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Open Mike 25/07/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 25th, 2018 - 114 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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114 comments on “Open Mike 25/07/2018”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/105732494/us-attorney-general-jeff-sessions-laughs-off-lock-her-up-chant-at-dc-speech

    Deep State mocks voters who still believe their voice and the rule of law matter.

    • marty mars 1.1

      Most commentary I’ve read are saying he joined in as the top law maker in the US and once again showed what a t.rump arsehole he is.

  2. Pete 2

    I read Mike Hosking’s piece telling the people in the Bella Vista episode to accept the offer and move on: “It’s not right, it’s not fair, but the Bella Vista fight isn’t worth it.”

    I understand some of the sentiment but it’s easy for someone well off telling others to suck it up and accept they’ve been done over. I can imagine some situations where his voice would be encouraging fighting to the end and vigorously slamming the miscreant party. And vigorously exhorting others to hammer them.

    The thing is, as he would say, we don’t know why he uses that voice. In my memory still is that he was an ‘ambassador’ for Skycity and there was no way that could not affect his perspective or voice.

    • marty mars 2.1

      That sounds like financial advice – I hope he is suitably qualified and has indemnity insurance.

    • Nick 2.2

      Reading a mike hoskin piece is a fail right away. Do not pass go, do not collect a damaged masserati.

    • SaveNZ 2.3

      Sad to see no lesson learnt after Leaky buildings and our new rush to resource consent everything without adequate regulations in place.

      Also sad to see the victims and those who pay millions for the screw ups are still the homeowners who bought the houses and in particular the rate payers.

      Those that will get away with out much liability are those that allowed the land to be built on without adequate engineering, the private companies and developers that put in poor building and resource plans and those that approved them at council, the management at council that allow this to occur and those that did poor building work but was still signed off by poor council inspectors.

      Party this is also due to bad regulations in NZ under the RMA and building code, a free market approach to standards and the ability for practically any plans to be approved due to our rubber stamping resource consenting of such narrow interpretation of effects and risks so that it is hard to fail any consent. Our system is getting worse now because it takes tens of thousands to challenge a resource consent, and the system is designed to rubber stamp consents because most effects are not allowed to be challenged and therefore it does not actually produce safe and long term construction and safe and fair allocation of resources. But poor quality and expensive construction and unfair allocation of resources and risks.

      The winners are the lawyers and those that grabbed their quick dirty profit from NZ flawed process of the construction industry.

  3. DH 3

    The MSM at its worst, shitstirring and whipping up controversy over nothing just to sell more copy.

    “Winston Peters demands Australia changes its flag”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12094528

    Next we’ll hear the view from Australia who no doubt will react with outrage. And so it starts….

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      The establishment media agenda has consistently been to play gotcha with Winston Peters, to paint him as an eccentric flake, or the tail wagging the dog, or as an erratic loose cannon.

      The establishment media resents the way he won’t treat them as equal players in the political game and instead humiliates them by refusing to answer their questions and being sarcastic.

  4. SaveNZ 4

    Good move by Greens. Hopefully to be rolled out as law for all politicians and local government!

    Green Party Ministers open diaries to public
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1807/S00190/green-party-ministers-open-diaries-to-public.htm

  5. cleangreen 6

    A poll today on Newshub said 89% say they dont go for dental repairs because of the high cost.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2018/07/poll-do-you-need-to-go-to-the-dentist-but-are-currently-putting-it-off-due-to-fear-or-cost.html

    Poll: Do you put off going to the dentist due to fear or cost?
    3 hours ago

    Former health minister Dame Annette King says dental therapists could help provide affordable oral health care to older Kiwis, but first they need their own regulatory body.

    Her comments are a major push on the right to affordable dental care for adults and the “key role” that dental therapists could play in making dental care more available.

    Do you need to go to the dentist, but are currently putting it off due to fear or cost?

    Vote in The AM Show poll below.

    • Infused 6.1

      I did for years until it was too late. Ended up costing me around 4 to 5k.

      Would have been in the hundreds of I’d done it when I should have.

      It’s not that expensive. Go to a dental hygienist once a year and it will save you a bucket load

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        Yeah.

