HOS is the most optimistically blue tinged of the polling companies.
    National: 47.9
    Labour: 30.4
    Greens: 14.8
    No result recorded for NZF, but the commentary suggests their vote was below 5%. Peter Dunne is rightly hammered for his sin of ommision:
    ” … NZ First, Mana and Act have all taken a big hit. Peter Dunne’s United Future didn’t even register.”

    • National 47.9% (-8.5%)
      Labour 30.4% (+6.2%)
      Green 14.8% (+2.2%)
      ACT 0.5% (nc)
      Maori 1.7% (+1.1%)
      United Future 0.0% (-0.3%)
      Mana 0.2% (-0.1%)
      NZ First 3.2% (-0.4%)
      Conservative 0.8% (-0.6%)


      National’s result is actually above it’s election % (same for Labour and Greens). Small party poll support tends to drop off between elections and doesn’t firm up until within a week or two of an election, as demonstrated by NZF. Can’t read much into that.

      [nothing for His Hairness? A typo, surely. Because that last poll was just before the election and significantly out of line with it, the indication is that the Herald poll significantly over polls National and under polls Labour. So, it’s stupid to compare this result against the election result. With any single poll, you want to look at the trend in that poll, not the absolute numbers vs other measures of support. Eddie]

      • Pete George 5.1.1

        Trends are semi important for the large parties but there’s a lot of other factors – like how often the polls are taken, and when the last one was.

        I doubt Winston Peters will give a hoot about the NZF trend. He targets one month prior to an election, the trend through that period is what’s criticval, the rest don’t matter.

        UF have barely registered in most polls for yonks. That means little this far out. As does this:
        Projected Seats
        – United Future 1

        That trend is stable, but meaningless.

        • mike e

          Politicly Gelded looks like Dunne is going to have to change his blue rinse to red green rinse!

        • John M

          “UF have barely registered in most polls for yonks. That means little this far out.”

          Quite right, Pete. If UF made you leader just before the election then put you on TV with that worm going again I reckon you’d end up our next PM.

        • John M

          Thanks for that decisive analysis, Pete.

        • mikesh

          UF are a rubbish party with no credibility. PD gets elected in Ohariu largely because of his personal popularity in the electorate.

        • felix

          “Trends are semi important for the large parties but there’s a lot of other factors – like how often the polls are taken, and when the last one was.”

          Jeez Pete, what do you think “trend” means in this context if not movement over time?

          You’re getting worse and worse at these “waffle over the gaping hole” comments you know.

          • Pete George

            A trend means more if the polls are close together, if they are a long time apart they mean much less.

            From what I can see the previous HoS poll was 20.11.11, just prior to the election, where it had National on 56.4 and Labour on 24.2, Greens on 12.6 and NZF on 3.6 – that is nothing like the election result the following week.

            Being seven months ago surely it’s hard to deduce any trend. And they only have one other poll listed, 14.10.11 – how reliable is a trend from three unevenly spaced polls where the first two were in totally different circumstances, in the lead up to an election?

            • McFlock

              The trend for UF is spectacularly stable though – no matter what the poll, UF is always on fuck-all. And that includes elections.

            • Colonial Viper

              A trend means more if the polls are close together, if they are a long time apart they mean much less.

              Sigh. There is so much wrong with this statement, stochastically, but I’m not even going to bother.

            • Te Reo Putake

              100% correct Pete, the trend means more when they are close together. So what do 5 Roy Morgans, two or 3 from the telly and now the HoS all confirming National’s slide and UF’s demise coming together in just 3 months tell you?

            • felix

              “A trend means more if the polls are close together, if they are a long time apart they mean much less.”

              Ok, you didn’t get it. The timing of the results is not some “other factor” apart from the trend, it’s part of what makes up the trend. Jeez, learn some fucking english, would you?

