Open mike 24/07/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 24th, 2015 - 131 comments
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131 comments on “Open mike 24/07/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    Same old story. First Christchurch, now Auckland.
    The lack of financial support by government for key public transport infrastructure, then all of a sudden ‘cash strapped’ councils.
    The fire sale of New Zealand continues.
    Neo-liberalism knows only one way.

  2. cricklewood 2

    I just wanted to draw attention to the closure today of submissions regarding the proposed land swap relating to the redevelopment of the Three Kings quarry.
    I attended earlier in the week my first public meeting organized and driven by the local community, it was clear after the presentation and proper explanation of the proposal that the swap in its current form represents windfall gain for Fletchers and a significant loss to the Three Kings community not to mention a further degeneration of the maunga.
    Anyway if you have the time please write an opposing submission and get it sent to by 4pm today.

  3. Sacha 3

    Report produced as part of Auckland Unitary Plan process disagrees a lot about future trends, and questions population projections and housing supply options:

    Have not read it yet, but worth recalling that Auckland’s actual population growth over recent decades has always been higher that the official Stats NZ ‘High” projection (which to 2040 is about another million residents). Some discussion and presentations from the 2013 council-hosted event that focused on the issue:

  4. Skinny 4

    The Hearld plays the ratings game in this .ornings edition. John Key rates a 8 out 10. “The Teflon is peeling, but only at the margins…his rating would be higher but for the gou know what.”

    Oh you mean that creepy habit of his!

  5. Rodel 5

    Espiner this morning interviews Pagani (former failed Labour party candidate) and somebody called Nick Legget . Both couldn’t wait to diss (criticize disrespectfully) Andrew Little and Labour. In the end Espiner had to shut them up and curb their enthusiasm to disparage Labour
    What is their agenda?

    • Legget is mayor of Porirua. Both of them are involved in setting up a conservative pressure group within Labour. The whining non-entity Phil Quin was involved as well, but I guess he can’t troll Labour as effectively since he flounced out of the party a couple of weeks ago.

      • Reality 5.1.1

        Nick Leggett is a very self-important person who really thinks he is going places. He was very keen on council amalgamation in the greater Wellington region. I attended a meeting where he spoke and he absolutely failed to convince the large audience on the merits of his viewpoint.

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.2

      I was listening peripherally to Natrad earlier…I thought one of the household had broke ranks and tuned into Radio Live. A real commercial tone to the talk, and a disturbing lack of the expected gravitas.

      Thank god their website is more navigable so we can go back and listen to the way things were.

      Radio New Zealand, National.

      Rest In Peace.

    • maui 5.3

      Can they remove their Labour Party membership? That may be helpful. It’s interesting they climb into Little, then at the end they’re gushing about Kelvin Davis.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      Pagani’s agenda seems to be to support National into power. Dunno Legget but he sounds the same as Pagani.

  6. Lynda Brown 6

    Never mind. They quickly moved on to the far more important matter of a rich man’s sports trophy and how we, the great unwashed, can pat it reverentially with a glove on.

  7. Skinny 7

    With Auckland’s road traffic congestion problems, in particular from the North across the harbour you would think a fast track option that would be less disruptive to road users would be a Rail tunnel. Far cheaper than what the Nats are proposing.

    • maui 7.1

      When it comes to transport they don’t care if it’s much more expensive, has far less benefit to the community and the wider city, drains the economy by holding people up in traffic jams, and puts the climate more at risk. It’s roads or nothing.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      If National propose it you can be fairly certain that there’s a cheaper option that’s far better. The reason for that is that National look for maximum profit for their donors rather than what’s best for the country.

  8. JanMeyer 8

    Another useful instalment from the Guardian on the challenges facing UK Labour.

  9. Ed 9

    I read the following article this morning:

    It refers to the Government’s “financial veto” – what is that? Does this really mean that parliament is not supreme – that they are subservient to a cabinet selected by the governing political party? What law contains that right to over-ride parliament?

    If the government does not like a bill on financial grounds, shouldn’t they be regarding it as a “confidence and supply” issue – and thus “encouraging” support partners like Peter Dunne to vote the way they want rather than with his conscience?

