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Open Mike 24/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 24th, 2016 - 112 comments
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112 comments on “Open Mike 24/12/2016 ”

  1. Andre 1

    Much gets made of the tax advantages of investing in property, leading to bizarre proposals to “fix it” like Gareth Morgan’s comprehensive capital tax. But the way investing in New Zealand businesses is like jumping into a viper pit is possibly a bigger reason why New Zealanders prefer property. Brain Gaynor explains some of the problems.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11772481

    • Yes. I wouldn’t dream of investing in NZ business rather than property, because it’s a game rigged in favour of the old boys’ club running it. The various fruitless attempts to deal with investment company owners who basically stole their investors’ money and got away with it, and the government’s complete lack of interest in doing something about it, makes it completely insane to invest in NZ business. Buy a house, at least some Grammar alumnus can’t steal that and face no consequences for it.

    • tc 1.2

      The NZX and kiwi business are a laughing stock amongst global fund managers.

      Weldon did squat except fill his pockets and do as the boys club wanted. I recall Tony Gibbs broke ranks over one of Markys more avaricious remuneration proposals, probably because he wasn’t getting enough of the pie.

      Rebstock, Weldon and Diplock presided over some of the most flagrant breaches of fiduciary duties and crony/insider behaviour handing out wet bus tickets to club members.

      Now more recently against a backdrop of shonky dealer PM and his dealing cabinet room where they showed time and again that all you need is cash and nothing can’t be done for you.

      We totally deserve to be shunned by savvy business investors because unless they are club members as they’ll not do so well. That’s the clear signal the NZX has been sending for a long time now.

    • Red Hand 1.3

      You could be right about the viper pit image of NZX investing as an important influence on people putting their money into unlisted property.

      The NZX has historically delivered steady growth and reliable dividends, and has outperformed in recent years.

      https://milfordasset.com/2015-share-market-returns-kiwi-investors-the-big-winners/

      https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/investing-in-nz/opportunities-outlook/economic-overview

      Some of the successful (so far) IPOs not mentioned in Gaynor’s article

      https://www.nzx.com/markets/NZSX/securities/PEB

      https://www.nzx.com/markets/NZSX/securities/ATM

      https://www.nzx.com/markets/NZSX/securities/XRO

  2. Ad 2

    Does anyone at about this time go into a major mall and, since you’ve done all your shopping, simply stand in the middle with an icecream and enjoy everyone else’s stress?

    • Carolyn_nth 2.1

      Nah. My family is having our Christmas meal today. Just not looking forward to the traffic getting across town to it.

      Then tomorrow I’ll have a lie in and a laid back day.

      A friend says it’s very European to celebrate on Christmas eve.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        We had my side’s major dinner last night, then there’s the other half’s one on Christmas Day itself.

        • Carolyn_nth 2.1.1.1

          Similar reason for our family having it today – some family members have other families to be with tomorrow.

    • Gabby 2.2

      Was that your foot I ‘accidentally’ trod on the other day?

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    So now we are getting back to a nuclear arms race, courtesy of prime macho-posturers, Trump & Putin.

    It means that younger generations, along with all the worries about climate change, global financial collapse, etc – also get to experience the nuclear fears that older generations experienced in their youth.

    Merry Xmas, war is not over.

    • Wensleydale 3.1

      On a positive note, at least Sting’s “Russians” is now relevant once again. They may no longer be “Soviets”, but that’s about all that’s changed apparently. The circle of stupid is now complete. Welcome to Cold War 2.0 kids.

      • Carolyn_nth 3.1.1

        And Dylan’s “Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” was thought to be about a nuclear holocaust – but maybe also so much more. Good choice for the Nobel gig.

    • mauī 3.2

      I don’t think that’s the case. Trumps a business man and so is his Sec of State. They’re not warmongers, and its likely the US and Russia will start working together in some way. The Middle east is likely to be a safer place too with less terrorism and US involvement. Our warhawk media would love to incite war by a Trump tweet or a Putin pic though.

      • Cinny 3.2.1

        Agree with you Maui about that.