              “From what I can see the previous HoS poll was 20.11.11, just prior to the election, where it had National on 56.4 and Labour on 24.2, Greens on 12.6 and NZF on 3.6 – that is nothing like the election result the following week. “

              Which is exactly why you’re an idiot if you compare the recent poll with the election result and conclude that National’s support has risen. The HoS poll consistently overestimates National’s support.

              It’s reasonable to assume, based on all available information over many polls, that National’s support is considerably lower than this poll indicates. Your own observation above supports this view, which is also consistent with the reasonable conclusions drawn from the trends of all other recent polls.

      • Te Reo Putake 5.1.2

        Spot on, eddie. If I recall correctly, one of the HoS polls before the election had National on 65% support, so their record is patchy at best. However, this one is in line with the last 5 Roy Morgans and the 2 or 3 tv polls over the last 3 months. UF’s dismal result in this poll is not a reflection of a mid term drop, it’s actually only 0.6% away from the actual vote cast in November and again, in line with what the other polls are saying about UF. And what they are saying is “oblivion”.
        The real question for the next election is how well the maori party go. If they lose even one seat to Labour, it’s all over for Team Key.

        • bad12

          I don’t like to sound overly optimistic but from my own crude rithmatic National are at present polling on the 43% mark,

          That gambling site run by the Tories themselves has taken an even more pessimistic view of National as a betting option figuring them now at a miserable 41%, (to all extents and purposes gone-burger in 2014),

          NZFirst below the 5%, thats got to be included this day for the humor content, even in its darkest days leading up to and at the 2008 election NZFirst held 4% of the vote,

          Having said all that I see no need for any of us to become complacent and such figures should just give us all the impetus to provide even more vocal opposition to the Tories and the Slippery shyster from New York we have as Prime Minister,

          What an incoming Government will face after the 2014 election is a Government debt stretched out to the point where further large scale borrowing by that Government becomes extremely problematic,

          The view from here is that all opposition party’s should be looking further than simply a capital gains tax as an effort to stifle the speculation in housing,

          The state of our economy in 2014/2015 is going to be such that a properly targeted Financial Transactions Tax is seen as the best means of producing surplus in the Government books as well as enabling the Government debt to be paid down,

          I suggest that for capital expenditure on infrastructure and social housing Government need resort to creating such monies as needed…

  6. “no indication of how many can actually afford to buy the shares ”

    Anyone with KiwiSaver can invest

    • On The Nation yesterday Winston Peters said that the Cullen Fund should be used to buy back the assets (when he’s in Government). That’s nonsense from WP.

      The fact is the Cullen Fund is likely to buy as many shares as it can get (up to 10%) as soon as they go on the market.

      • Foreigh Waka 6.1.1

        Just another indication from WP of having the pension fund raided for other purposes then what it is meant for (I bet he is not the only one). In 20-30 years time there will be no money and people have to work til they are 70, perhaps even for all their lives (Dickensian). My god this is so mean and in the disguise of a “good cause”. Meanwhile NZ is becoming more and more an underdeveloped nation and all this with the nodding of the population. Pathetic really, but today’s comments on education are very revealing and do point in the direction NZ is moving.

    • Te Reo Putake 6.2

      Not the same thing. The clue was the word ‘buy’, which was in the question KR/HoS asked.

    • chris73 6.3

      How does that work in practice?

  7. chris73 7


    It pains me to say it but those looney greenies arn’t doing a bad job at the moment

  8. Foreigh Waka 8

    Going back to Dave Kennedy’s comment, any more cuts and the illiteracy of the kids will even more increase. It would be nothing short of catastrophic for NZ. These comments below from an article this morning.
    A 2006 survey found 43 per cent of adults with some sort of literacy issue, and half the population with numeracy difficulties.
    The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training says the number of low-skilled jobs will fall by 51 per cent this decade, while highly skilled jobs will increase only 21 per cent.
    Last year 31 per cent of students left school without level 2 NCEA, the equivalent of Sixth Form Certificate.
    This is the real issue because people who fall behind will not be able to build a future for their community. Looking at other comments on this site, they will not be able to research issues like Asset Sales, they will be easier manipulated by social media and advertising. This is also a reason why the “rich” or whoever can afford it (be it with 3 jobs going) send their kids to private schools.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training says the number of low-skilled jobs will fall by 51 per cent this decade, while highly skilled jobs will increase only 21 per cent.