    I recall an article on No Right Turn some time ago, which didn’t invoke much discussion – isn’t it time we had this issue clarified?

    • Sabine 9.1

      more importantly can Labour do it too?

      or does it only apply to National let Governments?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        Any government can do it but we’ve only had National do it when things don’t go their way. They’re like a bunch of spoiled children.

      • Ed 9.1.2

        But what legislation allows the government of the day to do this? Why can the opposition not force them to defeat it in the house?

  10. Puckish Rogue 10

    A teachers union is dropping its opposition to the Government’s $155 million a year plan to pay teachers more to improve schools after negotiating changes to the scheme.

    Nice to see the union laying on its back with its belly exposed 😉

    • You need to read beyond the headline, schmuck. The union negotiated the changes it wanted, then signed up. It was the Education Ministry that rolled over.

    • Skinny 10.2

      It is a touchy subject for Stephen ‘snake oil’ Joyce and the National spin department. Buoyed by the $155 million dollar bribe to keep the teachers on side during last years election, they decided to employ the same tactic in this year’s Northland ‘Buy election’ with the Bridges they plucked out of their arse. The whole country laughed at that spectacular fail. And I don’t think it will end there as Shane Jones is likely to stand for NZF in Whangarei and clean out the hapless Nat’s Shane Reti, both local opposition partys will probably work together and vote stratically and push National completely out of the North 🙂

  11. Chooky 11

    Australian farmers go activist to oppose Chinese coal mining company:

    ‘Liverpool Plains farmers threaten legal action to stop Shenhua Watermark mine’s ‘agricultural genocide’

    “Farmers on the Liverpool Plains in northern New South Wales are vowing to launch legal action and resort to civil disobedience if they have to, to stop a Chinese coal mining company being granted a mining licence….

    Farmer and Caroona Coal Action Group head Tim Duddy said the project was “agricultural genocide”.

    “We are not talking about a coexistence model, we are talking about mining coming and farming going and it’s as simple as that,” he said.

    Mr Duddy and a group of other Liverpool Plains farmers have met to discuss how they will proceed.
    “We’re looking at our legal options, we’re looking at our other options, certainly the community is prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure a mine does not occur here,” Mr Duddy said.

    Farmer Andrew Pursehouse, who owns more than 4,000 hectares of prime agricultural land on the Liverpool Plains, said the group would resort to civil disobedience if it had to.

    “”We’ve got to act like French farmers and stop this, this is just not right.”

  12. Ffloyd 12

    Has anyone read the Opinion (?) piece in the compost? (trying to write dom post but TNT came up instead, seemed appropriate!) Hatchet job on Little, absolutely spitting venom. Wonder who wrote it?

  13. Ffloyd 13

    Has anyone read the Opinion (?) piece in the compost? (trying to write dom post but this came up instead, seemed appropriate!) Hatchet job on Little, absolutely spitting venom. Wonder who wrote it?

  14. wyndham 14

    Anyone that may remain unsure as to whether or not the New Zealand Listener has been taken over by the extreme political right need go no further than read the editorial in the latest issue (August 1 to August 7 2015).
    There is only one word in my vocabulary for this writing and that is ‘scurrilous’. It may also verge on being defamatory but then I’m no legal eagle.
    The writer (identity not acknowledged) likens Phil Twyfords attempt at initiating a discussion on just who is purchasing Auckland homes to “Nazi Germany, where mass extermination was justified on the premise that Jews were subversive, disloyal and a threat to ‘true’ Germans.” Next comes an emotive linking of the recent Diana Wichtel interview with an elderly Auschwitz survivor and links how Twyford is suggesting that “Chinese speculators are to blame – – – “.
    Further on, the writer dredges up how Chinese were subjected to vilification and discrimination in the 19th. and early 20th. centuries. This leads on to how an elderly Chinese was shot dead in a Wellington street!
    The final extraordinary flight of fancy in this article links the median income of Chinese N.Z’ers (2013) as being a “modest $16,000” and that this somehow runs counter to the theory that N.Z. is being overrun by wealthy Chinese seeking a haven for their money as China’s economy contracts.
    There is much other dubious content in this editorial and IMO the Listener richly deserves extreme condemnation. I’m going to the Press Council.

