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Open Mike 25/03/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 25th, 2018 - 141 comments
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141 comments on “Open Mike 25/03/2018”

  1. Ad 1

    Great to see the new German Minister for the Environment banning Glyphosphate:


    It would be awesome to see our government clean out the Board and management of our Environmental Protection Agency and start banning this kind of chemical.

    • Graeme 1.1

      “It would be awesome to see our government clean out the Board and management of our Environmental Protection Agency and start banning this kind of chemical.”

      And you thought the reaction to a resource charge on water was extreme, banning glyphosphate would be seen as a ban on farming. It’s that ubiquitous and central to New Zealand agricultural systems they wouldn’t know how to farm without it.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1.1

        FYI there was a study done with cows.

        Turns out that glycophospate levels in the cow blood reduce with protocol of betonite clay and sauerkraut juice. Some other stuff too but those are the main things.

      • weka 1.1.2

        DOC and groups like Forest and Bird and people who maintain school grounds would find it a challenge too. Still should happen though, they just lack imagination.

        • Pingao

          Maybe it is lack of money?? The alternative herbicides are often more expensive and may also have health risks. Most of them have issues with being ecotoxic to soil and/or waterways.

          • weka

            that is an issue too, but in my experience of lots of conversations on this, many people in DOC, Councils, orgs like F and B etc are ideologically committed to glyphosate. Many think it is benign. Monstanto did an amazing PR job on this a few decades ago. Remember Round Up 2 and the adds of the swan on the pond and the dude spraying around the edges? Bought hook line and sinker.

            • solkta

              Many believe that it is the lesser of the evils available based on the science with probably carcinogenic being better than immediately toxic.

              • weka

                maybe. Most people I talk to honestly think it’s benign. It just breaks down right?

                • gsays

                  My retired horticultural father in law, stills maintains round-up is inert 15 minutes after application.

                  At the risk of sounding like a scratched record, the only way this behaviour (spray and walk away ground-keeping, 1080ing the Bush pest control), can be justified is in economic terms.

                  • joe90

                    can be justified is in economic terms.

                    Indeed, because in a world where folk are squeezed by food prices, today’s price of organics will be the price of everything, post glyphosate.

                    • weka

                      there are some issues there in terms of economies of scale, supermarket subsidies etc. Also, the people I know on low incomes that have the capacity grow food to varying degrees to make it affordable, and they’re growing organic. Potential there.

            • Pingao

              True – I use it myself on a block of land on the access road and think of it as less harmful than other herbicides that target both grass & broadleaf species.

              Over my working life I have had to use hazardous substances in small quantities and see it as a kind of necessary evil I suppose. I am more cautious these days than many (especially the blokes) and wear a respirator. I have heard older guys say you can drink it!!

              Long term plan is to shade out the access road with kanuka etc to eliminate spraying and mowing. That will work for me but I don’t know what the alternatives might be for farming.

              • weka

                I think in NZ we use it in so may situations where it is just unnecessary. I hang out in organic circles so it’s pretty obvious.

                Lol, those dudes should try drinking some roundup (maybe have them google it first).

                (given climate change and drought, might want to consider planting less flammable trees).

                • Pingao

                  Yes kanuka are very flammable but are fast growing so can swap them out once they have killed the gorse and grass.

              • mauī

                Especially around urban areas you could replace Roundup with petrol or electric weed eaters quite easily. It would probably require slightly more frequent maintenance but not significantly so. I think Councils go for spraying because its marginally more convenient.

                Not sure what farmers could replace it with because I don’t have experience in that area. No-till farming would help though as weed seeds wouldn’t have the bare earth and sunlight to get established.

                Weedeating wouldn’t work on a paddock of old gorse, but a chainsaw would. And then there probably is something organic out there that you could paste onto the stumps to kill off the root system.

                • weka

                  We have been farming for 10,000 years without round up. Just saying.

                  There are plenty of sustainable ways to manage gorse. Depends on what you want to do with the land instead.

      • Ad 1.1.3


        Well time the farming lobby was met head on.

        Europe buys our farming produce. And still you can see in NZ whole hillsides dead brown with it, to re-sow pasture.

        Clean out the EPA.

      • RedBaronCV 1.1.4

        And get us sued under TPPA?? By a corporate incorporating in a country that can

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.2

      Yes, absolutely essential to ban this crap.

      And we should sue Monsanto (or whatever they call themselves today) for the costs incurred treating cancer resulting from widespread use.

      Oh..wait… Tppa

    • Pat 1.3

      what did we do do before 1974?

      Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine) is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant. It is an organophosphorus compound, specifically a phosphonate. It is used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops. It was discovered to be an herbicide by Monsanto chemist John E. Franz in 1970.[3] Monsanto brought it to market in 1974 under the trade name Roundup, and Monsanto’s last commercially relevant United States patent expired in 2000.

      • Pat 1.3.1

        A quick search suggests it was a replacement for DDT

        • Graeme

          DDT was an insecticide, and evil shit


          You may mean Paraquat, that was a herbicide, and also evil shit


          Glyphosate has the advantage of not being immediately fatal to humans or stock

          • Foreign waka

            Fatal non the less. Just a slow death, like the frog sitting in a pot …

          • Pat

            so it was…..the replacement seems to be in terms of widespread adoption and the timing.

            A search for ‘glyphosphate replaced’ brings up some interesting articles.

            So the question is what did we do pre 74 to achieve what glyphosphate does now?…obviously something relatively effective (whether effective enough with double the population and climbing may be a different story however) as we managed to farm successfully pre 74

            • Graeme

              The advent of Roundup allowed a totally new farming system to emerge. Now pasture is renewed every 3-5 years, as that process is much easier with a cheaper and safer herbicide. (than paraquat) Our intensive farming practices depend on the flush of new grass, there’s fertilisers in the equation too.

              Previously pastures had to be ploughed to kill the old growth, now it’s spray and drill, or pray on steep country.