      Uh, highly skilled jobs are going to China and India. Highly skilled does not have to mean here and highly paid.

      • Foreign Waka 8.1.1

        This report was about NZ and its education outcome. Sorry, but the number of people not able to string a sentence or able to calculate without any aid (provided the can read!) is rising. To get skilled means literate and able to be trained. How do you propose to change the future if the kids are not held on to the learn the basics? There is a worldwide shift from low or no skill where one can get by illiterate. This will and has changed to demands of better educational outcomes to operate the equipment that is provided and more and more hi tech. Read the article and you will understand what I try to say.

        • Colonial Viper

          Basic literacy and numeracy are key, yes. But in the context that the future is going back to the past, FW. We will need fitter turners more than we will need semiconductor engineers.

          And we need an education which arms children with social and communication skills primarily, not “high tech” skills.

          BTW ever see a 50 year old use an iPhone or a Windows PC?

          That 50 year old was in primary school in 1970. No computers, no internet. No problem.

        • muzza

          Argh yes the “knowledge economy”, going along well isn’t it…NZ is forging ahead, along with the rest of the western nations. We can tell from the swaths of out of work young/graduates, as the economies of the world in real terms, have failed, on the back end of the money men cartels!!

          FW – Don’t be fooled into thinking that the “tech” is the saviour os us, it simply is not, and will not be.

          In fact the more the tech advances, the more stripped down the hunan being becomes, far from the direction most believe that all the “tech’ is taking us…

          Back to the future it will have to be!

  9. ropata 9

    My Asset Sales Story

    I was out of cash and needed some money to get by, so I thought I’d sell my car.
    A mate of mine said he’d buy it.
    It had a full tank of gas, new tyres and the engine ran ok.
    I sold it to him for $100.
    He used it as a taxi and made heaps of money.

    After a while- having to pay my mate to get around, I realised that I needed a car of my own after all.
    My mate said I could have my old car back.
    The gas tank was empty, the tyres were worn out and the engine was stuffed.
    He said I could buy it back for $200.

    So far it’s cost me a lot for repairs and still doesn’t run very well,
    but at least I’ve got my car back again.
    Pretty good value, eh?!

    • My Asset Sales Story
      I sold a car once, and some other assets, to raise a deposit to buy a house. After a while, as I paid off some of the mortgage and inflation and promotion raised my earning, I was able to buy a better car again.


      • Descendant Of Smith 9.1.1

        So explain to me how selling what produces our earnings will give us a promotion and a pay increase.

        The car you sold was a cost and the other assets were non income producing.

        A more accurate analogy would be to have sold your body to a pimp who then used it to generate their own income. After several years your body was worn out and no use to the pimp and you had to pay lots of money to put it right again. The pimp meanwhile kept his money.

      • ropata 9.1.2

        PG if your story bore any resemblance to government policy I don’t see it. National (+ klingon parties) won’t use the proceeds to improve NZ’s asset portfolio, they are just going to juice the budget for a few years and then there will be nothing to show for it.

      • mickysavage 9.1.3

        Well do the sums Peteg and tell us how this scenario is actually going to happen.

        We are not selling the car to buy a house, we are selling the business so we can pay off the credit card and give some money to the farmers. 

      • John M 9.1.4

        So, Pete, do you think this government is planning to sell the shares in the power companies and in AirNZ, use the funds to reduce debt, and then buy those shares back when things are considered to be looking a bit better?

      • felix 9.1.5

        Cool story bro. Unfortunately what National and Peter Dunne are about to do is more akin to selling the house to put petrol in the car.