    • Anne 14.1

      Here is the link:

      In due course, I would like to see Labour take action against these shallow, politically motivated attacks designed to play on the emotions of readers and without any attempt at providing objective analysis.

      And hiding behind anonymity in a mainstream public journal. Makes you wonder who the source was…. Quin, Pagani, Leggott where are you?

      • wyndham 14.1.1

        Thanks for the link Anne. I don’t subscribe to them online.

        I’ve cooled down a bit now but – – – really! A vicious piece of writing.

      • Westiechick 14.1.2

        I just read it with dismay. The writer pretends that Twyford has criticised NZ residents of Chinese origin investing in the house market. It is overseas investors with no connection to NZ that are the target becasue they are distorting the market. It would be better if there was a problem with Scandanvian investment in the Auckland housing market. This would allow for more accurate surname analysis and get the race card (actually played by Labours critics, not Labour) right out of it.

        • Anne

          I just read it with dismay.

          Dismay quickly turned to a deep seated anger at the lying, twisting and vituperate tone of the editorial. So much so, I didn’t dare respond to the content.

          Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but I have a faint recollection Phil Quin was associated with the Listener at some point in the past. I may well have the wrong person, but if not… then I’m picking he had a hand in it’s composition.

          • In Vino

            Fully agree. I do not know about Quin, but I do not want to try to write a critical letter of that rancid piece of politicking in my current mood.
            It is the ownership of the Listener that is the cause: in the days of Monte Holcroft, Ian Cross, etc, the magazine maintained a Lord Reith style of independence. It is now, no doubt, set up commercially, and thereby corrupted. If there are shareholders and a Board of Directors (Parent owner is actually a German company, is it not?) you can bet that Editors and policies will thereby be skewered to the right. Commercialism and marketing are a pox upon the face of our modern society, seen most clearly in our deteriorating MSM. Listener- from clarion to carrion.

            • Anne

              Yes, I stopped buying the Listener years ago. Once it was the top magazine in the country – a must read. No more…

    • Chooky 14.2

      i try to avoid buying the Listener these days…it is hopelessly compromised as a New Zealand public watch dog and investigative journalism is out the window …it is full of PR merchants for Nact imo

      ….Joanne Black their former star opinion feature writer ( may still write for them as far as I know ) went to work for Bill English and is now the PR person for selling Kiwi Rail …her husband I think works in jonkey’s office

      …..Interesting that Bill English did not front sale of Kiwi Rail on Nine-to- noon recently but used instead Joanne Black to front jonkey Nact government policy of financially gutting NZ rail, in an era when all other countries are looking to expand rail services….GUTLESS!

      “The government has put KiwiRail on notice, giving it two years to identify savings and reduce Crown funding required. What is the future of the rail network and what is its importance to regional New Zealand? The Hawkes Bay Regional Council. Regional leaders are fighting to retain rail links, and in Hawkes Bay to re-open its rail service. The Napier – Gisborne line was mothballed back in 2012 after it was washed out by a major storm. The Hawkes Bay Regional Council is fighting for its resurrection and has put up five-and-a-half million dollars to part fund the line. Liz Lambert is the Chief Executive of the Hawkes Bay Regional Council. Lawrence Yule is the mayor of Napier and chairman of Local Govenrment New Zealand. Joanne Black is the spokesperson for Kiwi Rail.”

      • Olwyn 14.2.1

        …i try to avoid buying the Listener these days…it is hopelessly compromised…

        I have not bothered with it since Pamela Stirling replaced Findlay MacDonald as editor. I could see straight away that it was over, and was very sad as it was a beloved piece of NZ for me up until then. When I glance at the headlines in the supermarket it now looks to be a cross between a National Party newsletter and a social climber’s handbook.

  15. b waghorn 15
    So Seymour admits these are some of our most vulnerable kids and yet sees fit to experiment with them . how fucking stupid are these fools?