              The target here shouldn’t just be glyphosphate, but the whole farming system with it’s downstream effects. Replacing glyphosphate with something else won’t stop the environmental disaster that is New Zealand intensive agriculture

              • Pat

                k…so if in the past we controlled weed growth and pasture renewal via tillage to a greater extent…and I suspect considerably more physical removal,i.e. grubbing or weeding….then one consequence of a ban on roundup could be increased fossil fuel use in agriculture.

                Additionally it appears glyphosphate has enabled additional crop plantings per season according to an article I skimmed earlier, so potentially a reduced yield.

                • Graeme

                  Another benefit of the Roundup / drill model is much reduced soil loss, most of which used to end up as sediment in rivers. Direct drilling is marvellous in this regard.

                  Yes, it also allowed extra rotations, any yield issues are dealt with by another round with the bulky (fertiliser spreader), so potentially more NPK run off into the river. The gps controls on bulk spreaders are pretty good now too, so application is very accurate hopefully reducing over application like what went on in the past.

                  Done properly the Roundup model should be lighter on the land, but, human nature / greed intervenes and it becomes a means to produce more to the same effects. So you still have the same effects.

                  The Roundup tolerant crop thing sort of died, along with the cows. Seed companies are having trouble selling it, and got in even more trouble when they “accidentally” shipped the GE seed rather than what the farmer ordered. Much dancing on the head of the pin over that.

                  • Pat

                    so assuming all the previous it would be fair to observe that a ban on glyphosphate will result in increased carbon emissions (arguably)…a reduced yield (or additional fert or both)…higher labour inputs.

                    Adding that up equals higher food prices ….and reduced export competitiveness.

                    That may or may not be a price the wider public is prepared to accept, let alone the ag sector…or it may be acceptable until the effects felt.

                    • Macro

                      Actually a ban on roundup and other forms of industrial farming would result in a massive reduction in atmospheric carbon as pasture that is undisturbed sequesters large amounts of carbon. Killing pasture, and replanting might reduce the amount of soil erosion, but it increases substantially the amount of Carbon that was being stored in the plant and in the soil back into the atmosphere in the form of Methane and CO2. Most of that carbon is actually stored in the micro-organisms in the soil. When you kill the plant you kill the micro-organisms that are dependent upon the plants roots. It is pretty much a symbiotic arrangement. By allowing the plants to grow they establish greater root systems and thereby increase the micro-organisms (fungi and bacteria) that ultimately sequester the atmospheric carbon fed to them by the plant into the soil, increasing the soil carbon.
                      If we are to really get to grips with mitigating Climate Change and tackling the already massive loading of atmospheric Carbon that is causing the rapidly increasing global temperatures. We need to think quickly how we manage our agriculture and our environment.
                      You can read all about it in this massive pdf:

                      Click to access a-i1880e.pdf

                    • Pat

                      @ Macro…thanks for link..am slowly working through it.

                      I note you state…..”Actually a ban on roundup and other forms of industrial farming would result in a massive reduction in atmospheric carbon”….without the ‘and other forms of industrial farming’ I see no evidence for that….and we are not going to stop farming on an industrial scale for we cannot…but we can perhaps change the intensity and land uses.

                      The increased CO2 (arguably) I was referring to was the average approx 100kg CO2 p/ hectare a typical tractor will emit when working up ground….an action that may increase without the availability of glyphosphate.

                      CO2 aside theres still the reduced yields and increased labour inputs and the flow ons to consider.

              • Brigid

                “Now pasture is renewed every 3-5 year”
                Are you sure that’s correct? Pasture that’s managed correctly doesn’t grow broad leafed weeds. Grasses are perennials, they are long lived plants. I just don’t see the point in killing the whole pasture and re sowing. Besides it takes 3 or 4 months for pasture to be properly established. Thats quite a while for land to be not productive.
                Considering clover is a important component of pasture, and glyphosphate doesn’t kill clover, there’s no point in applying this weedkiller.
                I do know it’s used extensively in horticulture though – vineyards, orchards, etc

                • joe90

                  They renew pasture at a rate of 5-15% of farm area each year.

                  At 5% it takes 20 years to renew the entire farm, 15% – around every 7 years.

                  • Brigid

                    Could you supply a link?

                    In my experience prior to 1974 reseeding was only done when new and better grasses had been developed, or pasture had been managed so poorly, reseeding was the only option. The dairy and sheep and cattle farms I lived on never destroyed whole pastures, ploughed and reseeded. It just wasn’t necessary.
                    On Lands and Survey blocks young men and women were employed on some sort of scheme to walk the whole farm grubbing out thistles and ragwort.

                  • Brigid

                    “Pasture renewal programmes vary widely across NZ, typically ranging from 0%-15% of farm area each year. The average on dairy farms is 5-10% compared to 2-5% on sheep farms. ”

                    I think Google intends that information it offers is meant to be read.
                    And understood. Guess it’s just beyond some though.

                  • Graeme

                    Assumption there that what the supplier sells the farmer works, or the farmer uses it correctly. Lots can go wrong. Most of what got sown around here will have to be redone next year because climate.

                    My 3-5 year figure is an observation of reasonably intensive properties around here (Whakatipu) 5-15% gets thrown out if there’s an ag or fodder crop (sometimes both) in the rotation, effectively doubling it or more.

          • solkta

            I used to spray a mix of Paraquat and Simozine when i worked in a plant nursery in the mid-1980s. The rules were full wet weather gear and respirator and if you got any on your skin to shower immediately (which i did one day). I thought “fuck this” and found a new job within a few months.

            • Macro

              You were lucky! I was using the stuff in the 1960’s working in summer hols while at Uni. The local parks sent me off with a open 44 gal drum on the back of the tractor to spray the gorse at the back of the local grass tennis courts. So off I went – not one item of protective clothing on – because – well what was that?? Anyway unbeknown to us the drum actually had a slight leak. For weeks after you could see where I had been 😈. The tennis club were not pleased!
              Fortunately I seem to have avoided getting any of the stuff on me and haven’t had any after affects (that I am aware off 😉 ).