        I watched Putin do his live annual press meeting last night, it appears to me that some media are messing with his words a bit re nuclear. However it does appear that it is important to putin to be well armed as it makes him appear tough or strong, boys and their toys. Really interesting Q&A with Putin this year.

        https://www.rt.com/news/371502-putin-conference-wrap-up/

        • Cinny 3.2.1.1

          Yes war is great for business.
          And Trump and Putin probably believe that the best way to ensure peace is to prepare for war. So money is still been made via military spending etc.

          But the media was spinning the nuclear thing yesterday, like a bunch of warhawks. Bad news sells.

      • Jenny 3.2.2

        “Trumps a business man and so is his Sec of State. They’re not warmongers, and its likely the US and Russia will start working together in some way.”

        mauī

        War is business. by other means.

        As usually happens with these things, Trump’s threatened trade war against China, will break out into a shooting war at some stage.

        Yes, Mauī you are right, ‘the US and Russia will start working together in some way,’ but it won’t be a good way.

        Trump is busy working to form an axis with Russia against China.

        The joint arms race is to intimidate (or if that fails, anihilate) the Chinese when their economy collapses under US tarriff trade barriers. And in their desperation they to make some sort of military break out.

        The most likely hot spots for this miltiary break out will be some sort of border dispute, leading to full scale invasion and territory grab, either Tibet/India, or the North vs South Korean peninsular. Or even Vietnam China border.

        • mauī 3.2.2.1

          Not sure if I agree with that Jenny. Russia and China are much closer partners than the US and Russia. And I think the US economy, like lots of other well off western countries is reliant on China and they won’t want to see the global ponzi economy come under any additional pressures.

          • Macro 3.2.2.1.1

            I don’t think you have been listening mauī.
            Putin has Trump in his pocket – after all it was Russian money that has kept the “Trump” Empire afloat via Deutsche Bank, as Wall St would not lend to him anymore. His business affairs have heavily involved Russian interests, His intended Secretary of State has a Russian Honor presented to him by Putin himself. The meddling in the US election by Russia was not coincidental.
            On the other hand.. Trumps hamfisted “diplomatic” incursions via Tweeting and the social media wrt to China have stirred up much resentment within China, and there has been a great deal of sabre rattling and increasing aggressive statements towards the US in the government sponsored Chinese Press in recent days. Statements calling for an early response to the Taiwanese situation include hinted threats of invasion.
            The US should well remember that if there ever was to be conflict between China and the US, one of the first casualties would be their ability to cloth themselves. The US is actually clothed by China. Trump may have his suits hand made in NY – but for the rest of the population, their Levis are sewn in China.

      • KJT 3.2.3

        Arm’s races are always good for business.

        Unfortunately, so are wars.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3.1

          Which is why I say that production of defence equipment should not be done by profiteering businesses and that means that it must fully be done by government.

    • Yep trump and Putin what a pair of arseholes and dirty warmongers as anyone with a brain knew.

  4. Paul 4

    Another nail in the coffin of those, like PM, who believe the lies about the rebels of Wast Aleppo.
    6 independent journalists and now the ex-British Ambassador to Syria say it’s a lie.
    PM, Peter Swift and a few other gullible victims of the msm say it’s not.

    The ex-British Ambassador to Syria has accused the Foreign Office of lying over the country’s civil war and said British policy there has “made the situation worse”.

    Peter Ford said the Whitehall department led by Boris Johnson and Philip Hammond before him had “gotten Syria wrong every step of the way”, and was now falsely claiming Bashar Assad could not control the country when he is “well on the way to doing so”.

    It comes after the Syrian army reported that it had taken full control of Aleppo following weeks of heavy bombing and fighting in and around the city.

    Mr Ford, who was Britain’s ambassador to Syria from 1999 to 2003, claimed that the UK had misread and misrepresented the situation in the country since the start of the conflict.

    He said: “The British Foreign Office to which I used to belong, I’m sorry to say has gotten Syria wrong every step of the way.

    “They told us at the beginning that Assad’s demise was imminent. They told us he’d be gone by Christmas. They didn’t say which Christmas, so they could still be proven correct.

    But then they told us that the opposition was dominated by these so-called moderates. That proved not to be the case and now they’re telling us another big lie – that Assad can’t control the rest of the country. Well I’ve got news for them – he’s well on the way to doing so.”

    Former UK ambassador to Syria accuses Foreign Office of lying about the country’s civil war.

