Open mike 24/11/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 24th, 2015 - 122 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

122 comments on “Open mike 24/11/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    The rich get richer…

    And the poor get poorer….

    Equal opportunities in John Key’s New Zealand?
    What a joke!

    • tc 1.1

      As designed with the joke being on middle nz who keep voting these clowns in like turkey’s voting for Xmas.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.1.1

        For some reason I’m logged out on individual pages and although this comment is intended to be repeated on the ABP recess page it can fit here as well.

        The only change the Labour Party has made since this is to take the history off their website. At least that’s more honest that promoting things they don’t believe in.

        And it took National to increase benefits – not all and not enough but it’s still not Labour policy to do that.

        Labour caters to the aged conservative baby boom voting superannuation who have the voting power just as National does. The price of that is being paid by the young, the unwell and the ordinary. The right blames the individual, the left offers no solution.

        Well there’s little evidence that Labour is pushing the needs of beneficiaries and workers. 2012 was the year of the manifesto. 2013 was supposed to be the year of the policy.

        “Next year will be where the detail gets done.” Mike Smith

        Here’s some posts of mine speaking for those people though.

        Take note of this in that comment in 2012:

        “And no it’s not unrealistic to know this far out what they believe in and stand for – you build a brand and a connection with people over time – and that’s why I don’t particularly care who is leader.

        And here’s the other thing if I as a voter can’t figure out what they stand for is it any wonder those within seem disconnected and rudderless and disloyal.

        It seems to me they don’t know either – you can’t have a group of people consistently articulate a vision if the vision is a secret.”

        So anyway we have a (draft) Labour policy document that is, like their website strongly focused on past glories and like a National Party document focused strongly on non-specific aspirational shit.

        When this document does get specific about an actual work or welfare policy guess what – it’s to lift the age of super to 67. This both shows that they can put specific policy in their policy documents when they want and where their actual priorities are.

        I just love phrases like this in the document:

        “Today and into the future, we stand for the hopes and aspirations of all New Zealanders to a life of security, dignity, and fulfilment.”

        “Labour believes in the innovative and creative powers of New Zealanders.”

        “Labour will govern in the spirit of the age, with a new focus on the state as an enabler of community action and citizen involvement.”

        Given the prominence National have given to aspiration in their policies wtf is that word even doing in a Labour party document and overall this stuff isn’t visionary it’s corporate mission statement speak.

        “For young and old, women and men, Labour’s social policy will ensure that adequate support is available when people have a genuine need.”

        “Labour believes that people who can work, should.”

        Yep still have their neo-liberal qualifiers in there.

        “Labour will continue to improve the quality of the state housing stock”

        No mention of quantity – actually building more houses.

        No mention of 8 hour working days, 40 hour working weeks, some waffle about protecting workers and union rights but little mention of how. Some talk of regional development which is good. No mention of increasing benefit rates to help the poorest in our society.

        Here in this post I try and help Labour be showing how a vision of something can be articulated.

        Tell me how Labour will once again make it a positive to be living in a state house, something to be proud of. They continue to see it as charity.


        “Our history and our values mean nobody will be surprised when we fight for a fairer and more inclusive New Zealand, when we fight against inequality, and when we fight to preserve freedom and opportunity for all: this is what Labour believes in, and what drives the activity of our party and its

        Yep I’ll be surprised – particularly since 84/85..

        Back in 2012 I asked Mike Smith whether Labour actually believed in the 8 hour day, 40 hour week they claimed so proudly on their website. He chose not to answer that twice despite ostensibly being their to champion Labour’s new direction and it’s policy development.

        The simple answer is that it doesn’t and as one of the basic fundamental principles historically to help workers have better lives, decent incomes, spread limited work around and to allow them to spend more time with their families that this policy is missing says they don’t really have workers interests at heart.

        • aerobubble

          I have this picture in my head, of the family standing over the headstone of their parents generation, the boomers and asking why they never helped them into a home like their parent parents did their kids. Its about how we remember the boomers, who sure, many lost parents in the war so the govt reworked the system to make it look like they were self made. Its how we remember them as selfish and stupid.

          • Descendant Of Sssmith

            Aye the incessant lowering of taxes, the reducing of workers rights and the demonising of the disabled and poor.

            The blaming the victims who resulted from the policies of looking after number one.

            The loss of community and sense of common purpose.

            Jack is as good as his master was somehow lost once they felt they were the masters.

            The thing is that they lost many of their own generation as well – not all benefited by a long shot.

            Orwell had it thus:

            “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

            That’s the modern state of politics in a nutshell. Swap pig and man with Labour and National and it remains as apt as the original.

  2. Pascals bookie 2

    Some guy at Cracked magazine, of all places, has read all the ISIS Dabiq magazines and has a more solid piece about what they think than most other news orgs:

  3. tc 3

    Seriously how should we vote on keys vanity flag to both register it as a valid vote and send a clear message they are all unworthy.

    How about a 5 on all of them?

    • Graeme 3.1

      I’m intrigued how a valid preferential vote can be run without the candidate positions being randomised on the voting paper.

      Seen 3 papers now, and they’re all the same. Anyone else noticed this?

      I posted on this at the end of the distraction thread the other day, but the world had moved on by then…

    • veutoviper 3.2

      Graeme Edgeler, the constitutional law guru and pedant extraordinaire, has an excellent post on the Public Address blog site explaining the various voting options and consequences for the first flag referendum.

      The post and comments are well worth reading as they cover all the various options and questions.

      Voting by ranking all of them at a 5 would invalidate your vote.