        And paying your electriticity bill off on time gets you a prompt payment discount.

        And not going into debt for basic living items means that you don’t pay interest.

        And registering your car on time means you don’t get pinged for a couple of hundred if you happen to get a parking ticket because you couldn’t bail from work to shift your car because you’re not the boss.

        And installing solar panels and a wind turbine will give you cheaper electricity.

        Ain’t it grand how the more money someone has, the less they actually need to spend? /sarc

    • weston 6.2

      I havnt been for ten years or more my vote would be scrap the nxt major motorway extension for a few years and give everyone in the country free dentistry instead !

  6. Rosemary McDonald 7

    Oh dear. This is so sad. Another high ranking official at the Misery of Health appears to have finally found the exit….

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/105712034/top-ministry-of-health-official-michael-hundleby-on-gardening-leave

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.1

      Media articles featuring the good work done by this senior public Servant are legion…but this one kind of sums it up….

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/84952020/Bad-blood-or-sly-moves-Canterburys-health-funding-puzzle

      “Yet for some reason, Canterbury’s finances are being kept on such a tight leash that CDHB’s annual accounts show it is actually getting less Government money this year than it might have done if there had never been any earthquakes to contend with.

      In a nutshell, pre-quake CDHB used to get 11.3 per cent of national funding. Today – despite a rebuilding programme which will be the biggest in New Zealand hospital history – that share has dropped to 10.94 per cent.

      And for mental health, last year CDHB was funded $222 per head of population compared to a national average of $243. This year, the disparity grew even greater with Canterbury getting $207 against a national average of $251.

      Not surprisingly this is creating angry comment. Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend recently said the funding gap was “negative interference” from Wellington.

      And many, like Labour health spokesperson Annette King, believe a dysfunctional relationship between the MoH and CDHB lies at the heart of this systematic under-funding.

      King says when it comes to talk of the possibility of a personality clash, it is easy to point to some history.”

      A sad, sorry saga which points to a level of vindictiveness and arrogance that sums up what was allowed, nay, even encouraged, under the previous Government.

      A pity Clark is claiming to be unaware of any issues with Hundleby’s relationship with the beleaguered DHBs.

      Maybe he is practicing diplomacy?

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        It seems suspicious about MOH when you hear of dysfunction with the Christchurch Health Board. A similar attitude situation to Waikato DHB? I think, where the exec there didn’t give them the whole picture of their needs. And IIRR this was because people at the top didn’t want to know, perhaps because they thought it would be bad for their own health and wellbeing!

  7. cleangreen 8

    Hundleby and the MoH, Director-General [Chuah] both sound like ratbags sent by the former National Government to slash and cut services to save lying John Keys’ corrupt administration.

    They did this over the former “emergency dental subsidy” Labour had in place before 2008 and national scrapped in 2009.

    • Rosemary McDonald 8.1

      Those two worked together at the CDHB back in the day…https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/67464926/bureaucrat-faced-probe-into-pay

      Cronyism being a hallmark of the Previous Gummint it was hardly surprising these two would stay close over the years.

      There are others at the Misery of Health with similar close working history who are hopefully feeling a little less secure right now.

      And I know that NZ is a small country and it would be difficult to find higher- ups who had not worked together previously at some stage. But one has to carefully scrutinize performance under these circumstances to ensure that poor performance and attitudes do not become accumulative.

      http://www.ssc.govt.nz/sites/all/files/pif-review-health-dec2017.pdf

      (p 56 tells the story.)

    • veutoviper 8.2

      They did this over the former “emergency dental subsidy” Labour had in place before 2008 and national scrapped in 2009.

      cleangreen, you really need to check your facts before posting. (I was flabbergasted a month or so ago when you put up a comment on TDB claiming how bad WINZ had been since it was part of MBIE. It has never been under MBIE. It is part of MSD and has been for years.)

      I am by no means trying to defend the National Govt (couldn’t stand them) but they did not “scrap” (ie remove) the “emergency dental grant” of $300 per year. WINZ simply did not give out many of these grants – or advance loans for dental work – over the period of National being the Government.