  16. maui 16

    Time for a Neetflux perspective 🙂

    • arkie 16.1

      They are really good at these, really surprised to not see them shared around the social medias more often!

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    The Four Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Inequality

    The truth is, America’s lurch toward widening inequality can be reversed. But doing so will require bold political steps.

    At the least, the rich must pay higher taxes in order to pay for better-quality education for kids from poor and middle-class families. Labor unions must be strengthened, especially in lower-wage occupations, in order to give workers the bargaining power they need to get better pay. And the minimum wage must be raised.

    Don’t listen to the right-wing lies about inequality. Know the truth, and act on it.

    Considering NZ’s lurch down the same ideological path over the last 30 years the same can be said of NZ.

  18. Enough 18

    Child Poverty – More of the same from Key and his insufferable cabal:

  19. Clean_power 19

    Labour’s yellow peril is a myth and fabrication according to Auckland City Council, which says “Auckland Council has revealed how many of its rates bills are sent overseas. Of the 535,057 rates bills sent out, 5617 or 1.05% are sent overseas – 2885 to Australia and 2732 to the rest of the world.”

    Will Mr Twyford clarify the “confusion”?

    • I can. The bills are sent to the local agent who arranged the house purchase. Next question …

      • dv 19.1.1

        Or the local property manager.

      • Clean_power 19.1.2

        This is pretty solid evidence that the whole “foreigners are pushing up prices” idea is nothing but xenophobic scapegoating. For that to be true but only 1.1% of rates bills going overseas would require virtually every foreign buyer to be using a local agent. Occam’s Razor applies, the simpler explanation is that foreign ownership is just not that high.

        Not that mere logic is going to convince those who really want this to be true, of course.

        • lprent

          …would require virtually every foreign buyer to be using a local agent.

          What is so surprising about that? I knew a number of local landlords in my apartment building (60 apartments – 10 owners occupier) when I was active in the body corporate less than 10 years ago. Less than 10% of the landlords did not use an agent. All the ones from off-shore did. Using agents like Crockers or Barfoots or Quinovic is the norm rather than the exception.

          When I moved out for 4 years to get more room for a film to be produced, we used Quinovic, even though the apartment was only 4 blocks away. Who has the time or inclination to run a rental property. Same with almost everyone else that I know of who rents out properties in Auckland.

          Your argument is completely stupid.

        • Draco T Bastard

          This is pretty solid evidence that the whole “foreigners are pushing up prices” idea is nothing but xenophobic scapegoating.

          No it’s not as the ACC obviously don’t know who the bills are going to. The data that they have is far less worthy than what Labour used.

          For that to be true but only 1.1% of rates bills going overseas would require virtually every foreign buyer to be using a local agent.

          Which would be simpler than the foreign based owner doing it themselves as it would save them having to set up their own property management service.

          Not that mere logic is going to convince those who really want this to be true, of course.

          You wouldn’t know what logic was if you tripped over it but that’s normal for ignorant RWNJs such as yourself.

        • Paul

          Answer trp’s point

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.3


        That was exactly what I was thinking.

      • Anne 19.1.4

        Yep. House next door to me is owned by a Honk Kong businessman who resides in Hong Kong. He has a “friend” in NZ who manages the property for him. She currently rents it out to tenants (3 bedroomed house) at around $900 per week. When she gets the word from the overseas owner she will sell it for him.

    • Chooky 19.2

      @ Clean_power ….it is up to the government…Nactional …to get the real and true statistics on who is buying Auckland houses …every single one of them ….as you well know…thus far they have been avoiding this like the plague

      ….and if someone overseas buys 40 houses …do they get 40 rates bills or just one?

      • northshoredoc 19.2.1

        “….and if someone overseas buys 40 houses …do they get 40 rates bills or just one?”


        • Chooky

          most likely sent to their local agent in NZ…which gives no indication whether the houses are overseas owned or not

          again I repeat …the nactional government need to give New Zealanders the real and true statistics on who is buying up NZ houses and property …every single one of them ….thus far they have been avoiding this like the plague

          • northshoredoc

            I suspect most of the owners of multiple homes are locals.

            NZ is well overdue for a capital gains tax.