        • Pete George

          That’s another of many ridiculous comparisons. The best/worst I’ve seen is it’s like selling a kidney to buy a dialysis machine.

          Here’s a relevant analogy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_Energy

          • McFlock

            Very apt indeed.
            Rather than going into government coffers, most of the profits head directly overseas. The government woud have made much more money keeping the asset rather than selling it for a one-off payment. And it’s pretty much the most expensive power company in the consumer electricity market.  
            Thanks for pointing out what a stupid idea selling any other assets would be, pete. Care to share it with the hair-do?

          • felix

            It’s a perfectly valid analogy, Pete. It points out that Dunne and Key want to sell income generating assets and spend the money on non-income generating assets, or worse still on the general running costs of the country.

            I know you’re not very good at analogies though. From the way I’ve seen you try to interpret them before, you’re probably thinking ‘what an idiot, the govt hasn’t said anything about buying petrol…’

    • prism 9.2

      A good story – very good analogy.

      As for PG What a limp apology for a comment with an underlying theme that goes like this. “I am so clever that I can manage my affairs so well that I don’t feel hardship because I am so clever and hard working, which is all that is needed in this life to succeed. Every clever boy knows that.”

      • prism 9.2.1

        Why is my comment that I put on at 11.15 a.m. after ropata not up there at 9.1.2 where it has some relevance? Instead I have gone down to 9.2 below felix’s at 6.18p.m. It’s makes the comment irrelevant to be so distant from the origin.

        Would someone have time to explain how I can avoid this. You might note that I headed my original comment with ropata’s name so tied it, I thought, to the one I was replying to.
        Probably other people have had this same thing occurring. It is annoying and makes commenting on comments a waste of time and discouraging. Is that the intention?

        • ropata

          Hey I saw your comment (9.2) and appreciated it, but PG got in first (9.1) and everyone replied to him (9.1.x) which shifted yours down lower.

          • prism

            So this means that I should have replied to PG and then added comment to you at the end of one to PG so I could get in cooee of your comment. This is strategic – I’ll have to make plans for my future forays into the blogosphere.

  10. prism 10

    A report on Radionz yesterday on the state of the Spanish oil industry. It is being ruined by the buying power of supermarkets who use this popular and needed item as a loss leader thus forcing down profits for the growers. Also the fudging of labelling to give the idea of higher quality.

    Pure virgin labelling should show Acidity 0.3% but the marketing companies extend this classification by adding more processed oil giving 0.3 to 1% acidity, not virgin oil at all. The price being paid in general isn’t enough to fund the already low-paid work force using traditional gathering by shaking the olive branches to drop the fruit on mats underneath. This method allows the good ripening and flavour of good oil.

    Australian supermarkets have used milk as a loss leader and had a price war between them for which apparently they didn’t bear the cost. They recouped losses by reducing the prices that farmers thought they were to receive under contract.

    • Foreigh Waka 10.1

      This is not new, the Spanish olive oil industry has been monitored for this reason for quite a while now. Don’t forget, Spaniards or for that matter Mediterranean Countries use Olive oil like we do canola and butter. But now that the new owners, the ones who bailed the country out, are in charge this kind of thing will surface. But don’t get fooled, the practice of “loss leader” marketing is well established and works in NZ too – look at the alcohol sales. All it means is that there is a war of shareholding in the food market on and we are the pawns on both side of the equation. We pay less and have no job, no income. So the price has to be cut to “loss leader” level, etc.

      • prism 10.1.1

        Foreign waka
        Mmmm too true. Another thing that happens when these food price wars continue is that quality and good nutrition can be lost in favour of cheaper manufacturing procedures, longer shelf life, and poorer quality ingredients.

        • Foreign Waka

          Already done, look at the “pink slime” mince issue in the US, just the tip of the iceberg. All these long name ingredients which – I would not be surprised to find this with 90% – are industrial waste. Toothpaste – fluoride is one of them.