        • Graeme

          And more than a few New Zealand farmers, factory workers and nearby residents too

    • veutoviper 1.4

      This is a liitle off topic but related –
      On 18 February 2018, some of us were involved in a discussion under 5 in Open Mike* where Carolyn Nth posted a call from an organisation called Avaaz for donations to fight a 168 page US court subpoena from Monsanto requiring Avaaz to disclose “every private email, note, or record we have regarding Monsanto, including the names and email addresses of Avaazers who have signed Monsanto campaigns!!”
      * link https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-18-02-2018/#comment-1450415

      None of us really understood what this was all about so Carolyn and I did some research and posted our results back at 5.2.1 and Lots of links there with background to Avaaz; but in brief, this subpoena is in relation to Avaaz’s campaign against the renewal application by Monsanto and Bayer to the EU and its agencies for Glyphosphate (eg Round-up).

      The short story to this is that Avaaz fought a major campaign against the renewal over a year – but in November 2017 the EU renewed the approval of Glyphosphate but only for five years as opposed to the 15 years sought. Monsanto then filed the above mentioned subpoena.

      I had been meaning to keep an eye on this and was prompted to do so by your post today. Nothing further on the Avaaz situation since a Feb 23 Guardian article which was still about the subpoena. Avaaz’s website does not provide any obvious update but is still calling for donations ($136K raised so far).

      Back on topic –
      As part of my research into the above I discovered this link to RNZ’s website, which provides a good source to keep up-to-date on what is happening on Glyphosphate in NZ. There are some good summaries on there on what is currently (eg 23 March) going on with the EPA, for anyone interested.


      • veutoviper 1.4.1

        Note – In the above, I changed glyphosate to glyphosphate in my paras 2 and 3 because I thought I had spelt it wrong. I was right the first time but cannot now change these back. Sorry.

      • tracey 1.4.2

        Thanks for this update

    • cleangreen 1.5

      here here. I agree.

  2. Ad 2

    We want change or we will vote you out.

    That’s a gutsy response from the many thousands of young people who marched on Washington towards greater gun control and against gun violence yesterday:


    There’s always hope in the US of A.

    I want to see this movement survive beyond the mid-terms.

    • Jenny 2.1

      “Hundreds of thousands march for gun control in the US”

      NRA goes silent in midst of protest.

      The National Rifle Association (NRA) went silent on Twitter on Saturday morning, in contrast to its reaction to the nationwide school walkouts against gun violence on March 14, when it tweeted a photo of an assault rifle and the message “I’ll control my own guns, thank you.”

      Unusually, President Trump keeps away from making a tweet.

      As of early afternoon, Trump himself had yet to weigh in on Twitter about the protests.

      Politics is all about pressure

      “It’s pretty simple for me,” said Zoe Tate, 11, from Gaithersburg Middle School in Maryland, explaining why she marched in Washington. “I think guns are dumb. It’s scary enough with the security guards we have in school. We don’t need teachers carrying guns now. I find it amazing that I have to explain that idea to adults.”

      Said her mother, Maria Blaeuer: “For our kids, feeling safe is fundamental, and they don’t feel safe.”

      Large rallies also unfolded in such cities as Boston; New York; Chicago; Houston; Fort Worth, Texas; Minneapolis; and Parkland, Florida, the site of the February 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead.


      • joe90 2.1.1

        NRA goes silent in midst of protest.

        They’re rattled.


        In what can only be described as a desperate plea for attention, the NRA has released a new video that takes aim at survivors of the Parkland shooting, telling them that if their friends hadn’t died, “no one would know your names.”

        The video, titled “A March for Their Lies,” was posted to NRA-TV’s YouTube channel just ahead of the student-led March for Our Lives event scheduled for Saturday in Washington, D.C.

        In the clip, NRA-TV host Colion Noir lashed out at the teens who survived last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, mocking them for their youth and even taunting them about the deaths of their classmates.

        Noir brought up the recent school shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland, telling the Parkland survivors he wished an armed resource officer had been at their school “because your classmates would still be alive, and no one would know your names.”

        “The media would have completely and utterly ignored your story,” Noir said, before falsely claiming that the media had not covered the school shooting in Maryland.


    • Macro 2.2

      The Guardian has given over its editorial this weekend to the student journalists and they are giving great reads. Very inspirational.

    • joe90 2.3

      They say they’re going to call AR 15’s Rubios, and now this….

      Parkland students are wearing a $1.05 "price tag" which represents the total NRA money that went to Marco Rubio divided by the number of Florida students.— JoeMyGod (@JoeMyGod) March 24, 2018

      …and this is just sad.

      A six-year-old just handed this to me. pic.twitter.com/9osX7LNpFj— Laura Koenig (@2nickels) March 24, 2018

    • tracey 2.4

      Compare with Black Lives Matter. Reminds me of this line in the Columbine movie

      “Middle Amercia, now it’s a tragedy, now it’s so sad to see, in upper-classity”

  3. Jenny 3

    Politics is all about pressure. II

    Generation Zero

    Kia Ora Jenny

    You may have seen in the media that on Monday a petition was handed to the Government which had over 45,000 signatures calling for an end to oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, along with Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw and Minister for Energy and Resources, Megan Woods were there to accept the petition in person, signalling that the Government is listening and considering this strong call to End Oil.

    We need New Zealanders all around the country to keep raising your voices, so that our Government hears loud and clear that ending the block offer process for new oil and gas exploration is the right decision.

    Our Prime Minister promised several times during the election campaign that climate change would be a priority for her government. Let’s hold them to that promise!

    Will you help us End Oil in Aotearoa?

    You can do this by:

    Writing a personal letter from you or an organisation you are affiliated with to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Energy Minister Megan Woods calling for an end to oil exploration
    Writing a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper
    Make an appointment with the Labour/NZ First MP that represents your constituency about this
    Join the Rally for Climate Justice if you’re in Wellington next week, or help amplify it on social media!

