Open mike 24/11/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 24th, 2015 - 122 comments
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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.

        Open mike 01/01/2014

        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.

        Amidst th’encircling gloom…

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

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

        On David Shearer’s Leadership

        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.”

        Labour shoot themselves in the foot, again!

        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.

        Why charity cannot replace the state

        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… /flag-distraction-first-referendum/#comment-1099279

    • 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.

      Flag distraction – first referendum

      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”?

        Labour’s three factions

        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.

    • weka 21.1

      Jist, is that the Islamic version of Gist ;-p

      • joe90 21.1.1

        Jist, is that the Islamic version of Gist ;-p

        Muslin, the “murican” version.

        Rabih Alameddine

        You let muslin in and then you’ll get rayon, chenille, chintz, shantung, and omg, taffeta
        Keep our fabrics pure

    • alwyn 21.2

      That is almost as silly as deciding that people from China were purchasing all the Auckland houses by looking for “Chinese” names among the buyers.
      Surely no-one is really that stupid?

      • Red Blooded 21.2.1

        The only one silly enough to suggest that ALL the Auckland houses are being bought by Chinese buyers is you. Or are you purposely lying? So which is it, are you a liar or terminally stupid?

  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

    [1] /open-mike-01082011/#comment-359152



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    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    23 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    1 day ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    1 day ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    1 day ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    1 day ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    5 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    1 week ago