  11. prism 11

    Shame on the Corrections Department for the conditions they are imposing on prisoners. The prisoners are held at great expense to the taxpayers. They are usually not held for life, but let out eventually back into society – where many continue the schemes their twisted minds obssess about on one part of society, females but not forgetting children animals and old people or foreigners with perceived assets. The so-called Corrections Department doesn’t match its name. It doesn’t attempt to correct just to punish with prisoners locked in for 23 hours a day, with nothing to do. Let’s get it straight, that the Department is the Punishment Department and is an expensive, inefficient and dangerous method of dealing with criminals, dangerous to society. And they should now be allowing Peter Williams Lawyer and rep for the Howard League to talk to the stressed prisoners in the tower.

    This is an inhuman, backward way to treat these people. The serially bad should be kept under life control on prison farms where they can work to grow prison food. All should be enabled to learn some skill or project interesting to them (not involving the making of weapons or studying warfare – they already know violence and callousness intimately). The others should go straight into a series of projects with limited time frames, which are not hard to accomplish. These would be chosen to suit their needs and they would pick from such a group.

    Learning is hard work and would be a shock to the system for many. By doing something, first based on theoretical or philosophical teaching, then followed by a practical, hands-on thing they would pass the time productively for all, and eventually it would entertain them. Also, the sentence would be suspended when they had achieved a certain number, some being basic school programs they had missed.

    Simple sayings, trite or cliche often say it all. The devil makes work for idle hands. Add to that my observation that people are like lettuces, once cut off from good nurturing, they wither. We are just as perishable as lettuces and need care to grow well.

    • prism 11.1

      I said that Correction Department doesn’t try to help prisoners, but that is not so, now I think about it. Someone will defend them saying that they do run projects to guide some of their prisoners to better thinking and behaviour. However they then spoil this positive by reducing the remaining humanity in their prisoners until they are full of anger or despair, and then more likely to erupt and strike, injure, kill in prison and out.

      This 23 hour lock-up, multiple bunking attitude comes from High Society who wouldn’t demean themselves to commit such coarse criminality, aiming for a higher more complex type. These people are the product of their environment with some nature in the mix. Three ways to improve – one get beside parents with help and respect for the task, two limit addiction suppliers, legalise and tax and control and monitor their businesses, three to encourage prisoners to envisage a different path which would be better for them and society and then give them the help to achieve it.

      • Vicky32 11.1.1

        This 23 hour lock-up, multiple bunking attitude comes from High Society who wouldn’t demean themselves to commit such coarse criminality,

        Exactly, and that fits with the way the whole thing was being reported on Radio NZ… ‘They’ll come down when they get sick of it’ as if prisoners are naughty children! ‘They want to see Peter Williams, but we won’t let them’ (because Corrections has its own trained negotiators there… and that seems to be working so well!)

  12. Campbell Larsen 12

    Ministry ‘hides test’s real purpose’

    Community Action on Suicide Prevention Education and Research founder Maria Bradshaw […]says the ministry does not disclose the questionnaire’s real purpose to parents, and discourages those conducting the test to tell parents if their child’s scores are borderline or abnormal.

    Since 2008 Pharmac figures show a 140 per cent increase in antidepressant prescriptions for 0 to 4-year-olds between 2009 and 2010, and an average 10 per cent increase in mood-stabilising drug prescriptions in the last five years for children aged five and over.

    Giving anti-depressants to toddlers is totally wrong IMO – the drugs can be toxic, create dependence and too little is know about the effects on developing brains.

    Big pharma may be looking for another market for its wares but that is not a good reason for letting them experiment on NZ’s kids.

    The deliberate deception from the ministry and the instruction to those conducting tests to with-hold information from parents is totally unacceptable.