    • They say what’s a lie, Paul? You never actually say what you mean, merely posting other people’s opinions on the subject. How about actually saying something yourself for once? What lies are you claiming I believe, and what lies are you claiming have been exposed by the people you keep quoting every day as though there were some point to it?

      • Brigid 4.1.1

        What do you believe, and why do you believe it? What evidence (i.e.reportage from witnesses at the scene) can you provide to support what you believe.

        • Paul 4.1.1.1

          I think his sources are the White Helmets.

        • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.2

          What do you believe, and why do you believe it?

          You seem to misunderstand the burden of proof, but I’ll play along. I believe that a lot of the rebels in east Aleppo are people who’ve had enough of living under a despotic hereditary dictatorship, and have therefore had the Assad regime and the Russian air force bombarding their city for years as punishment. There are also some al-Qaeda-affiliated religio-fascist murderers in east Aleppo, but no-one has a definitive answer on what the proportion is (well, the regime, Russia and Iran are happy to put numbers on it, but there’s an obvious reason for that which has nothing to do with a great love of accuracy). I personally find it dissatisfying to see a brutal dictator and his great-power patron carrying out a massive bombing campaign against a civilian population, but apparently some people are fine with it – Paul included, judging by the regime propaganda he posts. As to where I get that belief from: everything I see and read on the subject. Even Paul’s pal Cockburn says the Syrian government settles for simply bombarding rebel-held areas because it doesn’t have the ground forces to do much else.

          • Brigid 4.1.1.2.1

            So the proof that you’re offering is:
            “everything I see and read on the subject.”

            Do you believe this account?

            If not, why not?

            • Paul 4.1.1.2.1.1

              You are wasting your breath, Brigid.

              I have posted the accounts of 6 independent journalists ( you now make it 7) and the ex-British Ambassador to Syria, who all challenge the narrative.

              But pm knows better.

            • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.2.1.2

              So the proof that you’re offering is:
              “everything I see and read on the subject.”

              Do you believe this account?

              Do I believe an account by a regime shill? Er, no, and for fairly obvious reasons. Are you imagining the Assad regime is a source of truth on this subject? That said, it is worthwhile having a look through the stuff Vanessa Beeley and Eva Barrett are putting out, as it gives you an idea of how the regime would like you to view its actions.

              • Brigid

                You didn’t watch that link did you?
                You are a funny fellow.

                Now.
                Which ‘regime shill’ have Paul or I quoted or offered links to their work?
                Of those that you think are, you need to offer proof that they are a ‘regime shill’.

                Otherwise who is likely to believe you?

                • Oh yeah, I’m a laugh riot. Funny how you guys can never resist a personality assessment while you’re at it.

                  How do I know Vanessa Beeley is a regime shill? Well, let’s see – she entered east Aleppo courtesy of the Assad regime, talked to people the Assad regime let her talk to, and includes in her commentary only content that’s flattering to the Assad regime. Now, it could be that to you those are the hallmarks of independent journalism, but to me they’re hallmarks of a regime shill.

        • James 4.1.1.3

          How perfectly reasonable. Demanding someone tells you their beliefs and requiring them to provide reasons and links for their personally held views.

    • Also, you forgot to quote these bits:

      Ford, who has been accused of being an apologist for the Syrian regime…

      …argued that Assad would win because “repression works”.

      Top bloke, I can see why you like him.

    • Paul 4.3

      An al Qaeda Christmas: the Touching Tale of How Hate Figures Became American Heroes

      You’re al Qaeda. You’re being supported by the United States in your jihad to impose extremist rule on Syria, but you still have a PR problem; too many people remember all that unpleasant business from so long ago when you blew up a few buildings in the US. What can you do?

      Well, first you change the name of your Syrian branch two or three times. You make sure your spokesmen — who actually get respectfully quoted in the US media! — say moderate things in English but speak with genocidal sectarian fury in Arabic. So far, so good. But what if your new US media buddies actually got a peek at how you operate on the ground in Syria — cutting off heads, hoarding food aid, colluding with ISIS, slaughtering religious minorities, oppressing women, etc.? That’s easy: as Patrick Cockburn noted this week, you simply make the zones you control so dangerous for reporters – killing them, kidnapping them, etc. — that they don’t go there anymore. Instead they “report” on your activities from far away, relying on you to provide their information, telling the story you want told.