    With hope for a better future climate,

    Your friends at Generation Zero


    • Jenny 3.1

      Politics is all about pressure III

      “The time has come for politicians to become activists, and for activists to become politicians.”


      In Canada yesterday, federal politicians from three different political parties joined together in an act of civil disobedience.

      Former Liberal candidate Briony Penn, Green Party leader Elizabeth May and NDP MP Kennedy Stewart were all arrested at Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby tank farm.

      Here in New Zealand, civil disobedience from sitting MPs has not been witnessed since the days of the highly successful anti-nuclear ship protests.

      It was this sort of powerful direct action leadership, that shifted the whole of parliament in this counttry, including two National Government MPs Marilyn Waring and Michael Minogue to vote for the opposition party’s private members bill to ban nuclear ship visits. To prevent the vote being taken, the National Government Prime Minister Robert Muldoon was forced to call a snap election. The rest is history.

      I’m a Grandmother, and anyone who is looking at the climate crisis on this planet, who doesn’t recognise that it’s an emergency, is sleepwalking towards a precipice.

      We need to wake up..,
      Take responsibility..,
      As parents…,
      And as grandparents.

      Because, I will not slip off this mortal coil thinking there is something more I should have done. And maybe, that I should have gone up Burnaby Mountain on March 23rd.

      Elizabeth May
      (As she is being arrested on Burnaby Mountain for joining with protesters blockading the Kinder Morgan oil sands pipeline.)


      Kia kaha Elizabeth May, Kennedy Stewart and Briony Penn. May your brave stand shift public opinion and the Canadian Government to act against oil sands.

      • Jenny 3.1.1

        Politics is all about pressure IV

        “Bernie Sanders to Parkland Students: You Have the Power to Change America”

        I know in the last couple of years you have seen a lot of grass roots movements come out of, you know, people who aren’t necessarily elected leaders……

        (In this country in my generation; John Minto, Joe Hawk, Whina Cooper, Eva Rickard, to name just a few.)

        What do you feel is the importance of these grass roots movements in changing policy?

        Extraordinarily important. I’ve said it a million times in every speech that I give. Change never takes from the top — never takes place from the top. It always come from the bottom on up and you can see it right now……


  4. Jenny 4

    The lesson for Auckland if the city continues to spend public money expanding the motorway system, over investing in public transport, is that Auckland will become a poorer more crime ridden and polluted place.

    “By Focusing on Cars Over Public Transportation, Cities Continue to Foster Inequality”

    Policies and projects that broaden transportation options beyond driving a car significantly reduce income inequality between urban white and black households and between men and women in cities, according to a recent study published in the journal Local Environment. In cities with this “multimodal” infrastructure, white men see no loss of income even as other demographic groups tend to earn more income, the researchers found. White men are more likely than white women, black men, and black women to own cars.

    “Increasing rail capacity means more opportunities for people who do not have cars,” says study co-author Chad Frederick, an assistant professor of sustainability studies and urban planning at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. “Multimodal infrastructure enables more people to participate in a wider labor market.”


    “Medellin’s Amazing Metro System: Colombia Uses Public Transport To Drive Societal Change”

    “The city [of Medillin] transformed violence and despair into hope and opportunity, using sustainable transport as one of the key levers to drive change,” said ITDP board member Holger Dalkmann.


    • Ad 4.1

      This governments’ transport Government Policy Statement comes out this week.

      It’s going to be a goody.

      • Jenny 4.1.1

        Let us hope that it includes deeply burying this particular piece of motorway madness from the Nats. beyond all hope of it ever being exhumed to see the light of day.



        • cleangreen

          1000% Jenny.

          Our NGO just wrote to Transport Minister of regional development Shane jones and Transport Minister Phil Twyford three days ago on this; here it is.
          We want less trucks more rail.

          Protecting our environment & health.
          In association with other Community Groups, NHTCF and all Government Agencies since 2001.
          Public COMMUNITY letter;
          22nd March 2018.

          Hon’ Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Development & other Ministers.
          Dear Ministers,

          This is a letter of support for and a challenge to Shane jones as our “champion of all our provinces” We agree Government is to be held accountable and we encourage anyone who wants to hold all authorities accountable for environmental issues should be supported also.

          Thank you for your hard work and diligence to keep authorities accountable Shane & Winston.

          Our SOE Kiwi rail is now in need of serious investigation as it has also a bad CEO in need of being replaced by a real rail engineer and not just a patsy for the previous National Government policies who hated using rail to lower the climate change emissions, which will become the “nuclear moment our children’s future.”

          National encouraged closing regional rail freight in favour of using road freight which is seriously degrading our air and water quality and causing catastrophic weather events and floods, public health injuries, and declining health and this current Labour Government are not yet radically increasing any regional rail freight use to meet their future climate change emissions target that government have signed up to by 2035-50 as a carbon neutral policy.

          Save the Gisborne rail service as it is not being considered for inclusion by Labour yet.

          Kiwi rail CEO Peter Reidy must go as he is not supporting labour coalition plans to use rail freight policy in line with the Labour party’s 2005-15 “National rail strategy” to connect all ports to rail services to lower climate change emissions.

          Click to access nationalrailstrategy.pdf

          QUOTE from ISBN 0-478-10005-1 Forward from Pete Hodgson 2005 as Minister of Transport.

          “Now we have brought New Zealand’s rail infrastructure back into public ownership, and the vision and objectives of the New Zealand Transport Strategy will be applied to New Zealand’s railway network.

          Through the National Rail Strategy, the Government is demonstrating its commitment to retaining the existing network; to investigating the development of a number of new railway lines; and to maximising the use of rail transport. The aim is to move people out of cars for urban journeys, and freight off roads, wherever possible. For freight this means a focus on bulk or containerised loads, including traffic such as milk or logs. For passengers it means a focus on busy urban corridors in the larger centres, and using smart thinking to manage congestion.