      • veutoviper 3.2.1

        Well that is interesting! My comment has come up with a new name for me – “Undefined” rather than my usual “veutoviper”.

        It happened while I was trying to edit my comment to add in a note in reply to Graeme’s comment re randomised voting papers.

        The situation re this is covered in the comments under the PA post starting midway down page 2.

        Apparently the selection of the position of the five flag options on the voting paper format was randomised in line with the provisions of the Flag Referendum Act; but then all voting papers are in this format/positioning.

        I can understand this. For example, printing costs would be much higher if individual voting papers were then also randomised. It would also be necessary to ensure that equal numbers of each of the various voting paper options were distributed to avoid claims of bias if this did not happen.

        (I wonder what name I get for this comment!)

        EDIT – both comment back to vv. All is good with the world.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Voting by ranking all of them at a 5 would invalidate your vote.

          Actually, it turns it into an informal vote which does get counted.

          For example, printing costs would be much higher if individual voting papers were then also randomised.

          Only if they haven’t worked on the software. After all, the printer is simply a large commercial laser printer that will print any digital file sent to it and randomising a digital file is relatively simple.

          It would also be necessary to ensure that equal numbers of each of the various voting paper options were distributed to avoid claims of bias if this did not happen.

          Normalised psuedo-random number generators do exist.

          Done properly, a person wouldn’t even have the possibility of touching the form until the person it’s addressed to opens their mail.

          • Lanthanide

            A proper randomisation procedure doesn’t stop at the printing press, though. The randomised papers need to be send out evenly across the country: two people at the same address, or two people on the same street, or two people in the same city, should have a random chance of getting any particular printout.

            So, we can’t just mail out all of design A to Auckland, all of design B to Wellington and all of design C to Christchurch. Instead, all cities need to get a mix of A, B and C.

            That suddenly becomes a more difficult problem.

            • Draco T Bastard

              What we’d want is a fully automatic system. Randomises the layout/address, prints it, sticks it in an envelope and posts it. A computer can do that easily.

              • Lanthanide

                Yes, it can be done, but it costs more money to implement it and test it.

                Also, I think you’ll find that large production runs of this print all of design A, then all of design B, then all of design C in batches, because it is more cost effective and quicker to do it that way. This then gives you the problem as I noted of how to randomly distribute them.

                Your approach of printing each form individually and individually addressing it would likely end up costing a lot more.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yes, it can be done, but it costs more money to implement it and test it.

                  Yes but it’s something that I would expect already to be done.

                  Also, I think you’ll find that large production runs of this print all of design A, then all of design B, then all of design C in batches, because it is more cost effective and quicker to do it that way.

                  That would be true if the printers were still using a screen printing process whereas I’d expect something more like these followed by something like these on a fully automated production line. They would then be automatically sorted to go to the right mail centre.

                  Your approach of printing each form individually and individually addressing it would likely end up costing a lot more.

                  Nope, it would cost a lot less.

            • mpledger

              There is actually 120 combinations (e.g. 5!) of the way the flag could appear on the voting form – which makes things a bit hard keeping track of.

              Possibly the easiest way would be to have a random order and just rotate it, so that every flag could be first, and then there are only 5 possible orderings. It’s position (usually the first position) on the voting form that matters.

              But all that needs to be done is create 5 stacks of the same kind of sheet and randomise voters to one of 5 address lists and randomly assign an address list to a stack and then it’s good to go.

    • Rosie 3.3

      Hi tc. Did you see this post? There’s some discussion about that in the comments.

      I had been wondering what to do. Filing the ballot paper in the recycling felt wrong. After reading this I have decided to put an X in each box beneath each flag. I’ve also gone with Winnie’s suggestion of K.O.F as well.

      The ballot paper, I understand (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong) gets counted as an invalid vote. Your voice still gets heard. It’s like a protest vote. It’s like a fingers up to the PM.

      • veutoviper 3.3.1

        As I understand it, yes your vote will be counted as an invalid vote. CORRECTION – Informal not invalid. Used incorrect word in my earlier comments also, as Draco pointed out. Need to wake up properly before posting …

        However, as discussed on the Public Address blog, the total number of informal votes is counted – but not broken down by the various types of reasons for votes be informal – eg just simple errors, KOF written on vote paper, X in each box, etc. So there will no way of quantifying the extent of protest votes per se.

        Not criticising your choice – still haven’t made up my mind which way to go, but have not yet got my voting papers. We have a lot of problems in our street with late and non-delivery of mail and I will be REALLY ANGRY if my papers don’t turn up. I want the right to exercise my option to throw it away, invalidate it, or vote strategically with the ferns as my lowest choices.

        UPDATE – Stephanie says this much better

        • Rosie

          Hi vv. I saw your public address link and am yet to read it – thanks for summarising the point around how invalid votes are counted. Still ok though, if all the invalid votes are counted as a block? Given the issues around this referendum there may a higher number of invalid votes than usual and it will get reported upon in the media?

          Re not receiving your voting paper in the mail yet. I’ve got a friend in the Postal Workers Union. He said they’ve had real problems with NZ Post going to three day delivery. Rostering the posties has proved to problematic and there has been delays with mail being delivered.

          You can give them a call at their contact centre to find out what has happened to your mail:

          • veutoviper

            Thanks Rosie. That is interesting re the rostering problems. I was not criticising the postees as such. Our problems relate more to the fact that 18 townhouses were built on the site of a former old peoples home. The Council or whoever decides these things, numbered the townhouses from 1 to 18 rather than A to R(?) and so the pre-existing properties in the street numbered 1 – 18 often get mail, courier deliveries etc intended for the townhouses and vice versa. Many of the townhouses are tenanted with regular turnovers of the occupants who often do not redeliver our mail to us. Very annoying.