            • b waghorn

              Yes nz is long overdue for a cgt. and I couldn’t care less if a cgt didn’t slow price rises its about the tax system being fare.

            • Chooky

              “I suspect most of the owners of multiple homes are locals”…actually given the scale of the problem overseas and in Auckland I doubt it

              ….and why is the jonkey nact government so coy on getting the statistics?…this is an important political issue now…do they have something to hide?

              ..i think so

              • northshoredoc

                Why do you doubt it ?

                  • northshoredoc

                    err. neither of those links suggest that the majority of multiple homes owners are non residents.

                    • Macro

                      Did I say they did? They show that even where there are many more restrictions on the purchase of homes by foreign buyers than here in NZ – foreign buyers (and the majority seem to be coming from the one area – which is not surprising – there being around $21 trillion NZ dollars sitting in private bank accounts in China alone at low rates of interest) are distorting the market to such an extent that they are causing concern. In Vancouver it is possible to walk down many streets with many well built houses empty and boarded up. Simply investments in property with prices escalating many tens of thousands a year – why go through the hassle of renting – and with a projected 22,000 similarly owned in Auckland, one has to wonder at, who could be the owners? Just how much foreign owned and by how many is difficult to assess but the house price bubbles in Sydney and Auckland and Vancouver are real concerns, and will have devastating effects on their respective economies when they burst as burst they will.
                      So I would not be surprised to find if many overseas investors did have a substantial portfolio of housing stock in the NZ market. They have after all been in the game for at least the last 5 years. This is nothing new, it has only just been made prominent in the last week or so, and many NZers – such as yourself – are only coming to terms with it now.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Macro – you have no clue as to whether or not the majority of foreign investment in NZ houses comes from China. How wou;ld you know for instance, whether or not billion dollar US hedge funds like Blackstone have been buying up NZ real estate via locally listed companies or trusts..

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Actually CV, the problem is that you’re in denial about the figures that were released.

                  • Chooky

                    +100 Macro …here is the scale of the problem…anyone who denies this is ignorant or disingenuous


                    ….”That’s roughly $32 billion,” says Tee. “The Canadian government said: ‘We don’t want your money anymore’ and that capital is now hitting the Sydney market.”
                    “There is a mountain of liquidity. China is bursting with flight capital. They can’t go to the US, they can’t get it into Singapore anymore, or Hong Kong.”
                    Tee’s comments come at a time of increasing concern that a generation of young Australians have been locked out of the property markets of Melbourne and Sydney due to spiralling house prices….

                    Tee says recent figures in the media which put Chinese investment in the Sydney property market at 25 per cent of total sales were too low. He says it might be twice this level but it is hard to tell because of the lack of transparency on ownership.
                    Most Chinese purchases hide behind trustees and proxies. Third parties such as friends and relatives were often used.
                    “Chinese students are being paid 2 per cent of the purchase price of the property to purchase property on behalf of relatives,” says Tee.

                    Another person au fait with Chinese property transactions in Australia told Fairfax Media it was simple for Chinese investors to get around the foreign capital restrictions.
                    “The money never really moves. In a simple example, Kunlun is a forex trading and money exchange company. It has bank accounts in many countries with significant cash balances. So if someone wants $40 million in Australia they put the money in a Kunlun China account and Kunlun transfers the money from their Australian accounts to the person’s friend’s Australian account.
                    “Kunlun is just one example – any large trading multinational will hold large reserves of cash in each country so they can effect a transfer with an internal paper transaction. No banks or government scrutiny involved. And given that they don’t do effective reporting in this country, who will ever trace it?…”Kunlun is just one example – any large trading multinational will hold large reserves of cash in each country so they can effect a transfer with an internal paper transaction. No banks or government scrutiny involved. And given that they don’t do effective reporting in this country, who will ever trace it?
                    “The current situation is that one of the best assets a local Chinese can have is a permanent Australian residence. They will have ‘friends’ lining up to ‘loan’ them money to buy properties in Australia.
                    All the government needs to do is follow the cash.”
                    Sadly, for a generation of young homebuyers it seems the government is not interested in following the cash. Otherwise our politicians, of both major parties, would have introduced the second tranche of AML legislation by now and real estate agents would have to prove that their clients’ funds were legitimate.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I suspect most of the owners of multiple homes are locals.