          This is an exciting time in New Zealand transport, with a dynamic vision beginning to achieve real results, working towards an affordable, integrated, safe, responsive, and sustainable transport system. The Labour Progressive government acknowledges the contribution of the Green Party to the development of this Strategy, and both the Green Party and the United Party’s support of the government’s transport policy.
          Hon Pete Hodgson” Minister of Transport 2005

          Warmest regards,
          CEAC Secretary.

    • Ed 4.2


      [Ed, you were banned until the 31st. Pulling shit like this is asking for a very long ban to be handed down. Don’t comment until such times as your regular details have been cleared from the blacklist]

  5. weka 5

    Maybe someone could have a crack at explaining just how those Aussie cricket players could be so stupid? Even if they did gain an advantage in the moment how could they possibly think it wouldn’t be caught on camera and expose them for cheats?


    • gsays 5.1

      Like our white collar criminals here in Aotearoa,
      (MOH coleman and Manukau mould, CCTV building engineers, ex PM and ex MOD regards Afghanistan murders and subsequent cover-up), they are above the law and consequences don’t apply to them.

      Our ocker cousins have form for this sort of thing.
      Shane Warne and his ‘diet pills’ (speed to you and me) and the Chappell brothers disgrace come to mind.

    • millsy 5.2

      The probably thought a test win would outweight the negative press and ICC penalties, which are essentially a slap on the wrist.

      • tracey 5.2.1

        I reckon they are so pissed off at the wife cracks they wanted revenge. Anger clouds the thinking. Especially when you have gone all holier than thou in selfcrighteous indignation.

        GlennTurner has very sad stories of the comments made to him by Aussies about his Indian born wife. They have always been able to dish it out but never been great at taking it

    • Macro 5.3

      Well the got away with this in 1981 – so why not now?

      • tracey 5.3.1

        Except underarm was still in the rules at that time. Tampering is, mindlessly on a Level 2 offence

        • Macro

          Well that is true – except that it was clearly not in the spirit of the game – ie it wasn’t cricket. That’s how the rules develop. Eg the body line series when the Aussies were subjected to a series of fast deliveries directed at the body and a stacked leg side field. That cheating by the English on that occasion led to the rule restricting of the number of fields men behind square leg to two.
          Ball tampering has been around for as long as there has been cricket. Some of it more obvious than others. This occasion happens to be a rather obvious and rather more serious example.

  6. Ffloyd 6

    Two words. Aussie. Stupid.

    • Stunned Mullet 6.1

      Pity Ritchie Benaud’s no longer with us – he would have some choice words for them – class act was Ritchie.

  7. Muttonbird 8

    Great news – 4000 homes to be built on Unitec land.

    Whenever I go there for work which is once or twice a year I alway think what a great development it would be. There are acres and acres (literally 53 hectares) of space right next to a new motorway interchange. For one thing this means the traffic increase will have short runs to the motorway system rather than through streets.

    Mount Albert train station just metres from the south eastern corner of this site.

    Properly planned a lot of services could be within the new development reducing the need for residents to go elsewhere for daily stuff.

    Unitec have wanted to downsize that 53 hectares into 9 for some time now.

    You got to wonder why the Nats didn’t think of this – oh that’s right, when they’re not denying the existence of a housing crisis, they are ideologically opposed to fixing it.

    • Graeme 8.1

      And they weren’t going to get a contribution to the party coffers out of UNITEC like they could with the SHA malarky.

    • Herodotus 8.2

      I hope that the infrastructure is capable of handling the additional stormwater, gas, fibre, water and roading. And this is to service 10,000 people a development housing the pop. of Queenstown or Gore
      Imagine 4000 homes in 44 ha. a density of 99/ha.
      Developments like this may be appropriate for a hectare or 2 BUT 44 ha of this ???
      And I note for those not experienced within the development industry, that the example on Symonds Street is bordered by public roads, for a development of 44 ha such roading infrastructure would be internal and using some of the 44 h.a, increasing the densities to well beyond 100/ha

      • alwyn 8.2.1

        It isn’t even 44 ha apparently.
        According to the link about the story it is only 29 ha.
        Still, Phil sys it will be wonderful and will have parks and shops and all those good things.
        What is there that won’t be heaven on earth?
        I’ll bet he wouldn’t buy there.

    • alwyn 8.3

      Are you sure about your numbers? In fact do you have a link for this story?

      If they are reducing 53 ha to 9 ha that will leave 44 ha for the development.
      I would assume that one third of that would be required for roads, services and of course I am sure there will be cycle ways everywhere. No doubt someone who knows more about this than I do will be able to correct this assumption if it is way out. You do say that these services could be within the development.
      That leaves about 30 ha or 300,000 square metres.

      If there are 4000 homes as you claim that will mean an average land area of, at most, 75 square metres per home.
      How many stories is each block going to be? They clearly won’t be single story will they?
      How big are the homes going to be?
      Are there going to be any parks. Or shops? Or anything else?

      This sounds like one of those dreadful high rise developments of pokey little flats that were built after the second world war and that every sensible country is demolishing because they were places that no sensible person wanted to live in.
      And this meant to be progress? Is this the best that is being offered?
      And when will the places be built?

      • Muttonbird 8.3.1

        Here you go.


        Although being in a constant state of misery might preclude you from being forward-looking and positive about this.

        • alwyn

          Good God, it’s even worse than you said.
          They are going to buy only 29 hectares. I suggest that you will only get 20 ha to put the houses on.
          At 4000 houses that is going to give you a figure of 50 square metres of land per house.
          Out of curiosity I had a look at what are the typical minimums for residential properties in New Zealand.
          Hamilton will do as an example. For a single dwelling the lowest amount you are allowed is 350 sqm. For an Apartment block it is 150sqm/apartment. That is the absolute minimum.
          Twyford thinks that only one third of that will be sufficient? Then he has the gall to claim that this is going to get rid of overcrowding?
          You accuse me of being in a continual state of misery. If I had to live in the sort of place that idiot is proposing I certainly would be miserable. So I imagine would anyone else living in this country.
          Would you think it was acceptable. Would you choose to live in such conditions?
          Twyford really is a twat, isn’t he?