            • Rosie

              That is a real kerfuffle about your address issues vv. What a nuisance. I do hope you get your voting papers soon…….

              I’ve read the two links you provided. Thanks. So, yes you’re right, it’s an “informal” vote I’ve cast. (democracy learnings for today) 🙂

              I take on board what Graeme Edgeler is saying about intentionally doing this isn’t a protest vote BUT it feels like it, to me at least. I felt like I had no choice when our government is literally trolling the democratic process of voting.

              I also see what Stephanie is saying here:

              ” High numbers of informal/spoiled votes could say that many of us think the process is corrupt – or it could, and probably will, be spun as “those weirdos on the Left who hate democracy” ”

              Yes, we will have to brace ourselves for spin, if a higher number of informal votes are reported on. That is a function of our media parroting government spin. We’ve come to expect that. I can see Patrick Gower’s big pointy finger poking the air already.

              But but but, for those of us who genuinely dislike any of the flag options we haven’t got much in the way of choice for ref 1. It’s either spoil your ballot paper or bin it.

        • Gangnam Style

          You ring your local NZ Postbranch veutoviper? Today is the last day for the refs to go out, by law. The branch leader will be very concerned if you do not get your refs today.

          • veutoviper

            Voting papers arrived yesterday luckily – now what to do?

            Our local NZ Post branch has been as helpful as they are able to be over our ongoing problems. The prime problem is getting the occupants of the townhouses to ensure they give people their correct addresses in the first place.

  4. jenny kirk 5

    Syria is being reduced to rubble – in this morning’s Herald. Just disgusting, and our government is playing a part in this. No wonder millions of people are leaving Syria, and trying to find some other place to go to. And after Syria …. what country will be next ?

    As the conflict drags into a fifth year with no end in sight, little heed is being paid to the enormity of the damage in the country. Some 2.1 million homes, half the country’s hospitals and more than 7000 schools have been destroyed, according to the United Nations.

  5. Wayne 6

    Westlake Boys, a public school built an $11 million auditorium ten years ago. Impressive facilities are now quite common at our largest secondary schools whether they are public or private. Burnside built a very expensive facility about 3 years ago.
    As they say, modern schools are not like the one you went to thirty years ago.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      It’s the pedagogy that counts. All the facilities in the world won’t turn right wing dogma into good education practice, and nor will Parata’s venal and fraudulent rhetoric.

      Why does the National Party hate children so much?

      • tinfoilhat 6.1.1

        Not sure where yours and Wayne’s comments came from. But in terms of “It’s the pedagogy that counts.”

        I can tell you that the teachers and the teaching at Westlake Boys High are amongst the very best in Auckland if not New Zealand.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Are they required by law to implement Notional Standards? I rest my case.

          • tinfoilhat

            It’s a High School so no, also not sure what point you and/or Wayne are trying to make.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Oh. Oops.

              Neither of us are singling Westlake out: Wayne mentioned it as an example of his belief that modern buildings are somehow significant to the nature of education. I think the teaching model is more important.

              • savenz

                Yes ONB it is very important to remember that real estate and physical assets are more important than occupants and staff. i.e. children and teachers in a school.

                That is number 1 rule in Charter schools and prisons. In fact in the US they don’t even bother to open the schools they just buy the real estate and run out of money. You don’t have to pay it back.

                Under Neoliberalism and the Natz that doesn’t matter – it is the profit that counts.

                • Cave Johnson

                  Just as an interesting aside, Fallout 4 computer game has recently been launched and sold tens of millions of copies. One of the sub plots is a satire of a Charter School where the students are forced to eat nothing but pink gloop as part of a commercial sponsorship deal.

      • savenz 6.1.2

        +100 One Anonymous Bloke

    • mpledger 6.2

      I did a nationwide survey of parents of secondary school students for some govt/edcuational organisation and once thing I commented on was how much money gets spent on Auckland schools compared to the rest of NZ. I think some parents and teachers from where I live would be shocked at seeing what facilities AGGS, EGGS, MAGS, Westlake etc have. Numerous schools around Wellington have been battling for years to get basic remedial work done that should have been sorted at once on health and safety reasons alone.

      • tinfoilhat 6.2.1


        I’m unaware that more is being spent by the government on state schools in Auckland than in other parts of the country.

        I do know that some schools in Auckland have had leaky building fiascos which have been/are being remediated but I don’t think they are getting more than their share, Rangitoto college for example is getting a huge number of buildings sorted out at the moment.

        Wayne’s examples are somewhat mischievous as I know in Westlake’s case that the vast majority of the spend was via fundraising with some funds from foreign fee paying students rather than anything from his or previous governments.

        I’m pretty sure it will be a very similar situation at Burnside which is also a state school.

  6. Penny Bright 7

    Just imagine if someone told you that the citizens and ratepayers of Auckland had been paying billions of dollars to private sector consultants and contractors for services and regulatory functions – which have not been subject to transparency, accountability or ‘cost-benefit’ analysis?

    Just imagine if someone told you that there can be up to three layers of private sector, for profit, ‘contractocracy’, clipping the ticket, before you get to the boots and overalls, who actually fix the footpaths / roads / water pipes etc, compared with a former single layer of not-for-profit, public service ‘bureaucracy’?

    As soon as you get into contracting (privatisation) of Council services and regulatory functions, Council staff are regarded as being ‘too dumb’ to know how to do that, so contract management is further contracted out to private consultants, who then ‘project manage’ the works contractors, a number of whom then sub-contract ….