      And presto chango, that’s how those who murdered Americans have become America’s newest heroes, the brave defenders of freedom in Syria. What’s more, anyone who dares point out the true nature of your organization, and how you operate, are now denounced as apologists for the loathsome Assad regime, or as Putin-lovers, even as traitors! Think of it; just a few years ago, you were the most reviled and hated group Americans had ever known — and now Americans across the media and political spectrum hail you as heroes and defend you from all attacks!

      Sure, you’ve lost your foothold in Aleppo, where for years you systematically persecuted people and forcibly prevented them from leaving. But America’s still got your back, AQ! Even when you attack relief convoys in an attempt to scuttle a peace deal that would allow anyone who wants to leave East Aleppo to go free, the American media will fudge the headlines so no one will know that it was you who did the deed.

      [And hey, let’s not forget what America’s been doing for you in Yemen! Remember how the Houthis had you on the ropes, nearly ridding the country of your presence — and then the Americans stepped in with their Saudi allies, bombing the holy hell out of the place, choking off food and medicine supplies, destroying the infrastructure for basic survival, killing thousands of civilians and putting millions of people at dire risk of starvation! And suddenly you were back, making great gains, stronger than ever! You simply couldn’t ask for a better friend, could you?]

      So buck up, AQ! With the full weight of the American media and political establishment behind you, no doubt there are still great days ahead! In fact, the president has just made it easier for you guys to get even more American weapons so you can carry on your noble quest! It’s just our way of saying Merry Christmas!

      • DH 4.3.1

        Umm, Paul you yourself quoted a report saying that AQ only made up around 11% of the insurgents in Aleppo. If that’s true how can you say that supporting the rebels was ipso facto supporting AQ?

        Your quote;

        “The reality is that al-Qaeda in Syria, now rebranded as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (JFS) and ostensibly severed from al-Qaeda, had at most 900 fighters inside Aleppo City when this assault began, about 11% of a total insurgent force of 8,000, which has always been dominated in this area by nationalists. ”

        What looks to be the original source;

        http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-nusra-idUSKBN12E0R6

        • Paul 4.3.1.1

          I am quoting sources to help you make an informed decision.

          • DH 4.3.1.1.1

            How about you answer the question Paul.

            There’s a maths problem to be worked out here. ISIS had no presence in Aleppo and the islamist Al Nusra are reported to have made up only 11% of the rebel forces in Aleppo. If the remaining 89% of the insurgents aren’t al-Queda or Daesh then what are they?

  5. Andre 5

    Lesser-known swamp things: politicians and lobbyists get the high profile attention. But the creatures that lurk in the shadows claiming “science” to legitimise their paid lies might be even more vile.

    In this instance, I’m referring to economists. That just make up stories to justify monopoly-making mergers. Trading on their “credentials” as “scientific experts”. The harm these guys do goes way beyond just increasing corporate power to rip us all off, they also destroy confidence in actual expertise leading to the situation where leaders can just dismiss experts presenting irrefutable facts with a breezy “I can provide you with another one that will give you a counterview.”

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/12/these-professors-make-more-thousand-bucks-hour-peddling-mega-mergers

  6. Bill 6

    Interesting twitter feed exploration on ‘Bana’ – the seven year old girl who allegedly tweeted from eastern Aleppo and who was then pictured on Erdoğan’s lap just the other day after apparently being evacuated from Aleppo along the terrorist’s corridor as opposed to the one used by civilians and moderates.

    • Paul 6.1

      Don’t post other people’s opinions on the matter, Bill. It upsets pm.
      He prefers to hear our own opinions- based on no evidence I guess.

    • Wow, that Bassem’s a real ugly piece of work.

      I notice you still haven’t been able to write down what you’re actually trying to say with all the posts you make about the Syrian civil war, Paul. What conclusions are you trying to lead us to? Or do you just post things at random as some kind of spam project?

      • Paul 6.2.1

        I have said this before.

        The conclusion I have come to ( after reading and listening to Fisk, Cockburn, Oborne, Pilger, Bartlett, Hitchens and the ex-British Ambassador to Syria) is that we are being lied to by the western media about the events in Syria and in particular Aleppo.

        I don’t know why the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Post and other news sources have become propaganda outlets. It could be, as Peter Hitchens generously says, that they don’t have the staff on the ground and innocently take those feeds. Or it could be that they are deliberately forming a pro-establishment narrative. The UK is heavily compromised by its relationship with Saudi Arabia; that I do know.