      See this 2015 article – https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/272803/shrinking-winz-dental-loans

      However, these provisions for Emergency Dental Grants ($300 per year) and repayable loans for dental work remained on the books and are available again now – see these up to date links to the WINZ website. (The website was revamped about a month or so ago to be much more informative and positive, and less punitive. Some related websites such as the Citizens Advice one have not yet caught up with the much better WINZ information.)

      https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/health-and-disability/dental-treatment.html#null

      I can confirm that WINZ are again giving out both Emergency Dental Grants AND loans for emergency dental work – because just in the last six weeks I was granted both the non-repayable $300 Grant and a loan to cover costs over the $300.

      I actually mentioned that here on TS yesterday when I reported the much better experiences I have had dealing with WINZ over the last month or so. /open-mike-24-07-2018/#comment-1506230

      • Rosemary McDonald 8.2.1

        My partner applied for a loan from WINZ to address some serious dental issues and we were told to use the last of our meagre savings first. Fair enough…but that’s our ‘disposal of our rotting corpses’ money so the kids are not left out of pocket. (Short explanation here…some years of struggling on the Invalid’s/ Supported Living Payment had seen both my tetraplegic partner and myself deny ourselves the pleasure of professional dentistry. Transitioning to the super Super mean’t we could just afford to pay back a WINZ loan…Peter’s teeth being in such a state that chewing food was difficult and choking a very real danger. (In days of old, Peter’s dentistry was done at the local hospital that was better equipped to accommodate wheelchair and transfers and dodgy breathing and potentially hazardous spasticity.)

        “We have funeral grants you know.” said disturbingly cheerful WINZ Senior Citizens section worker.

        So, The Offspring are instructed to dump our rotting corpses at the door of the local WINZ office.

        I have done some minor activism and lobbying to remind the Current Incumbents that they promised to make WINZ as less horrible place where you can depend on getting kicked while your begging for help. Our Waikato Central Office has (the last time I checked) removed the cones blocking the disabled parking places but the uniformed security guards were still doing the ‘are you on our clipboarded list?…if not bugger off!’ thing in Kaitaia a couple of weeks ago.

        I am pleased you got the cuddles and hugs treatment veutoviper and it’s great that you’ve been able to go and beg at WINZ after having had awful negative experiences in the past.

        For some its going to take a while longer before we’re willing to put our heads on the block.

        • veutoviper 8.2.1.1

          Rosemary, I have followed your and Peter’s situation for many years, and really admire you for what you have done and fought for and support you in this. I have lived with some disabilities all of my life, nothing like Peter’s but enough to cause discomfort and pain, limit my mobility and what I could do sportwise etc when growing up, and result in some major surgery when younger. I managed a full life and career and by rights should have been comfortable in my retirement. It was not to be, thanks to a corrupt financial advisor and the loss of decades of retirement savings, and the onset/diagnosis of two further major health problems at the same time which have caused further deterioration in mobility etc. Hence my personal experiences of WINZ over more recent years both sides of 65.

          I understand your negativity etc and why you are reluctant to have any faith that things will change for the better. I too have been fighting for change in respect of those with disabilities in my own way behind the scenes both during my career and since retirement, having worked in the Wellington public service/parliament bubble.

          I still maintain a degree of cynicism but also believe that change is slowing coming but it will not happen overnight. As well as my recent experiences I reported above and yesterday, a few weeks ago I also reported here on TS small improvements I saw at the Newtown WINZ service centre – eg I was not checked in per se by the security staff, much more welcoming greeting from reception, sign for toilets etc. Small seemingly superficial changes, but nevertheless small steps forward. It may take longer to see these changes at more remote centres.

          • Rosemary McDonald 8.2.1.1.1

            ” I managed a full life and career and by rights should have been comfortable in my retirement.”

            Peter too. He returned to his full time mainstream job and kept at that for 30 years or so. He saved. He was financially prudent. He took responsibility for his health. His comfortable retirement was pretty much stuffed when he had the audacity to think that “an ordinary life” that those with disabilities were told told aspire to included a partner and children in it.

            No. The partner and children are counted as de facto ‘assets and means’ when it comes to the allocation for funding for disability supports.