    How on earth can that be a more effective use of ratepayer monies?

    No wonder Auckland Council and CCOs don’t want to OPEN THE BOOKS and make available for public scrutiny exactly where every dollar is being spent on private sector contracts?

    I stand for OPENING THE BOOKS and the full and thorough implementation and enforcement of the Public Records Act 2005.

    NO more ‘corporate welfare’!

    (Please be reminded that this contracting out – privatisation of public services at central and local government, was started under the 1984 – 87 ‘Rogernomic$’ Labour Government, in which 2016 Auckland Mayoral aspirant Phil Goff was a Cabinet Minister.)

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Ad 7.1

      As someone who’s had to draft a few Annual Plans in my time, any citizen who wants to wade through that foot-high degree of detail as it is, is welcome to. I can count on one hand those who really want to. Good luck to them.

      But that won’t tell you the difference between price and value. That is, what do you want the money spent on? Any wannabe accountant can tell me the price of something, but they can’t tell me the value of anything.

      The thing you value in public policy terms is the thing you vote to have money spent on.

      Penny, as Mayor, what will you spend public money on?

  7. Rosie 8

    This is incredibly sick.

    Key uses Jonah Lomu’s death as a springboard to have a plug for his fave silver fern flag:

    I agree the image of the fern leaf dropping like a tear is powerful but leave it there you dumb f*ck. This is not the time to use a person’s death to your advantage.

    (This morning I will be posting my ballot paper. All 5 flag option’s have an X beneath them).


    • maui 8.1

      He has no shame whatsoever. If he and his flag panel did their job properly then maybe one of the options would have been a regular silver fern.

  8. The Prime Minister used Paul Henry’s show to advertise for a new flag.

    We apparently need a new flag because an Irish newspaper did not feature the New Zealand flag in their graphic about Jonah Lomu.

    The guy showed (again) that not only is he a drongo but that he is a desperate one.

    • Rosie 9.1

      Snap. Commented at the same time.

      Been thinking lately that Key has issues around the sacred aspects of death.

      He promised the families of the Pike River victims that he would do everything in his power to get the men out, so they can have a proper burial. He doesn’t. He changes laws on the hoof and uses his power to do that but doesn’t seem to find it within himself to keep his promise to grieving families.

      He thinks it’s ok to leave Vietnam war veterans buried in foreign soil, away from their families, in ground that has been designated for future public works. His Aussie mates have decided this year they will bring their dead back, which is the right thing to do. But he just can’t bring himself to give the go ahead to do the same.

      Now he disrespects an NZer whose career was tied to a team whose relationship he exploits for political gain and appears to be disconnected from the fact that he is using Jonah Lomu’s death to promote an agenda.

      It’s all just wrong.

      • Sacha 9.1.1

        He’s a morally weak little boy. No idea how people find that attractive.

      • seeker 9.1.2

        Key did say he never cries and had not even cried when his mother died (sorry don’t have a link for this ,perhaps someone else has). ,so you may be correct Rosie@9.42am.

        • mary_a

          @ seeker (9.1.2) – What sort of man boasts about not crying when his mother died? Demonstrates he is a psychopath of the worst possible kind I’d say.

          I can think of a couple of ways to make FJK cry.

          1) … hit his bank account to the extent his funds would either disappear or are frozen (much like what happened to Kim Dotcom).

          2) … stick a very sharp pitchfork up his jacksie!

          Both guaranteed to bring tears to his eyes and have him squealing!

        • Rosie

          Interesting. Potentially he’s been conditioned to not show any emotion (although his outbursts in the house over the years would suggest otherwise), or there is something dysfunctional in how he processes grief, or doesn’t even connect with loss?

          His mother died around the turn of the millennium, I think. I find it a very bizarre reaction, the not-crying. We do all mourn in different ways and sometimes we experience a delayed reaction if we consciously or unconsciously put our grief on hold. Maybe his experience of grief is yet to come, or maybe it never will.

          No matter what his personal feeling is he needs to learn to at least pretend at showing respect. Keeping his mouth shut would be a good start.

          • Gangnam Style

            He once said he was going to resign because he blurted out an incorrect tally of the dead on the day of the ChCh earthquakes. Odd guy.

            • Rosie

              I recall there was an article about Key in a womans weakly or no idea mag or something a short while after 22.02.11. He “revealed” that he had considered resigning because of the emotional strain of coping with the Pike disaster, followed a few months later by the CHCH earthquake.

              I had been thinking prior to that that he was looking really grey and like he just wanted to be outta there. It would be hard for any leader to steer a nation through such tragedies but clearly he was not emotionally equipped to deal with one let alone two.

      • Hami Shearlie 9.1.3

        And he chose his son’s baseball game over attending funerals for members of our armed services who were killed overseas doing his bidding! Can’t really see how anyone could be more crass and classless than that!

  9. Adrian 10

    The only residential drug treatment program north of Chch in the SI is having it,s funding cut.
    Yay for a Better Future. Arseholes.!!

  10. amirite 11

    Another shameful NZ problem:
    The number of people seeking emergency accommodation and turning to Citizens Advice Bureau for help has doubled in five years.
    Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) received more than 3000 enquiries about emergency accommodation this year, up from 1500 in 2010, a recent report shows.
    Overall there have been 10,000 such enquiries in the past five years.

    • Sabine 11.1

      Today I met a someone via my old dog. The Lady and her dog are living in her car. I offered her coffee, as that is all I can offer. Fucking brighter future indeed….its so fucking bright the world seems to wear blinkers.

    • seeker 11.2

      Shameful, shameful, shameful. It all trickles down from the top.