  13. KhandallahMan 13

    Andrew Little is making a mistake is proposing that the ACC funding model be changed.  The ACC has an investment portfolio of about $20b. DO NOT give the Nats a chance to liquidate that: it will only result in tax reduction for the top earners and cost reduction for employers.  Andrew Little is taking a short term view, and Shearer will sit on the fence.
    The ACC funded model is a Labour Party inter-generational treasure for our children. Like the Hydro Dams, it is wrong cash them in.  Pull your head in Andrew Little, show some leadership Shearer. 
    “But the party’s ACC spokesman, Andrew Little, said it was time for a public debate about funding options, with recent controversy highlighting ACC’s overemphasis on lowering costs rather than meeting claimants’ needs.
    Under full funding the corporation builds up reserves to cover the current and future costs of existing claims, and is aiming to reach that goal by 2019.”

    • I agree KM that ACC’s reserves should be maintained.  Otherwise our young will not only be paying for our future superannuation but also paying for our accidents and our hospital bills …

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      No matter what the actual costs will have to be met from available resources. What this means in practical terms is an effective slack in the economy that can meet emergency situations. No amount of saving money will change that and, in fact, saving money makes it look like things can be done without diverting from other economic activity. I,e, Christchurch isn’t being rebuilt partially because the saved money isn’t generating a diversion from other economic activity.

      Saving money is delusional but, then, our entire financial/economic system is delusional.

      • DH 13.2.1

        It’s not delusional. Each ACC account has its own investment fund and our levies have been topping them up so the income from investments can pay the future cost of existing claims.

        To give you an idea what it’s worth; in 2011 investments returned very high sums because of recovering markets but if we discount it back to the risk-free rate of around 5% ACC investment accounts in 2011 would have paid 34% of the work account costs, 24% of the earners account and 49% of the motor vehicle account. That’s total cash outgoings too, including claims and all expenses. The percentages will get higher each year as surpluses are reinvested. That’s what we stand to lose if they nobble our ACC assets and change to pay as you go.

  14. prism 14

    Perhaps there could be an amendment from full to a part-funding model so that we don’t have to carry all tomorrow’s inflated costs on our shoulders today. Even small annual inflation, which is going to happen in a thriving economy, does mount up and we meet its cost as we go along.

  15. KhandallahMan 15

    Prism, there might be a valid case to move the target date out a few more years. But to remove that strategic target for short term reasons is as much intergenerational theft as selling the Hydro Dams. 

    • Ad 15.1

      Totally with your point KhandallahMan. I was equally pretty shocked to hear Kevin Hague of the Greens suggest that the Greens would simply liquidate the ACC fund, in order to stop a National government from using the fund to privatize ACC. Pretty odd kind of “salt the wells and burn the villages” kind of logic there.

      If ACC’s goal really is to be self-funding, I presume that to mean that they generate a fund large enough that the levies will decrease. That’s a cost off business, and a cost of the injured, and a massive cost off the health system. That’s worth keeping a massive fund for.

      Little is also spectacularly dumb if he wants to tamper with it. What Labour should avoid is moving from a simple political target (getting a few politicians fired), to a policy one in which they have no clue what success would look like (let’s reinvent ACC).

      Labour have no clear policy on this, and you should not re-write an intergenerational contract on the fly.

      • DH 15.1.1

        It’s pretty obvious what it’s about. If they make ACC pay as you go then they can make the outstanding claims liability (OCL) disappear at the stroke of a pen. Presently it’s protected because of accounting rules, if they nobble any of our ACC cash it goes on the books as a deficit. Change the rules and they can grab the cash, book it as a surplus, and leave us paying extortionate levies for an ACC we’ve already paid for.

        Neither the left nor the right political parties can be trusted on this IMO. The right want to sell off ACC so they can loot the kitty & enrich themselves, the left want to loot the kitty so they can spend more. It’s the best scheme of its type in the world and they’re all hell-bent on wrecking it for their own selfish ends.

  16. KhandallahMan 16

    Noisy scandals, Pullar, Privacy, who said what when, etc and blah blah are distractions.  The ACC became under attach when Nick Smith appointed the new Board after National won the 2008 election.