              For now but the rate of foreign buying will soon change that.

            • Facetious

              Why the Left’s obsession with higher taxes? CGT, carbon, PAYE, etc. Is the Left afraid of people keeping more of their own money in the pocket? Why?

  20. adam 20

    You know sometimes events speak truth to power. Like this weekend National will be having their 79th party conference at the Sky Tower.

    This is an event, in a place that just say’s – we are corporate lackeys. I think Key and Co. are desperate to be noticed by their lords and masters. How truly funny.

  21. freedom 21

    from the ‘guess these things don’t matter anymore‘ file

    Aren’t there a whole lot of rules about not using the image of the PM or members of his Cabinet in commercial promotions?
    Here we have an image of the PM and Bill English headlining a “paid content” Fisher Funds article in the NZH Brand Insight section.
    The image is also thumbnailed under the Brand Insight header on the Herald’s homepage.

  22. McFlock 23

    Breaking news: government taking back management of Mt Eden prison as of Monday.

    They’re refusing to say whether the contract will be cancelled, but for things to get this bad after only a few years it shows that the best tenderer was woefully inadequate. Privatisation fail.

    • Macro 23.1

      But Sam assured the House that it “is the top prison performer on the prison performance table, which measures core security, internal procedures, and rehabilitation”.

      • McFlock 23.1.1

        That was before he realised that if he didn’t throw serco under the bus quicksharp, key would throw him under that very same bus 🙂

        • Macro

          Or drop him from the 9th floor balcony 😉
          Well we know his career is more important to him than serco

          • Anne

            Nah… drop him over the Debating Chamber balcony immediately above Kelvin Davis next Tuesday during Question Time.

            • Macro

              That’s evil! 🙂

              • weka

                Well it’s all Labour’s fault anyway.

                • Macro

                  I can see the Headlines now “Minister tripped or stumbled from 9th Floor says PM” Duncan will assure us all there is nothing to see not even tv footage of any carnage, and suddenly a mystery MP will be admitted to Middlemore Hospital so “it couldn’t have happened on our patch”.

                  • McFlock

                    Witnesses are like water quality scientists – tugger can find a dozen mps who’ll swear that L-L was only found to be injured after he had been transferred to the Labour Party headquarters…

                • Anne

                  Well it’s all Labour’s fault anyway.

                  You mean Kelvin Davis for being underneath him when he dropped….?

  23. greywarshark 24

    Dairy farmers are doing it tough, and the sector is important, but it makes up only about 5 per cent of our economy,
    From yek’s newsletter.
    Can someone explain briefly what the 5% refers to.?
    Is it volume of exports? Is it money earned?
    Where is the 95% coming from then?

    If we are so well off can we start having a decent system of national works to ensure the base line of employment and work is kept alive? Also can we have prescription charges dropped back to $3, and heating subsidies. And an renewal of firm but fair prison warden training for that group heavy on humanity also for social welfare department workers.

    Just for a start, rest later.

    • b waghorn 24.1

      Dairy is5% of GDP I believe ,its there way of glossing over the fact that its 20% of export earnings . Most owners will get through but I’ve already noticed a few comments on social media sights about hours being cut for workers. Shit roles down hill and its always the little guy at the bottom .

      • Draco T Bastard 24.1.1

        Dairy is5% of GDP I believe

        Which is absolutely disgusting considering that it uses up ~7% of the working population. Shows how uneconomic farming actually is.

        • b waghorn

          I’m afraid you’ll have to explain why that’s disgusting!?

          • McFlock

            7% of the labour force to returning 5% of the total productivity.

            Although you might argue that primary production might be less efficient viewed alone, but it produces essential raw materials that subsequently add value to other sectors in the economy. It’s probably something that I’d want to look through a bit more closely than simply assuming efficiency based on share of labour vs share of gdp.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Even taking into account the fact that producing food supports everything else we do it shows poor economics as that extra 2% of the working population, ~100,000 people*, could be used to produce better returns.