        Anyway you have the right to come to your own opinion.
        As do I.

        • Siobhan 6.2.1.1

          “I don’t know why the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Post and other news sources have become propaganda outlets”…well they are ‘propoganda outlets’ on pretty much everything else..so why not Syria??
          As you clearly know, the only way to even get a glimpse of ‘The Truth’, or something like it, is to engage in wide spread research from as many sources as possible.
          Understanding Syria from the main News sources is about as realistic as flying to the moon in a 1968 Trekka.

        • Psycho Milt 6.2.1.2

          The conclusion I have come to ( after reading and listening to Fisk, Cockburn, Oborne, Pilger, Bartlett, Hitchens and the ex-British Ambassador to Syria) is that we are being lied to by the western media about the events in Syria and in particular Aleppo.

          Well, it would be odd if we weren’t – the first casualty of war is truth. However, you seem to have come to the conclusion that, because the western media are lying to us (more accurately, haven’t dwelt to Robert Fisk’s satisfaction on the involvement of Islamofascists on the rebel side), the stuff that regime supporters are peddling must be the truth. It’s real face-palm stuff.

          • ropata 6.2.1.2.1

            Also, it’s a spam project and getting really, really tedious. We all know that Syria is a hellhole and know where to read about it if we want to. Paul’s endless stream of fully quoted articles and videos is wrecking the conversation on TS.

            I think you mean well, but give it a rest please Paul. You aren’t participating in dialogue, you are shouting and spamming content with no effort to state your own goddamn opinion. Please stop abusing this forum.

            Read this, bullet points 5 and 6

            Policy

        • joe90 6.2.1.3

          we are being lied to by the western media about the events in Syria and in particular Aleppo.

          Yes, the most important thing is damning the media elites and their collaboration with western imperialism because, well, you can’t possibly do that and condemn Assad, Twelvers, and their Russian offsiders as murderous thugs intent on suppressing any and all opposition by whatever means necessary, can you.
          /

    • Paul 6.3

      Susie Ferguson acting as a propaganda outlet for the establishment narrative.

      ‘The regime MP for Aleppo defends its approach to liberating Aleppo – and laughs when asked about civilian deaths’

      https://twitter.com/SusieFergusonNZ/status/811656290636165121

      She does not like it when people question her parroting of propaganda on her twitter feed.

      Bruce King

      @SusieFergusonNZ

      he laughed when, evidence-free, you alleged as FACT executions of women & children (6m16s) Poor,@radionz

  7. DH 7

    A reason why I feel like giving up voting;

    “Government sells off Tauranga’s state housing portfolio to Accessible Properties”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=11771757

    Selling public assets for less than half their worth should have been a public scandal that brought down a government or at least halted the looting of NZ’s state houses. Instead the deal went ahead with barely a whimper from the opposition.

  8. Andre 9

    The UN got around to doing a Security Council vote on condemning Israeli settlements, with the US abstaining. Despite Trump and Netanyahu trying to delay it so it would go away later.

    While it doesn’t even have the power of a wet bus ticket, it’s still a worthwhile symbolic move.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-un-idUSKBN14C1IV

    • jcuknz 9.1

      Agreed Andre

    • Macro 9.2

      And immensly pleased to see that NZ was one of the four countries requesting the vote. At least we have done something positive in our term on the security council.

      Of course the Chump immediately tweeted.
      “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan 20.”
      🙄
      However, nice to see a US official say:
      that “that until Trump’s inauguration on 20 January there was one US president – Obama.”
      🙂

      • Anne 9.2.1

        Of course the Chump immediately tweeted.
        “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan 20.”

        So this ugly, ignorant gorilla (as opposed to all the beautiful real gorillas) with the orange mop atop his head think he’s going to be in charge of the UN as well as the US? Because their HQ is domiciled in New York… does he think its an American institution? Wouldn’t surprise one little bit.

  9. Paul 10

    The Plight of New Zealand’s Freshwater Biodiversity

    New Zealand, a land marketed as clean and green. A land of green lush fields for cows to graze on and beautiful drinkable fresh river water at every turn. In reality, this marketing campaign couldn’t be more of a lie.