            The only good thing is that had we not have shacked up in 1999, by 2001 he would have been bundled off from his own home and into a residential facility as this was when the Ministry of Health refused to fund the types of advanced personal care he needs.

            We only found this out in 2002 when we sought external carers so I could address my own health needs. We always thought that the option was there for having outside help so I could return to work.

            There’s been National and Labour and National and now Labour again…its going to take something fairly dramatic to convince me that with respect to non ACC disabled the colour of the flashing lights on the roundabout is the only thing that’s changed.

            • veutoviper 8.2.1.1.1.1

              IMHO MoH has been a disaster area for years; ditto the overall the lack of support for disability issues across the board in the ps. I saw a number of good people go into MoH and come out wrecks. Personally I did not ever consider going to work there (or ACC) – although I would have liked to work in the disabilities area. Anyway, all we can do is go on fighting if necessary – and support one another. Hang in there, Rosemary.

  8. Andre 9

    Heh. RWNJs are trying to scaremonger about vocally progressive Dems like Ocasio-Cortez by talking about actual policies. It’s not going too well.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/07/fox-news-ocasio-cortez-scares-helping-democratic-socialists.html?via=homepage_taps_top

  9. marty mars 10

    Poor bloke – terrible terrible situation.

    “Novichok victim Charlie Rowley has revealed how he blames himself over girlfriend Dawn Sturgess’ death – after giving her the Novichok nerve agent that killed her as a gift.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12094845

    • greywarshark 10.1

      What a jerk. Where did he find this nerve agent? If you are going to pick things up cheap, caveat emptor. If you are going to pick things up from the ground or dumpster even more so. You’re running the risk of cheap and nasty. He should have just pinched some flowers out of the park for a bouquet. Probably they would have just brought on hayfever.

    • Carolyn_Nth 10.2

      it’s a weird story. Why would anybody leave a perfume bottle laced with novichok in a sealed container, in a public place? Is this credible?

      Or maybe he intervened in a drop?

      • McFlock 10.2.1

        Seems reasonable to me that they did the deed, walked away, and dropped the murder weapon as soon as possible.

        You have to remember that, regardless of who did it, we are talking about professional sociopaths here. They might have a moral framework that constrains their activities to the interests of the state or highest bidder, but we’re not talking about people with much empathy or care for fellow human beings. And they probably had quite a bit of desensitisation training to get that way.

        Their priority is to do the job and escape without detection. As soon as the contamination was done, the bottle is a liability that connects them to the crime. Disposal is the concern, safe disposal is not.

        • Carolyn_Nth 10.2.1.1

          Seems reasonable to me that they did the deed, walked away, and dropped the murder weapon as soon as possible.

          But the survivor is reported to have found the perfume bottle in a “sealed container” ie still in a cellophane wrapper.

          • McFlock 10.2.1.1.1

            He revealed how he found the “perfume”, which was in a sealed bottle, and gave it to Sturgess on the morning that she collapsed.

            Maybe merely the cap on. Maybe it was a spare and there’s another lying around that was un”sealed” in order to apply it.

            The “oily” description was interesting. Easier to apply, more weatherable, less likely to leak.

            • Carolyn_Nth 10.2.1.1.1.1

              No. It was the box that was sealed, and disguised as a legitimate perfume, according to the Guardian:

              The British man poisoned with the nerve agent novichok has claimed the substance that killed his girlfriend and left him critically ill came in a bottle disguised as a legitimate perfume in a sealed box.

              But if Rowley is correct about the perfume bottle being boxed and sealed, it may undermine the line of inquiry that the novichok that he and Sturgess came into contact with had been discarded by the attackers of the Skripals.

              It also opens up the possibility that there may yet be more novichok that has not been found in Wiltshire.

              Rowley said he had found a sealed box in a cellophane wrapper containing a perfume bottle some days before he and Sturgess fell ill, and had kept it at his home in Amesbury, eight miles north of Salisbury, before handing it to his partner of two years as a gift.

              He said he was struggling to remember where he had originally found the item but was convinced it was legitimate, as it looked like it hadn’t been used, “Which made me think it was quite safe,” he said.