          • Muttonbird

            You do know they can build buildings of more than one story these days, don’t you?

            • alwyn

              You have discovered that have you?
              I gave the figures for Hamilton, as a representative New Zealand city.
              Those numbers of minimum land size have absolutely nothing to do with how many stories there are in the building.
              If they are single dwellings the minimum size of the block of land is, in high density areas, 350 square metres. To have 4000 of them you would have to have a minimum land area of 140 ha for the houses, plus whatever you needed for the streets, parks, footpaths and so on.
              Much, much more than at Unitec, isn’t it.

              As far as multi-story blocks go that is what is normally referred to as an Apartment Block. Ever heard of them? They are normally multi-story. The minimum is 150 square metres of land per apartment, regardless of the height of the building. That is why I put Apartment Building numbers in. The density Phil Twyford seems to see as entirely reasonable is about three times the maximum allowed in Hamilton. The minimum there is 150 square meters of land per apartment. Kiwibuild is certainly going to provide miserable conditions for anyone who is going to live in them isn’t it if there are only going to be an allocation of 50 square metres?
              And they would all be in high rise buildings. Hell on earth in the UK cities which have bowled them.

          • Ad

            Last suburban housing development I did was in New Lynn.

            On about one acre of land, we put:
            – 120 apartments
            – 70 car parks
            – 30 retail stores and restaurants
            – 1 major medical centre with 12 specialities

            You just need good design.

            • alwyn

              You put all that on a piece of land with dimensions like 50 metres wide and 80 metres deep? That is about half the land required for a Rugby Field.
              What are the numbers in the Auckland District Plan for building density?
              How many stories does it have? How big is a typical apartment or a shop?

              When you finished did it match the beautiful picture Phil puts forward?
              “This is a beautiful and historic piece of land with natural features such as the Oakley Stream running through it. It’s close to education, employment and public transport. This new community will have open spaces, new parks and shops.”

              And would you really as described the apartments as being houses, or even homes suitable for a typical family?

              • Ad

                The height limits were good.

                12 stories for one building, three for the other.

                It was better than Phil’s – after all it was my show 🙂

                The apartments were both integrated beautifully into the town centre with the library and community hall right next door, they were also fully integrated into a brand new underground rail station, plus a really large shopping mall.

                95% sold off plans, and they hardly ever come up for sale.

                I can see you are going through a grieving cycle for a quarter acre block, with a lawnmower, a great sward of parkland, a church spire ringing bells, mum at home putting out great white sheets on a line, she greets him every evening with scones and a pinafore apron, and every night your dad tucks you – but he leaves the door ajar so you still get a bit of light to keep those bad suburban monsters at bay.

            • Herodotus

              Ad , It would be of interest the family makeup of such developments, from what I have seen, families in such developments are as rare as the Northern White Rhino !!

              • Ad

                Oh please.

                They have all kinds of families.
                New, old, young, small, big.
                Even just couples!
                Even single people!
                Even cats!

                It’s just amazing the diversity of reality up in the Big Smoke.

            • patricia bremner

              Yes Ad, like they do in Australia. Some homes are rented, some purchased and as you say, well designed with all amenities. This is 9 km to city centre, has a golf course nearby, parks and open spaces and roading established.

          • cleangreen

            Would all your negativity at labours home building plan mean that you were also suitably pissed off at national’s nine years of sitting on their butts doing nothing, but selling state house for peanuts, and buying expensive motels to rent to poor homeless families at high prices?

            • alwyn

              I was pissed off with the way National largely ignored the problem for the first EIGHT years. then in the last year they started doing something, On the other hand it got even worse even faster under the 1999-2008 lot. I wonder who they were?
              National sold some state houses. They were either ones where there was no demand, or some that were sitting on enormously valuable blocks where you could get enough for a single old house to build 4 or 5 others. I see no need for the State to continue to retain State Houses worth more than a million dollars.
              The current lot also are being quite stupid retaining old 2 bedroom places when the demand is for larger properties.
              I am unaware of National buying motels.
              I realise that it is against your religion to answer questions but if you really want an opinion on that you are going to have to provide evidence of it happening. Otherwise I am going to suspect that you have just made it up.

      • patricia bremner 8.3.2

        The Nats wanted private enterprise to put up the money. That amount 29 hectares would require Government investment. Well done Phil.

    • Roflcopter 8.4

      “You got to wonder why the Nats didn’t think of this”

      ummm…. this block of land has been going through the process of being freed up for housing, since 2016… by National.

    • Herodotus 8.5

      I also notice the extensive area currently planted in trees.
      Will these be removed and we are left with a sterile high density development.
      And as I commented earlier that this proposed development will cater for a pop. of Queenstown or Gore – what support will there be for exisiting schools e.g. Gladstone, Mags etc as Queenstown and Gore have a couple of Primary, an Intermediate and High School
      And a final observation – I do not believe that 4,000 dwellings are able to be built under the current council zoning, and if I am correct the time it will take time to progress a private plan change, that will involve traffic management, stormwater etc.
      I cannot see any physical work well after the 2020 election, let alone occupants- which could beyond 2022.

      • Ad 8.5.1

        They already did the plan change.

        There’s tonnes of trees in the masterplan.

        If you are in Auckland you should pop up and take a look at the site for yourself – it will put your mind at rest.

        • Herodotus

          There still is required resource consents, and there are still years of process from this link ….
          When will the first homes start rising? Probably not any time soon – at least on the bulk of the land, because Unitec first needs to sort out its own precinct, and that will take years from start to finish.

          While the precinct has been enabled for development; public opening of the roads to the south (Renton, Rhodes and Laurel) needs resource consent and the council will have to assess who would be affected.

          Before this, however, Unitec may choose to create a private road which can also be opened to the roads to the south, but the consent process for that would not involve the adjacent community.