    • Whispering Kate 12.1

      That is interesting news. Sean may have been a pain in the proverbial and pugnacious if that is the word but he did ring true on some rare occasions. Mark Sainsbury will be an awful choice. Just what Radio Live are aiming for – wet and woolly flim flam rubbish. I can see in the future that Willie will not have his contract renewed and Alison Mau will take over that slot on her own in the afternoon – and that for me is goodbye for everything on Radio Live. Karyn Hay has lost it now her other half Andrew Fagan has gone from her show, between the two of them they were an absolute hoot, now she is doing a magazine type format and she doesn’t spark at all on her own.

      David Slack is my choice for the replacement or bring back Mitch Harris – can see it happening – yeh right.

      • Wisdumb 12.1.1

        More strength to your right arm, Whispering Kate. I thought I was the only one in NZ who thought like this. I really enjoyed Fagan and Karyn. Apart from anything else, every so often he would say something fairly off the planet and she would gently, bit by bit, over a series of comments, bring him back to his, that is, her senses. I had been secretly hoping that he was off on a yacht trip somewhere and one day he would be back. Sigh, dream destroyed.

        Willy I like too but he is on less now, and Ali does most of the talking even when he is there. Ali is pretty good but Willy has the passion. It looks to me like he is being eased out. Perhaps that is what he wants as he does a lot of other things outside this radio slot.

        Sean Plunkett is strong medicine but quite OK when he is on stuff that I agree with, (of course.)

        I was also disappointed when J.T. left. He would amble along with Willy most of the time and then spit out something really pointed and sharp eyed about politics, Key or Labour. Sadly, once too often for the corporate management.

  11. NZJester 13

    Anyone seen the latest YouTube spotlight video?
    It is titled (#OursToLose: Climate Change Affects the Things We Love)
    A number of YouTubers from various countries are featured in it including Kiwi Jamie Currie of Jamie’s World.

    From the info below the video

    Published on Nov 23, 2015

    ** Sign the petition: **

    Climate change affects the things we love. But this December we have a huge opportunity. Sign the global petition and ask world leaders to agree to a deal at the COP21 climate conference in Paris.

    Learn how climate change might affect …
    New York:
    Sports and fitness:
    Fall leaves:
    The ocean:
    New Zealand:
    Coral reefs:

    Many thanks to the creators who are participating in this campaign. In order of appearance:

    It’s Okay to be Smart:
    Casey Neistat:
    Flavia Calina:
    Finn Harries (JacksGap):
    Marques Brownlee:
    Golden Moustache:
    Jamie’s World:

  12. Rosemary McDonald 14

    Just got an email from Greenpeace….

    “Greenpeace said Tangaroa was refitted at taxpayer expense to exploit hydrocarbons in an operation likely to undermine New Zealand’s obligations to fighting the greenhouse effect and climate change-related issues.

    Greenpeace said the taxpayer-funded boat had been surveying the East Cost of the North Island on behalf of petroleum giants Statoil and Chevron.”

    If this is correct…..WTF???

    • savenz 14.1

      Yes probably, that is why National want to have us blaming the middle class and bene bashing to hide the fact that our taxes are actually being used to help his corporate mates in corporate welfare.

    • rawshark-yeshe 14.2

      The email direct from Greenpeace this morning said the total spent was $24 million .

      Oh, the execrating and vicious irony of John Key. Converting the only NIWA weather/climate change research vessel we have to oil researching.

      WTF indeed Rosemary. I came here to make the same post.

    • Rosie 14.3

      Yes. I received that email too. Some of the content, from the activist aboard the Tangaroa.

      “The ship we’re on is the NIWA research boat Tangaroa which has recently been refitted for oil and gas exploration at a cost of 24 million to the tax-payer. Now on the eve of the Paris climate talks, it has been searching for deep sea oil reserves off the East Coast of the North Island on behalf of Statoil and Chevron! It’s just madness.”

      First I’d heard!

      24 mill? If thats the case then why isn’t that money being spent on keeping women’s refuge’s and mental health services open? And why are we funding fossil fuel exploration?

      WTF indeed!

      • rawshark-yeshe 14.3.1

        Hi Rosie! Hope someone in the House questions this spending.

        We have suffered too many WTF incidents with FJK.

      • Poission 14.3.2

        Tangaroa which has recently been refitted for oil and gas exploration at a cost of 24 million to the tax-payer

        The recent refit was 2010.

        • Rosie

          Hi Poission. Do you have a link to info about the refit? I guess you’re saying that a 2010 refit means that it isn’t recent. Ok, but what about the fact that it was refitted for oil and gas exploration in the first place?

    • mary_a 14.4

      Hi Rosemary

      I received the same email today from Greenpeace. Another form of disgraceful corporate welfare for FJK’s cronies – $24m – Absolutely it’s another WTF moment or two! Disturbing as well!

  13. ianmac 15

    This might be very very good news:
    The conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is now in doubt following the defeat in the US Senate of a proposal to advance the FastTrack Bill. The Fast Track Bill would prevent the U.S. Congress from amending the TPP, and instead …U.S. Senate votes down TPP FastTrack bill: TPP deal now in doubt………The Fast Track Bill would prevent the U.S. Congress from amending the TPP, and instead allow only a yes or no vote,”
    If the USA does not sign it Key won’t.
    If the USA is able to amend the Treaty, then so should we.
    (No date on this.)
    Oh. 15 May?
    Oh again. Fast Track was passed in June. My mistaken hope.