    A recent report led by two of New Zealand’s leading freshwater ecologists titled ‘The Plight of New Zealand’s Freshwater Diversity’ lists the following as contributors to New Zealand’s widespread pollution of freshwater waterways:

    rapid intensification of lowland agriculture – dairy farming
    increased urbanisation and development
    rising nitrate and phosphate nutrient run off levels causing algal blooms
    extraction of water
    human and industrial waste discharged to waterways

    Massey University’s Dr Mike Joy and Professor Russell Death helped conclude that 74% of our native freshwater fish, mussel and crayfish species are now listed as threatened with extinction, as well as the number of freshwater invertebrate species now at risk increasing from 17 in 2005, up to 82 in 2013.

    On top of this, 96% of all lowland catchments and 100% of all urban catchments failed the current standard of pathogens for safe swimming, while 80% of sites exceeded current nutrient guideline levels.

    The science here is very clear; we are allowing the systematic destruction of our waterways which so many people rely on for livelihoods, recreation, not to mention basic survival.

    Penelope Cruz features in a very powerful short video called ‘Nature is Speaking’as the voice of water and says, “I am water. To humans, I am simply just there. I am something they just take for granted, but there’s only so much of me, and more and more of them every single day.”

    The warning is clear. Freshwater sources are depleting very quickly around the world thanks to our actions.

    Will we listen?

    The recommendations from the report include:

    Change legislation to adequately protect native and endemic fish species and invertebrates, including those harvested commercially and recreationally.

    Protect habitat critical to the survival of New Zealand’s freshwater species.

    Include river habitat health to protect ecosystem health in the National Objectives Framework for the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management.

    Establish monitoring and recovery plans for New Zealand’s freshwater invertebrate fauna.

    Develop Policy and best management practices for freshwater catchments which include wetlands, estuaries and groundwater ecosystems.

    Establish, improve and maintain appropriately wide riparian zones that connect across entire water catchments.

    The Plight of New Zealand’s Freshwater Biodiversity

    74 percent of freshwater life now threatened with extinction

    • Paul 10.1

      NZ rivers will be ‘like Yangtze’

      Touted as a great leap forward by the Government, the latest national water quality standards are a scientific scam that will allow nitrate pollution to reach levels that will kill aquatic life and proliferate algal blooms, says Massey University ecologist and zoologist Dr Mike Joy.

      Joy spoke of the current state and future poisoning of New Zealand’s waterways, and the associated cost to taxpayers and profits to the dairy industry, in a talk in Nelson last night.

      In a separate interview, Joy said the Government’s new National Policy Statement of Freshwater Management, which comes into force on August 1, would see nitrate levels allowed to rise to 6.9 milligrams per litre – 10 times above current levels.

      He also sounded a warning to the Tasman District Council saying plans to build the Waimea Community Dam would result in increased land intensification.

      The NPS’s new nitrate level was “like increasing the suburban speed limit from 50 kilometres and hour to 500kmh. It would allow New Zealand’s rivers to become more polluted than the Yangtze in China, the Seine in France or the Thames in England”.

      Joy said the first point was for New Zealanders to realise the lack of regulation helped increase pollution.

      “If there are two farmers side by side and one does the least mitigation, he will make more money.”

      Mitigation, such as fencing and planting streams reduced the rate of phosphate run-off but heavy nitrogen loading, produced by urine in quantity from intensive farming, could not be taken up by plants and ran into waterways creating algal growth and affecting aquatic life.

      Joy said the current national nitrogen limit, which was already exceeded in a number of waterways, was low enough not to allow algal growth.

      “But the industry and the Government want to double dairy production. To get around the science the bottom line for nutrients is only set at the toxicity limit for nitrogen – it’s a single-unit scam.”

      He said the policy received a direct hit from the Ruataniwha Dam Board of Inquiry, which confirmed nitrogen leaching levels from agriculture at 0.8mg a litre, which would ensure the ability of rivers to sustain life.

      By making toxicity the new national nitrogen bottom line in waterways the Ministry for the Environment was closing the door after the horse had bolted, Joy said.

      “Before toxic level are reached, algal growth will have smothered a stream. The board of inquiry set a precedent. New Zealand cannot keep expanding its intensive farming.”

      Not only was expansion costing the country’s waterways but it also cost taxpayers with the profits going to industry and individual farmers.