          Any development on the precinct (buildings, subdivision) will require an ITA, which includes the provision of walking, cycling, vehicle and public transport modes. Additionally, after two years, any resource consent applications for further development will need an updated ITA.

          And I note that the fact sheet that accompanies today release is for “• Unitec has already conducted comprehensive due diligence on the site’s housing potential, which suggests it is suitable for a large scale residential development approaching 3,000 houses. ” NOT 3,000-4,000,

          • Ad

            Very little of that will be a problem for this development.

            There won’t be any appeals because UNITEC is an exceedingly motivated vendor, and they surround the site. The development – as National noted today – has been around for a while and will take none of the regulators or politicians by any surprise. This one will have a very smooth passage.

            Re cycleways, there was a major cycleway construction right through the UNITEC site as part of the Waterview Tunnel development. This cycleway in turn links to the SH16 cycleway that goes all the way in to downtown, and all the way up the Northwestern Motorway to Te Atatu. It will be interesting, though, to see how they are going to make sufficient PT service to truly make it a car-free development. Usually parking-absent developments are closer in to town than this.

            The big constraint will be an actual developer to take on the job. Things are pretty tight out there.

            I suspect however that the Minister’s HLC Company is waiting in the wings, together with Te Whanau O Waipereira and Ngati Whatua property arm.

            • tracey

              And the Nats attitude to tertiaries essentially forced Unitec to sell to keep itself open and relevant. The difference will be that Nats would have had some Developer mates lined up with token affordable homes thrown in to appease the peasantry

          • tracey

            Remembef there are existing buildings with connected services and the Hospital laundry was a huge operation there too. It woukd have had water and wastewater equivalent of many homes?

        • cleangreen

          Yes Ad good advice for the negative to see it first.

          “If you are in Auckland you should pop up and take a look at the site for yourself – it will put your mind at rest.”

          On Radio NZ ‘bulldog Collins’ said Labour just borrowed the plan National already had ticked off by them, but the only change was that labour made was it was switched to using Government money where National of course always want to use private financers and their money rather than have a “NZ owned housing development.”

          Funny that when you look up the real meaning of “National” it reads essentially (my words) “for the people of the country”‘

          National seem to want all overseas investors to own NZ now.

    • tracey 8.6

      The land has been earmarked for housing for some time. As a former employee there I can tell you we knew it was being sold off for homes and to pay for Unitec’s trade building and hub upgrades, a few years ago.

    • patricia bremner 8.7

      The Nats wanted private enterprise to put up the money. That amount 29 hectares would require Government investment. Well done Phil.

      • Muttonbird 8.7.1

        I remember it was one of John Key’s first proclamations that Hobsonville shouldn’t be forced to have a mixed strata of housing and community because it would ‘sabotage people’s house prices’. That was back in 2007 or something.

        If that Nats were allowed to do the same thing at Carrington there’d be 10 mansions each with 12 acres of manicured grounds, tennis courts, and olympic sized swimming pools.

  8. Muttonbird 9

    Good win for a families here against spiteful landlords. The low penalty and that these landlords don’t have to give a reason for eviction is two of many, many issues this government badly needs to address in the Tenancy Act.


    NZ Invest are the ones who pretend they’re working for both property investors and first time buyers. Guess they’re not working for renters though.

    NZ Invest can rot and die as far as I’m concerned.

  9. Morrissey 10

    That shithead Prince Harry dressed as a Nazi, but nothing happened to him.

  10. RedBaronCV 11

    Just looking at a stuff story on the Plunket society. (moving community funds to head office).
    Yes it has a specific role and it is being funded to around $1700 per birth .
    Not easy to tell from the website what “actual another pair helping hand services ” they provide but the usual stacks of (lecture style) written advice plus a Thursday podcast for those who have the time (LOL).

    But maybe time there was a look at all the funding going into the 0-2 years and the 3-5 years. There seem to be lots of programmes in this area but is all this money actually creating services that are being accessed by those in need.

  11. AsleepWhileWalking 12

    Kelvin Cruickshank helped find a body.

    Only found out today when I had a chance to flick through one of those weekly mags.

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    Some more selected quotes fro Why we can’t afford the Rich

    Those who lend at interest certainly don’t want borrowers to default on repayments, but if borrowers clear their debts and fail to borrow anew, that’s bad news for lenders, as it stops their unearned income; if borrowers can be kept in a state of indebtedness, needy yet just solvent, able to pay off compound interest, then that’s ideal for lenders. And of course, with compound interest, when the borrower gets into difficulties, short of defaulting altogether, the lender benefits even more. In the sober language of political economy, it is an extremely ‘regressive’ form of redistribution of income. This means there’s a strong whiff of hypocrisy and deceit about the portrayal of debtors as morally deficient – whether it’s indebted individuals, companies or whole nations – for the creditors’ continued unearned income depends on these debts being renewed!

    In other words, it’s the lenders that are morally deficient.

    Whatever we think about the ‘justifications’, they are beside the point when it comes to explaining what happens here: lenders charge interest because they can, not because they can show that they deserve it or because it’s good for the economy as a whole. And of course the lenders usually charge as much as the market will bear. Whatever the ‘justifications’, it fits our definition of unearned income.

    There’s that moral deficiency again – pure bludging.

    Credit is useful, indeed essential for an efficient modern economy, but interest is unearned income and a deadweight cost on economies; it redistributes wealth upwards and it places huge burdens on future generations. It’s therefore ethically questionable and dysfunctional, so rates of interest are best minimised.

    Actually, interest needs to be eliminated. It does nothing beneficial for society while becoming a drain on it so as to allow the rich to bludge off of everyone else.