    • savenz 15.1

      Even if the US pull out of TPP I bet Key can’t wait to get us all competing for 35 cents an hour like Vietnam as well as selling our country off via Meryl Lynch and Offshore contacts.

  14. alwyn 16

    There is a minor little Politics story in the Dom/Post this morning.
    I think that Annette King is trying to back out of a deal she made with Little to keep the deputy leader job in the Labour Party.

    I have suggested before that the reason she was kept on as deputy leader was that she could keep the extra money, the perks of the job (Limo for example) and a promise of a well paid sinecure when Labour became the Government if she would retire and give Little a free run at the Rongatai seat in 2017.

    From this story, where Little has suddenly gone public with his claim on the seat, I think that King has decided that Labour cannot win in 2017 and that after the election Little will have ben dumped, Labour will continue in opposition, and there will be no-one in a position to provide her with a job. By 2020, if Labour can win then she will have been forgotten and the party won’t feel they owe her anything.
    She has decided therefore that the best thing she can do is hang on to the seat and stay at the trough for another 3 years.

    Little is now on a desperate campaign to try and force her out. I wonder what attempts he is making to try and get his own supporters to sign up in the Rongatai electorate to provide support for the moves he is now going to have to make to dump her?

    • mpledger 16.1

      Little will be top of the list at 1 so he doesn’t need a seat. It’s better for him to not have an electorate because then he has to deal with electorate stuff. Or if he does, to go for an Auckland seat because labour need to work up their presence in Auckland.

      There are too many people in Wellington who see first hand what is going on in government so it’s pretty safe as a Labour/Green stronghold.

      • alwyn 16.1.1

        All politicians prefer an electorate seat. Like it or not it gives them greater credibility.
        Little can’t really afford to stand in a by-election for, say Goff’s seat if he really quits because it will be less than a year out from a General Election. If his majority was, as it almost certainly would be, below Goff’s it leaves him open to comments about how unpopular he is.
        He can’t possibly better Goff’s result, no matter how popular he might prove, because not that many people vote in by-elections. Even if Little was to run and win he is on a hiding to nothing.
        Of course Wellington is a Labour/Green stronghold. There are far to many Government Department Head Office types. One shudders to think how many “Policy Analysts” there are and what they do.
        No Little wants King to go and she is clinging on.

        • Sacha

          “Like it or not it gives them greater credibility”

          Only because too many pundits and voters have still not grown out of First Past Post expectations. Representing a population group well rather than an area is no less difficult.

          • alwyn

            “Only because too many pundits and voters have still not grown out of First Past Post”.
            That’s right. However Little, like all politicians, would be a fool to ignore what is a general perception. We have had MMP for 20 years now. Those of us who aren’t politicians can happily complain about the ignorance of hoi polloi but the real politicians can’t.
            They have to compete, and try and win, in the world the way it is, not the world we might prefer. In general people still seem to think that an electorate MP is in some way superior to a list one.
            And no. I can’t point you to a poll that PROVES that comment to be true.

    • Kiwiri 16.2

      My workmates say Annette King has chosen the mantle of ABC Godmother, rather than serve the Leader who appointed her and work for the interest of a cooperative broader caucus, as well as the party’s true working class interests.

      I reckon she has made the call to create a legacy that will strengthen the careerist and right-wing factions to take on the leadership post-Little. A ‘King’ maker, in a cynical sense of the expression.

      Little did the right thing many months ago by attempting to unify the party, but the right-wing and careerist factions (and the incompetents who are clinging on to their electorates) are not interested in unifying but are determined to have absolute control of caucus.

      Little surrounded himself with those factions and it will be seen next whether he will be asphyxiated by them. Grant Robertson is happy to wait a bit longer. His thinking is that the tide will run out even more for National when 2020 approaches and he will take Labour to a resounding victory, such as the likes of 1984.

      • Kiwiri 16.2.1


        Can some of you (posters or commenters) who are politically thoughtful, astute, honest and insightful provide a candid updated version of the following piece please? Perhaps, something like “Labour’s Three Factions 2.0”?

        Can update that in the light of whoever is left [not a pun] in caucus, whoever has changed (or not changed) spots, etc? If ‘Eddie’ is still keen to write, it will be nice to read an updated version from the original author.

        There is no good time like now, on this side of Christmas, nearing the end of the first year of the third electoral cycle of being in opposition, and clearing the way for more house-keeping and house-cleaning for next year, just before the 2017 election year. If not now, things will just go further downhill for Labour until 2020.

        • te reo putake

          It’s be a bit tricky as the factions appear to have faded away. At the moment the caucus seem entirely united and on message. Boring but true!

          • Kiwiri

            o i n k !

          • Anne

            I believe trp is correct and credit to Andrew Little for achieving it. Although in some ways he’s had an easier ride than the two previous incumbents because both the Left and the Right were prepared to accept him as leader.

            The reshuffle is a tricky one. To ensure continuing peace and tranquility inside the caucus, Little will need to ensure both sides have been accommodated. So we can expect some mumblings and grumblings on The Standard and elsewhere in the next little while. 😉 (not trying to be provocative)

            For my part I don’t care who gets on the front bench so long as the values that saw me join Labour first time around (40 plus years ago) are no longer being compromised.

            • Ad

              I’d also credit King.
              Don’t have to like her, but I respect her delivery and her work.

            • weka

              How does that work if all the people that were in the three factions in 2013 are still there as MPs?

              • Anne

                It works because Labour has a leader who has managed to sort the differences between them. His legal qualifications together with his many years as a union leader have given him the expertise and knowledge that was essential for the job. He’s strong and Key and co. know it. They’re worried alright.