      “Only a few are profitting from this and they are destroying our ability to maintain the Clean Green image.

      “It costs $250,000 to clean one tonne of nitrates from Lake Rotorua, but only $6600 in lost profit for a farmer to not put that on his land.

      “And the surprising thing is that our productivity has dropped in the past 10 years. Production has gone up – however the cost of imported inputs, such as palm kernel, have risen faster.”

      However Guy Beatson, deputy secretary of policy at the Ministry for the Environment, said the NPS would not allow the degradation of rivers. “The bottom lines are not a minimum standard – instead the existing condition is the starting point for managing water quality, which in most cases is above the national bottom lines.”

      And the NPS did not suggest or endorse a single nutrient management approach. “Regional councils will need to set an objective for periphyton ([slime] in their regional plans, and adopt appropriate management options to achieve that objective,” Beatson said. “Where necessary, this will require them to set limits on nitrogen and phosphorus and manage other factors that promote weed growth such as shade, temperature and flow levels.”

      Councils have to enforce the new NPS standards by 2025.

      NZ rivers will be ‘like Yangtze’

      • Ad 10.1.2

        Dr Joy should have a good walkabout of the Waimea Plains area before making pronouncements decrying all intensification.

        The agricultural intensification that continues there is not dairy, it’s horticulture.

        Hroticulture has far fewer downsides than dairy.
        Also, a few years ago the area had a really intense drought, which would be pretty motivating.

        Also, Tasman District Council appears to have done a far better job of public engagement than say Ruataniwha, so far.

        Horticulture is on track to quickly surpass beef production as a New Zealand export earner.

    • Pat 10.2

      elephant in the room…..irrespective of whether we control agri/hort/aqua culture to preserve water quality and subsequently the environment the problem remains the same.

      The equation is incredibly simple and at the same time impossible….the planet cannot support 7 plus billion human beings regardless ….either the population degrades or the environment does.

      ultimately the population will collapse either way.

  10. Paul 11

    In depth journalism looking at our prison system.

    Private business, public failure

  11. Andre 12

    Alec Baldwin feels sorry for Trump coz no one with any talent wants to go near his inauguration. So he’s offered to perform.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/alec-baldwin-fires-one-hell-of-a-zinger-at-donald-trumps-inauguration_us_585d549be4b0eb58648622b5

  12. Paul 13

    Glenn Greenwald: The State Of Journalism In The US

    • Wayne 13.1

      Well,as we all know Greenwald is a paragon of balanced journalism.

      Actually Paul, just about anything you post seems to entirely come from activists with an agenda, or journalists who are notoriously opposed to the West. So in your view anything by the BCC, CNN, the Guardian et al is simply propaganda, but if it is from RT then obviously it is the truth. In the old days you would have been seen as a fellow traveller.

      Of course it is your world view, but don’t expect your posts (with their long quotes from people you deem to be “authorities”) to be seen as anything other than partisan.

      • Paul 13.1.1

        Do you trust ………

        Patrick Cockburn?
        Peter Hitchens ?
        Robert Fisk ?
        John Pilger ?
        Peter Oborne ?
        Or the ex-British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford?

        Would you describe these people as ‘ activists with an agenda, or journalists who are notoriously opposed to the West.’

        Just wondering……

      • Paul 13.1.2

        You might want to read and research these journalists, Wayne. You should know of them given the fact you were a MP….
        Or was that last entry just a spray and run away?

  13. adam 14

    Food for thought.

    • adam 14.1

      What did you think about the final analysis of the new cabinet?

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      More proof that private ownership which returns money without doing anything (otherwise known as usury) is simply bad for society.

  14. Draco T Bastard 15

    Road paved with solar panels powers French town

    France on Thursday inaugurated the world’s first “solar highway”, a road paved with solar panels providing enough energy to power the street lights of the small Normandy town of Tourouvre.
    The one-kilometre (half-mile) “Wattway” covered with 2,800 square metres (30,000 square feet) of resin-coated solar panels was hooked up to the local power grid as Environment Minister Segolene Royal looked on.
    “This new use of solar energy takes advantage of large swathes of road infrastructure already in use… to produce electricity without taking up new real estate,” Royal said in a statement.

    Such a scheme is certainly worth looking into especially when we consider just how much land area roads take up.

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