              Rowley also said it was a perfume that Sturgess recognised. “It’s very strange. It’s quite scary to think that something can be disguised in that manner and left to be found in public.

              “It looked expensive, unfortunately it turned out to be a bad find.”

              • David Mac

                As others have said, the story has probably had the ‘Chinese Whisper’ treatment but I did find this bit odd….

                “He said he was struggling to remember where he had originally found the item but was convinced it was legitimate, as it looked like it hadn’t been used, “Which made me think it was quite safe,” he said.”

                I don’t think I’m on my own when I say I can point to exactly where I have found items of value decades after I discovered them. A phone, a wallet, a new bottle of perfume…don’t we all remember exactly where we picked items like this up?

                • McFlock

                  Yeah, but are you a “scavenger” who routinely picks up a lot of stuff from all over, and are now recovering from neurotoxin poisoning?

              • McFlock

                Oh cool, good link.

                I reckon it was probably a spare then. Or maybe the first drop was in the wrong location, they got a replacement, and that was the lost bottle. Shit sometimes goes pear-shaped.

                If it was one of the Bill-style scenarios where the poisoning was an accident that the Skripal’s didn’t want to own up to, then the box wouldn’t have been held with no symptoms for days until it was opened. Besides, they could have just said “strange person sold me perfume, now I feel funny”.

          • veutoviper 10.2.1.1.2

            Back up supplies, in case first lot wasted. Of course, just speculation …

            Or back up team, with supplies in case first team failed.

            • Carolyn_Nth 10.2.1.1.2.1

              Possibly.

            • veutoviper 10.2.1.1.2.2

              Snap! With McFlock above. LOL.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 10.2.1.1.2.3

              Speculation, à la ‘Tinker Tailor’, is such fun. The ‘back up team‘ ditched their standard issue Novichok-laced perfume kit before they realised that the primary team had failed in their ‘mission’.

              Teams 3 and 4 are just itching for Sergei to let his guard down. The evil Ruskies have secret supplies of Novichok cached all over Salisbury – beware of smelly knobs.

          • Rosemary McDonald 10.2.1.1.3

            Something, well a few things, don’t quite add up.

            I’m not going to waste time right now going back through news reports from weeks ago but this latest report has the poisoned perfume in a spray bottle which somehow the ubiquitously named Charlie managed to “spill” on his hands.

            Hmmm…now, its been a while since I last treated myself to a bottle of Yardley’s Lavender, but if memory serves a spray bottle of perfume is sealed…you don’t spill it, you squirt it.

            If it were a leaking bottle…there could be no squirting…as it couldn’t squirt…but it might spill.

            Very confusing, and by design, methinks.

            • Carolyn_Nth 10.2.1.1.3.1

              from the above linked Guardian article, it seems the Rowley attached the spray nozzle to the bottle:

              “I guess that’s how she applied it and became ill. I guess how I got in contact with it is when I put the spray part to the bottle … I ended up tipping some on my hands but I washed it off under the tap.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                okay…so since the last time I bought perfume one can buy spray bottles to fill with the perfume of one’s choice. BUT…I’ll bet that the high- end perfumes will be sold in totally sealed and tamper proof bottles. One’s suspicions would surely be aroused if the quality scent you’d scavenged from somewhere for your lady love was in a bottle with a removable top. Since you claim it came/was found under a hedge in intact packaging.

                Or not.

                This is all very entertaining, but methinks we are trying to make sense of a story that has been poorly constructed.

                By design.

                • McFlock

                  Some perfumes aren’t even supposed to be sprayed, but dabbed.

                  You could possibly attach a spray part from something else to them, though, if you’re a bit of a bodger.

                  Dunno about by design – we’re on the other side of the planet reading edited details from stories written by people who might or might not be unconsciously adding their own assumptions.

                  But there will be a coronial inquest now.

                  • marty mars

                    Seems to me that there would be fail safes if some of that poison was lost or damaged ie multiple samples – If a dead drop wasn’t used then the contents would be discarded. Hardly a big stretch imo.

      • One Two 10.2.2

        It is not credible…

      • Bill 10.2.3

        Pretty certain I read reports from the past few days claiming the bottle was broken.