                Just imagine the difference in this country when Little becomes PM. Things would get done and done properly. Legislation would be fair and reasonable. A living wage? I reckon so, although it might have to be implemented incrementally. No more asset sales. And that’s just for starters. Too tired tonight to go into more detail.

    • ianmac 16.3

      What a load of fantastical tripe alwyn. You missed the bit where you would say that Andrew has to keep shaving bits off the horns growing out of his forehead while your mate John is floating around on fairy wings. And you will be knighted for your perceptions. Huh!

      • alwyn 16.3.1

        Your imagination must be admired. Peter Jackson needed someone like you when he was making The Hobbit. Apparently he didn’t know what “fantastical” story he was going to tell when he started.

        • mac1

          Alwyn, just read the following.

          “From this story, where Little has suddenly gone public with his claim on the seat, I think that King has decided that Labour cannot win in 2017 and that after the election Little will have ben dumped, Labour will continue in opposition, and there will be no-one in a position to provide her with a job. By 2020, if Labour can win then she will have been forgotten and the party won’t feel they owe her anything.
          She has decided therefore that the best thing she can do is hang on to the seat and stay at the trough for another 3 years.”

          I think that ianmac is on the money as to what is fantastical. The word that gave it away in the text provided is the word coming after “I”. Not much thinking shown, but a lot of surmise, fantasy, fiction and falsely attributed motivation.

          • alwyn

            I think that the piece you put in quotation marks, starting at “from this” and finishing with “3 years”, is an amazingly intelligent and thoughtful review. This is certainly one of the very best comments ever posted on this blog.

            The paragraph at the end starting with “I think that ianmac is on” doesn’t really hack it though.

            There, that what you wanted to hear?

            • mac1

              Alwyn, I am minded of the lyrics of The Boxer.

              “Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

              What I just heard was the next line, “Li de li de li de li de li de li.” 🙂

  15. alwyn 17

    From the Economist.

    “Adios, kirchnerismo: Argentina’s switch

    Mauricio Macri, who was elected president on Sunday, is (normally) bland by Argentina’s exuberant standards. The changes he heralds, after 12 years of kirchnerismo, are anything but. The populism, economic controls, phony statistics and hostility toward foreign investors of the current president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and her late husband and predecessor, Néstor Kirchner, have stalled growth, stoked inflation and distanced the country from international capital markets. Mr Macri, previously mayor of Buenos Aires, aims to end currency and exchange controls, allow the peso to devalue, restore central-bank independence and reach agreement with foreign creditors, who pushed Argentina into default in 2014. His victory changes politics elsewhere, too: he will call on Mercosur, a regional trade grouping, to suspend Venezuela from membership unless a parliamentary election there next month is conducted democratically. No other Latin American leader has been so outspoken.”

    What are the chances we will have democracy, and sanity, restored to Venezuela as well?

  16. Morrissey 18

    “It’s very unusual for a terrorist group to hold territory and run a government.”
    Neil Miller’s fatuous and ideological remarks go unchallenged.

    The Panel, RNZ National, Monday 23 November 2015
    Jim Mora, Neil Miller, Sally Wenley, Julie Moffett

    dereliction n. Deliberate, conscious, or willful neglect, as of duty or principle (esp. in the phrase dereliction of duty)

    First topic up for discussion after the 4 o’clock news: ISIS and the threat of terrorism. Dr Clark Jones from the Australian National University in Canberra was on the line and ready to speak, but instead of going straight to someone who knew what he was talking about, Mora asked his two guests what THEY thought. Miller did all the talking, droning on for more than a minute, pompously and tediously, in a rambling monologue which included the following gem: “It’s very unusual for a terrorist group to hold territory and run a government.”

    Long-time sufferers of this joke of a program will not have been at all surprised that neither Sally Wenley nor Jim Mora dared to throw a log under the wheel of Miller’s carriage by saying something irritating such as: “What about Israel? That state, founded by terrorists, based on terrorism, has managed, by a combination of extreme violence and the diplomatic protection of the United States, to ‘hold territory and run a government’ for more than sixty years.”

    But the producers of this show knew better than to put the bombastic Miller on with someone who might have have contradicted or challenged him. Sally Wenley did not so much as demur at what Miller said, and neither did host Jim Mora.

    • savenz 18.1

      +1 Morrissey –

      “It’s very unusual for a terrorist group to hold territory and run a government”

      they could have added this gem too

      unless they are a puppet government run by an off shore goverment and supported by offshore military

      We keep seeing a lot of those too popping up in the Middle East.

      So democratic….

  17. rawshark-yeshe 19

    “Je suis chat” arises in Belgium … heart warming it is.

    and they were thanked later by Belgian Police via Twitter … be sure to scroll to the very end !

    • Morrissey 19.1

      “Heartwarming”? More like twee social media time-wasting.

      • rawshark-yeshe 19.1.1

        Yes, heartwarming. For me, at any rate. You ? Not so much. Toujours le difference to you, in your ‘tweeleries’ .

        • Anne

          It is well known cats have a calming influence on people during times of stress. It was a spontaneous and inspired response.

          Congratulations to the Belgian participants.

  18. Tony Veitch 20

    This in today’s print version of The Press. Probably in the online version too, but I couldn’t find it.

    “24% of kiwi kids live in poverty (260,000)
    180,000 missing out on basic needs like health, food and warm clothes
    40,000 kids hospitalised each year because of poverty and inadequate housing
    100,000 kids live in conditions that stop them from educational development success
    80,000 kids go to school hungry each day . . .”

    My God, we, as a nation, should be thoroughly ashamed of such figures!
    We should be shouting at our politicians, demanding to know why these figures exist.