    Whoever controls the allocation of credit, whether through using savings deposits or by creating credit money, has considerable power, for they control ‘the commanding heights of the economy’ and can shape its development. But where private banks are allowed to do this, the only responsibility that goes with this power is to their depositors (creditors) and shareholders. As far as they are concerned it doesn’t matter what the loans are for and what their wider economic impact might be, so long as they stay in profit and keep share values rising. This ensures that financial ‘investment’ has little relation to real investment. Today’s financial elite has come to imagine – extraordinarily – that extracting interest payments from people, businesses and governments is a form of wealth creation. For them, money is money, so who cares where it comes from?

    My bold.

    It’s obviously not wealth creation – it’s wealth extraction from those who actually produce it. The financial sector is a parasite – and that’s putting it nicely.

  13. Zorb6 14

    ‘Inhuman ‘ to expect council staff to be denied business class travel!

    • joe90 14.1

      It fucking is inhumane to deny any worker comfortable travel!

    • tracey 14.2

      Hmmm how is it inhumane when hundreds of humans, including me, fly economy.

      • joe90 14.2.1

        It’s a job. And It’s no less acceptable to ask them to fly long distance in cattle class than it was to ask me, a large human, to travel long distances in the backseat of a TK crew cab.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.3

      Well, if it’s inhumane to have people travelling in cramped quarters with dirty toilets then perhaps we need to regulate the airlines more to ensure that they’re not profiting from such inhumane practices.

  14. Sanctuary 15

    Emma Gonzalez is simply amazing.

  15. Jenny 17

    This is not what democracy looks like.

    Greenpeace New Zealand Director in court for protesting.

    “Greenpeace protest: Russel Norman committed for trial”

    Russel Norman and Sara Howell refused diversion despite considerable pressure from the Crown to do so. If Norman and Howell had accepted diversion, which meant them pleading guilty. A guilty plea by especially by Russel Norman. Greenpeace’s director would have implicated Greenpeace the organisation, which is facing the same charges as the director. The Crown offer of diversion was not made to the organisation.

    If you want to destroy Greenpeace. You have to come through us first. Is the Greenpeace Director’s message to the Government and the Crown.

    “Judge-alone Trial”

    Norman and Howell appeared before Judge Nevin Dawson on Thursday morning where a judge-alone trial date was set for April 30, 2018.

    Mansfield noted it was expected the trial would take one to two weeks and there would be considerable defence evidence, including expert witnesses.


    The significance of a judge-alone trial, is that this is a political decision, making this a political trial. The Crown backed by the departing National Government did not want a repeat of the Jury trial that acquitted the Waihopai Three.

  16. Jenny 18

    This is not what democracy looks like. II

    Greenpeace New Zealand Director in court for protesting.

    Political trials need to be heard by the “Little Parliament”.

    It is a disgrace and a perversion of democracy that it is not.


    It is a disgrace and a perversion of democracy that the Greenpeace director is being tried for protesting, in the first place.

    If the Andarko Amendment, or something like it, had been in place during the anti-nuclear ship protests New Zealand’s nuclear weapon free status, of which we are rightly proud of, could not have been achieved.

  17. The AM Show I agree with Mark lets not bag our Australian cousins Cricket test team to much after all everyone makes mistakes and I’m sure there are others who have dune a similar offense chin up guys.

    The big anti gun protests in America by the mokopunas is a great thing . I have other words on this subject but I don’t want others using them to attack these other helping the mokopunas you see the mokopunas have impunity Kia Kaha people enough said.

    Face book is a good tool for family’s to keep up with each other my children all have a page it is a good tool for business I would have had a page my self but the Gisborne man has been harassing me for longer than face book has been around and that is the reason why I chose not to have a Face Book page .

    When I go to Waiapu to a whano function I stay with whano our wharenui fulls up quite fast and there are no hotels up there m8 P.S The new carving to my Marae are going up soon . When my children were younger we use to stay with whano on all our trips but my family is to big now so we stay at hotels now .Ka kite ano

    • eco maori 19.1

      AM Show I’m studying OUR Maori culture at the minute I don’t have a lecturer or mentor this is a good thing as I will come to my own conclusions on this subject.
      Nurses should be payed more 10% up at least they treated me humanly and with respect when I need there services . Ka kite ano

      • eco maori 19.1.1

        I have a Maori cultured relative he has being in the same job for years he is a good leader he told me that he was offered a higher position and declined this was about ten years ago his words were I can’t be bothered with the hassle .
        I am going to tell my relative that he has to take the position with more mana my reason is that when Maori take on higher positions with mana they will be helping lift all Maori with them. So this is ECO MAORI challange to all Maori cultured people If you are offered a higher position take it or strive for a higher position in work or life and you will be lifting Maori mana as well you will most likely employ maori and so on enough said . Ka kite ano P.S be nice in the way you go about achieving these challenges I have set for you.

        • eco maori

          ECO MAORI is Listening to this

          • eco maori

            Mana Wahine


            P.S Te kumara never tells how sweet it is Ana to kai

            • eco maori

              One of my extended whano who is a great orator in Te REO was taken down by lies and decidet. He is a great Ngati-porou leader the gossip was that he was guilty but ECO MAORI found out through other sources that he was framed can’t have them Ngati-porou haveing another great leader.
              Kia kaha Ka kite ano P.S his wife gets a lot of air time now Ka pai

          • eco maori

            Newshub Mike it is a good thing that these sand flies are testing Eco Maori Mana because I won’t trust anyone till they have been tested now .
            Te Ihorangi and Whaitiri papa are strong no Ingrid . Te kumrua never tells how sweet it is Ana to kai Ka kite ano

            • eco maori

              Newshub the Top twins deserve all the fame they have for the wonderful shows they have gifted to us over the years they are the way Kiwi use to be like David Clark Fred Dag an Murry Ball Tui Teka and Billy T James Ka kite ano

              • eco maori

                The Project Jeremy shonky is getting what he is owed . Yes our Ossie cousins strive to win and yes I watch that game of Cricket all those years ago Eco Maori can’t help but feel sorry for them they have stopped the sheep jokes .My condolences go out to Stan Walker and his Whano and yes whano go to the Doctor and get a check up enough said .Kia kaha Stan Ka kite ano P.S I see

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