              * About the same number of people that Samsung uses to produce 25% of our GDP

              • McFlock

                unless the GDP average is artificially inflated by forex traders, derivatives gamblers, and other high-income leeches on the economy. Average vs median, sort of thing.

                I’d definitely want to look at a few of the different sectors to see whether dairy is particulalry wasteful of labour compared to other areas of primary production.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Check my edit.

                  • McFlock

                    Samsung isn’t a primary industry, but it would be fucked without primary industry.

                    That’s the thing about value-adding: mining rare earths might not be as profitable as turning those materials into chips and batteries, but you can’t do one without the other.

                    Many of the basics in our supermarkets and restaurants would not be produced without milk products. They might well produce more revenue per employee, as well. But they’d be equally fucked without dairy products.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Or we’d be fucked importing those dairy ingredients instead of exporting them, as our balance of trade worsens accordingly.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That’s actually my point. That we’d be better off if we only produced enough food for NZ and use the freed up people to produce higher quality goods.

              • b waghorn

                Me and the cocky next door were talking about the limiting factors to nzs production yesterday and its all distance to market isn’t it ? We could turn every flat price of ground into intensive crop growing but were would we sell it.?

                • Colonial Viper

                  What kind of weird discussion is this?

                  Just ask yourself – where is Tip Top ice cream and Anchor butter sold now? That’s right: all around the world. Just like we used to sell butter and milk powder to Russia (USSR) and the UK.

                  • b waghorn

                    There still low tech ,low input products were as fruit ,nuts, veges and the like would be higher in $ha returns require more labour but are harder to shift.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I seem to get my almonds, prunes, raisins, sauerkraut and bananas from places very far away

                    • weka

                      Food miles are some of the biggest contributers to GHG emissions.

                  • b waghorn

                    Sauerkraut really!! That’s some nasty stuff.
                    So grow and they’ll buy it you reckon

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We could turn every flat price of ground into intensive crop growing but were would we sell it.?

                  We already have turned every flat piece of ground into farms and a hell of a lot of the not so flat. As to where would we sell it – well, every country can produce all the food that they need so the chances are there wouldn’t be anywhere.

                  • b waghorn

                    The start of the discussion was the under production of nz farm land vs labour input .I’ve tried to point out the limiting factors as to why that is . I never argued that we weren’t farming most of the available land.

            • weka

              “7% of the labour force to returning 5% of the total productivity.”

              Is that inherently a problem? I can see it is for an export driven economy, but what if farming in NZ was primarily for growing food for NZers? Would it matter then?

              • b waghorn

                Unless you were going to retire vast parts of the country side you would need to import another 15 million people .

                • weka


                  • b waghorn

                    Because we produce far more than 4 .5 million can consume.

                    • weka

                      When Europeans arrived in NZ, they thought the land wasn’t in use because it hadn’t been cleared and farmed. But the native ecosystems provided food and other resources for the people that lived here (and a smaller population made that possible), and Māori were active in the maintenance of those ecosystems, just in ways that the Europeans didn’t understand.

                      When we transition to local food and susatinable land management, we will need more land to produce the food we eat and to replace the food we currently import. We will need to grow more resources to replace fossil fuels (eg timber, hemp, bamboo, biofuels etc), as well as restore a great number of ecosystems whether that be to native or otherwise, because they won’t sustain themselves once the fossil fuel inputs are gone. Myself, I don’t have a problem with some land being left to its own devices, but in the interim I can’t see that being the most of it.

                      Whatever we do, I can’t see us stepping aside from existing land management for a very long time, if ever.

                      In some ways that might all seem like semantics. Farmland will not be like it was before, so could be described as ‘retired’. But I think it’s important that we can see productive options beyond the current economic paradigm. That’s why the conversation about GDP and labour was interesting. If we change what we value and how we measure that, then I think things look quite different.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      and Māori were active in the maintenance of those ecosystems,

                      Not really:

                      Māori also changed the landscape by burning large areas of forest, probably to make hunting easier.