  19. Bill 21


    A poll purporting to show that one in five British Muslims had “sympathy for jihadis” was constructed by calling people with “Muslim surnames” in an effort to complete an affordable survey of opinion in the week after the Paris terror attacks.

  20. Rosemary McDonald 22

    Hear ye! Hear ye!

    Natrad…Radio New Zealand…RNZ…whatever floats your boat has ‘specialed’ Greenpeace this afternoon.

    Interviewed the protesters, talked to activists who were there when the Rainbow Warrior was bombed by the French.

    Played tracks from the fundraising concert….

    Drove home from town with a lump in my throat.

    Proud again to be a Kiwi.

    Take that Key!

  21. greywarshark 23

    When things need repairing or improving then it’s got to be done in stages, and monitored. The idea of a predator free NZ working on one nasty after another can backfire apparently. It needs to be done more evenly across the species.

  22. Rosie 24

    Hi mods. I’m having a problem with the site. According to the recent comments bar (I don’t know what it’s actually called) to the right of the frame there are people commenting on Stephanie’s post about the flag referendum and Micky’s post about RNZ’s story about Housing NZ referring people to CAB. but when you go to Stephanie’s post it shows one comment and Mickey’s post shows no comments. Comments that people have made are just not showing up.

    This has happened a few times before and normally seems to correct itself fairly quickly but this time the problem is remaining………..

  23. greywarshark 25

    Australia and China — and USA
    Darwin port yeah
    Giant station near Woomera weapons nah.
    Turnbull was speaking to reporters hours after the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) blocked the A$350 million ($252 million) sale of Australia’s largest cattle ranch to Chinese firms on the grounds of national interest.

    In 2014, Australia sold Port of Newcastle, the world’s busiest coal terminal, to state-owned China Merchants Group Ltd and local firm Hastings. A year earlier, it sold the second busiest container terminal to a consortium partly owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
    Hastings and the Abu Dhabi investment firm, along with Chinese, Canadian, Kuwaiti and local interests, are expected to bid for the New South Wales electricity network sale, people familiar with the matter have said.

    What about getting back aboriginal land.
    April 2015
    and from The Australian Independent Media Network –
    Northern Territory
    Central govt moves
    Aborigines opinion.

    As countries scramble to remain upright in the international game of dominoes, they are selling off bits of their infrastructure and resources. Australia is trying to balance China and the USA. And they always have the aboriginal land to reneg on.

  24. Morrissey 26

    They may as well bring back Hosking; he couldn’t be worse than Paul Brennan.
    Crass and credulous fan-boy interview with U.S. Army propagandist a new low for RNZ.

    Afternoons, RNZ National, Tuesday 24 November 2015

    In March 2006 the controversial British prime minister Tony “Bliar” Blair had the gall to make a state visit to New Zealand. Unfortunately for him, his handlers forgot to vet the Radio New Zealand journalist Eva Radich, who doggedly went after him about the illegality of the Iraq invasion and occupation, and his bogus “45 minute” claim. She would not let him evade her questions or divert the focus of the interview. In the end, of course, Blair just resorted to his usual insulting menu of vague platitudes. But she had clearly discomfited him, in a way he rarely faced back in the United Kingdom.

    Over the years, several other politicians and ideologues have come unstuck on Radio New Zealand, most notably Jeffrey Archer, John Howard and William Shawcross. [1]

    But Radio New Zealand is no longer what it was. Its only decent political interviewer (Mary Wilson) has been kicked upstairs to management, where she can no longer torment the likes of Bill English and Gerry Brownlee. And softball P.R.-type interviews, even with controversial subjects, are becoming more and more common. A month ago, Jesse Mulligan granted a free half hour for Blair’s notorious henchman Alistair Campbell to blather on about “strategy, leadership, and teamship”. [2]

    This afternoon, Paul Brennan’s “interview” of one Gayle Tzemach Lemmon was a case study in the softball interview. [3] It was billed on the RNZ website in the following manner…..

    Female Soldiers – Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
    For almost ten years, U.S Special Forces working in Afghanistan were working blind, unable to gather intelligence from the largest group of citizens in the country, women. When soldiers raided compounds, or entered homes, they were not allowed to make contact with Afghan women. In 2010, 100 women were deployed alongside the Army Rangers as so called “Cultural Support Teams” to gather information from wives and daughters. First Lieutenant Ashley White was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) while working on the Cultural Support Team. Author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, describes the important role these sister soldiers played in her book, “Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield”.

    Appalled, I sent the following e-mail to Paul Brennan….

    Your interview with Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

    Dear Paul,

    Gayle Tzemach Lemmon glibly talked about raiding Afghanistan homes at late night, “while the Rangers went about their business.” That “business”, as has been made painfully clear in the last 14 years, is nothing more than terrorizing and brutalizing thousands of Afghani citizens. It is all illegal, and all a gross violation of the Geneva Conventions. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon also spoke as if the Afghani women in the houses being raided were just waiting to be liberated by her and her woman colleagues. The facts are diametrically different to what she claims.

    Near the end of the interview, she boasted: “Make no mistake about it, these women are warriors.”

    I was surprised that you seemed to endorse everything she said. Surely, as an interviewer, you are expected to test and challenge what people say on your show—especially someone saying such radical and controversial things as Gayle Tzemach Lemmon did this afternoon.

    Yours sincerely,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point




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  • New Zealand expresses regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric
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  • New Chief of Defence Force appointed
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  • Defence Minister to meet counterparts in UK, Italy
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  • Charter schools to lift educational outcomes
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