        Which (McFlock!) kinda dovetailed into my “what else fits the evidence, bar attempted assassination of a long since dealt with/to spy” muckings around.

        And then I read that report that, no, the bottle was boxed, and I thought “Who dumps boxed consumer goods “just because”?”

        Then I thought – What if the container was leaking and the contents had permeated the wrapping, got onto hands – from hands to car interior and door handle – from door handle to PC Whatisname…. ? (Yawn)

        And whatnot and whatever, I’m fairly persuaded the person who took the stuff into Britain is already a “guest” of UK authorities.

        And I’m pretty sure we’ll likely never be told why it was smuggled into the country, who wanted it smuggled into the country, or who the intended victim/target was.

        • Rosemary McDonald 10.2.3.1

          I’m sure this will have been posted before…but hey, can’t get enough of a good thing.

          https://syrianobservatoryforhumanwrongs.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/an-idiots-guide-to-the-skripal-affair/

          “Hmm”
          By Panopticon

          A sad, funny story of Sergei and Yulia –

          not ‘funny ha-ha’, but funny peculiar…

          One Sunday in March they decided to eat

          at a nice little café, then stopped at a seat

          where they both felt unwell at the very same minute –

          now I think that’s quite a coincidence, ‘innit?

          So an ambulance came for the pair, as requested.

          But when they were studied, and prodded, and tested,

          nefarious substances in them were found –

          and not only there, but spread all around

          old Salisbury town, up hill and down valley –

          (the High Street is now known as ‘Chemical Alley’).

          A passing D.S. who just happened to be there,

          was poisoned like them when he went off to see where…..”

  10. greywarshark 11

    A RadioNZ heading for a newa item ‘Honours for Australian cave divers’.
    Have these gone to political journalists reporting the truth of the goings-on of the Australian Parliament?

    • veutoviper 11.1

      Your empathy etc antenna is really “off” this morning, grey, with this off remark, and the one about the Novichok victim at 10.1.

      Honours for the Adelaide doctor and other Australian cave divers who took part in the rescue of the Thai cave victims have been fast tracked by the Australian government following public pressure. Here is the RNZ item:

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018655100/honours-for-australian-cave-divers

      Grey, the one thing you have posted this morning of any merit IMO is your post about the excellent item on Nine to Noon re people trapped in insurmountable debt because of increased charges and punitive treatment by big banks and other financial institutions – and the fact that submissions to the government close next week on the review of the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act.

      BUT you posted that on yesterday’s Daily Review rather than here on OM where more people are likely to see it.

      Daily Review 24/07/2018

      For people interested – and I highly recommend it – here is the link to the RNZ Nine to Noon indepth item on this.
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018655098/living-and-retiring-in-debt

      • Rosemary McDonald 11.1.1

        “…. with this off remark, and the one about the Novichok victim at 10.1.”

        I assumed that Grey had read/watched some of the alt commentary around the ‘scent bottle found somewhere just lying around so I gave it to her and she squirted it all over even though it would have smelt like catspiss’ story and was being oblique, and not just a tad ironic. (one of the Young People was youtubing such stuff last night and I made a point of doing some extra verifying)

        Play nice folks.

        I though we agreed ages ago that the real story will never be known.

        • marty mars 11.1.1.1

          may never be known not will never be known imo

          I don’t tolerate victim blaming from anyone especially when it is vindictive against a person who has just lost someone they care about.

  11. marty mars 12

    I really feel for these people – so fast and devastating – and the human side of hugging and huddling with family and friends when death is there – brings it all home and makes it real cos we would do the same.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/24/greek-fire-survivors-all-we-have-seen-is-tragedy-and-loss

  12. marty mars 13

    So many homeless and dead and the countryside devastated. I am thinking of these people suffering there today and tomorrow.

    And I wonder what long term effect it will have.