                      I read somewhere else that Māori had cleared about 50% of the native ecosystems before the Europeans arrived. The idea that the Māori were eco-friendly is pretty much a lie.

                      If we change what we value and how we measure that, then I think things look quite different.

                      Yep. Once we consider what the economy is, what it’s for and look at it in it’s real physical limits we come back with far different values than mere profit.

              • McFlock

                DTB seems to think it’s a problem.

                Off the top of my head one could argue that such a disparity within a closed system would actually be more indicative of a problem, because producers of an essential commodity are rewarded at below average rates.

                Alternatively, one could tautologically argue that it’s a good think because the value added by a primary industry is less than more advanced precessing.

                But that’s the problem with economics in general – any observation can be cut in any way to be seen as either good or bad depending on the observer’s bias.

            • Colonial Viper

              7% of the labour force to returning 5% of the total productivity.

              Sheeezus you guys have fucking lost the plot

              That 7% figure includes hunting, forestry and fishing; probably horticulture as well as sheep, beef, etc.

              The 5% GDP figure you match it up against is just dairy FFS

        • greywarshark

          In DTB graph the agricultural employment stats have gone down majorly since being about 10.5% circa 1986 and 1991.
          Then took a steep dive to 1997 8.5%, rose over years ending at 2001 9%. then its been downward to 6.6% for the last reported year of 2009. So down while we have been hearing how wonderful a sector it is.

  24. ianmac 25

    Amazing! And the High Court roasting of the Health Department over the not Awarding of the funding for the Problem Gambling Foundation is amazing! Andrew runs it across the rule of law. Andrew writes:

    “As Peter Dunne, the then Associate Health Minister, said in response to claims that the PGF had been punished for its vocal opposition to the gambling industry:

    There’s just not one shred of truth in this allegation. It’s shameful, it reflects on the integrity of the people making these allegations and it detracts from a process which has been robust, independent, it’s been peer reviewed and it’s probably one of the better processes that has been undertaken in this area for a very long time.

    And Andrew’ summary of the Court decision:
    So, to summarise, the High Court has just told us that the PGF lost its government contract after being very vocally critical of government policy through a process that;

    1. Changed the ground-rules as to how the contracts would be awarded after organisations had bid for them;
    2. So wrongly assessed the PGF’s application that the apparent result couldn’t be trusted; and
    3. Used people to assess who should get the contract who were at least apparently biased in favour of some applicants over others.

    • weka 25.1

      Thanks for the synopsis ianmac. Another example of loss of democracy.

    • Rosemary McDonald 25.2

      Another example of the Misery of Health getting it SO wrong.

      And another example of Government punishing an advocacy organisation for….. advocating.

  25. Rodel 26

    $erco $acked!…. more or less. Great news!
    Now about charter schools.
    Oh no! Because they’re failing HekiaP is giving them thousands more money.
    In New Zealand we reward the inept and incompetent – and that’s not just the politicians or sailors.

    • b waghorn 26.1

      I doubt serco will roll over and bugger off I’m sure trader john will of let them put all sorts of fish hooks intro the contract.

      • Rodel 26.1.1

        And the poor incarcerated bastards will continue to suffer as subjects in a ghastly political experiment. Hey they might be incarcerated bastards but they’re still human beings, not fiscal digits in a corporate enterprise like the kids in charter schools.

        • Colonial Viper

          Human beings 95% of whom will be back living in a street near you within a couple if years.

  26. Chooky 27

    ‘Earth is halfway to being inhospitable to life, scientist says’

    “A Swedish scientist claims in a new theory that humanity has exceeded four of the nine limits for keeping the planet hospitable to modern life, while another professor told RT Earth may be seeing an impending human-made extinction of various species.

    Environmental science professor Johan Rockstrom, the executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden, argues that there are nine “planetary boundaries” in a new paper published in Science – and human beings have already crossed four of them.

    Those nine include carbon dioxide concentrations, maintaining biodiversity at 90 percent, the use of nitrogen and phosphorous, maintaining 75 percent of original forests, aerosol emissions, stratospheric ozone depletion, ocean acidification, fresh water use and the dumping of pollutants…

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