    The ACC is a Treasure! A Taonga. Some idiots from National are dicking around with it.  The Nats want to sell it or wreck it. Labour should be very very carful not to undermine the unique value proposition of a properly funded ACC.  Other countries are copying the historic Labour model. 
    Hague and the Greens have no maturity of policy development in this space. Andrew Little needs to engage with more experienced MPs and Party policy makers before shooting from the hip in public.  
    He deserves a good bollicking at the next caucus meeting.

    • Ad 16.1

      Just imagine if we had a sovereign investment fund that included the ACC fund, the EQC fund, a public Kiwisaver option, and the NZSuperFund, and the (remaining) state companies. Perhaps in part managed by Kiwibank.

      Something even bigger than Temasek or Harvard Pension, roaming the earth owning chunks of massive companies, investing with ethical and long term purpose.
      Not just producing milk and cheese, but owning supermarket chains.
      Not just converting to wind farms, but buying out the turbine manufacturer.
      At every point, aggregating the public resources we have into single common purpose.

      And imagine that fund being used to enable policy outcomes; a free health system, a fully resilient set of cities, a more confident NZSuperannuation.

      Call it Kiwifund.

      Khandalla, that’s where Labour should be headed.

      • millsy 16.1.1

        Now that is something I would support.

        The Greens(!) are the only party that have proposed such a fund, well they at least they promised to look into whether one would be worth investigating 🙂 While National just want to use our mineral wealth to subsidize tax cuts for the rich. Kinda what Thatcher did with North Sea gas…

    • Vicky32 16.2

      Hague and the Greens have no maturity of policy development in this space

      Or in any other as far as I can see!

  17. Colonial Viper 17

    Dr Michael Burry UCLA Commencement Speech

    An outstanding critique of the political, economic and financial situation the world finds itself in.

    From one of the world’s top 0.1%.

    • Ad 17.1

      Epic, and surprisingly uplifting. A great topic for defeatists and catastrophists in that he reaffirms individual human agency and choice, both through his own story and through railing against immoral kinds of government. Loved it.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      I’d say that’s a serious concern. Was the release of cyanide gas from the grass an effect of the genetic modification or just a random mutation due to local drought conditions?

    • joe90 18.2

      Came across this and it seems that cyanide poisoning is a drought related feeding problem.

      Prussic acid or cyanide poisoning can also be a problem when grazing drought-stunted plants such as sorghum, sorghum hybrids and sudan grass.

      • prism 18.2.1

        And sorghum is a popular feed and could have been GMO. The item about the dead cows said that others have had this trouble from the same Tifton85 type. However it shows up on google as a hybrid grass which happens more through breeding and crossing strains than adding and subtracting genetic material of various sorts.

  18. joe90 19

    Sandmonkey (Mahmoud Salem) on the Egyptian elections.

    In my humble opinion, today concludes the end of the first chapter of the Egyptian revolution. I know that other people have it divided into sections in regards to original 18 days, elections, parliament and presidential elections, but I don’t subscribe to that. We went into the revolution with the same thinking that people like me had back in 2005: we must remove Mubarak, stop his son from inheriting us, and get democratic elections. All of us had those goals and not a single vision on what to do afterwards, because the removal of Mubarak was such a pipedream. So, you successfully dethrone a tyrant, and you have neither plan nor vision on what to do afterwards, and no real understanding of the regime itself, then, quite naturally, you fall flat on your face, and we have been doing that for the past 18 months. This has been our story: the removal of a dictator and the repercussions that follow. That’s what’s been happening. This ends today, and the new chapter starts, for better or worse

    • millsy 19.1

      Some choice that was..

      A member of the establishment, or some crackpot mullah.

  19. felix 20

    Anyone else having trouble loading thestandard today?

  20. Anne 21

    At one point today when I tried to link to a specific commenter, it kept coming up with a post way back in 2008. Can’t remember the title but someone was… wondering why the Leader of the Opposition, John Key always had a cheesy grin on his face.

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