    “The dam is a key component of the country’s controversial ambition to become the “battery of Asia” by selling power to its neighbours. Eleven large hydropower dams on the main Mekong River, and 120 tributary dams, are planned over the next 20 years.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/24/laos-dam-collapse-hundreds-missing

  13. Rosemary McDonald 14

    Okay. So Guyon Espiner is not everyone’s cuppa and his interviewing style, mmmmm, grates a tad, but he is making some good points in his piece here…

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/362574/the-green-party-needs-to-speak-up

    There’s little twixt NZF and the Greens…% of votewise…so maybe the Greens need to find an area in which they can distinguish themselves?

    An area neglected by the other parties.

    An area in which Green advocacy has been outstanding in the past.

    • Carolyn_Nth 14.1

      The direction was set when agreements were made after the election. The dominant people in the Labour caucus always favoured NZF over the Greens. That was evident to me, even before the election.

      The Greens got limited possibilities for traction within the cabinet.

      Davidson is still finding her feet and could well make an impact in the future. Genter has had some impact, and probably will do so in the future.

      Meanwhile, unless a woman politician goes the celebrity route (Ardern) or the brutal sensationalist route (Judith Colllins & Paula Bennett) it’s not so easy for women leaders to get cut through into the MSM.

      • Rosemary McDonald 14.1.1

        I got a reply from Genter the other day which leaves me wondering if perhaps she has conserved her energies and attention and focused on issues other than MOH disability issues. Fair enough…she’s off on maternity leave soon.

        “…it’s not so easy for women leaders to get cut through into the MSM.”

        Catherine Delahunty, although not a “leader”, managed to get in the front of a few issues and gave awesome support to the family carers case.

        A pity the Greens have no-one to step into the disability field now.

        • Carolyn_Nth 14.1.1.1

          Or a Green’s person could go on morning TV, and when Mike Hosking does a pro-Trump spiel at them, shout at him, “Look I’m literally a communist, you idiot”. And then wait for communism to become the new cool in NZ…?

          This is what Ash Sarkar shouted at Piers Morgan on UK morning TV – instant fame and media attention.

          The video interview with Sarkar by Owen Jones at the link is fun – she has a story about her mum meeting a flatulent Mao Tse Tung.

          So it’s apparently about making communism (or is it anarcho-syndacalism) fun – and becoming a celebrity in the process.

          But will it only be 15 minutes of fame?

      • Puckish Rogue 14.1.2

        “Meanwhile, unless a woman politician goes the celebrity route (Ardern) or the brutal sensationalist route (Judith Colllins & Paula Bennett) it’s not so easy for women leaders to get cut through into the MSM.”

        I don’t think Judith Collins has gone that route for cut through but rather shes taking the route she believes in

        • Robert Guyton 14.1.2.1

          3-cars Collins?

          • Puckish Rogue 14.1.2.1.1

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/98513231/just-three-cars-destroyed-under-crusher-collins-law

            “When I passed this legislation in 2009, I said that confiscating and destroying the vehicles of the worst, repeat offenders would be the ultimate deterrent,” Collins said last year.

            “Critics of this law have completely missed the point. The number of deaths, injuries and crashes due to illegal street racing have plummeted.

            “This shows that the law has been an extremely effective deterrent. It has made our streets safer and saved lives.”

            According to figures released by Collins’ office, there were 15 crashes where “racing” was a factor in 2015, compared to 70 crashes in 2001.

            Racing-related crashes peaked in 2007, when there were 116 accidents, that number declined following the introduction of the crushing law, according to Collins’ figures.

            ​Collins said the law sent a strong message and it had worked as intended.

    • Puckish Rogue 14.2

      As I’ve always said the Greens are Labours doormat, ever since the Greens said no to even talking with National Labour have known that they can take the Greens for granted

      All the Greens would have to do is announce they’re willing to talk with National, just talk nothing else, and they’d get a much better deal from Labour

      Maybe the Kermadecs would go ahead, maybe there wouldn’t be exploration in dolphin sanctuaries, who knows but at the moment NZFirst and Labour know they can dish out whatever they like to the Greens and the Greens will say thank you very much Sir

      • SaveNZ 14.2.1

        Yes, but at least after 9 long years Labour got back and Greens in government… so the coalition can’t have been that bad a move for them both… of course now is their chance so do something meaningful for voters so they vote them back in… and not get too arrogant and out of touch or pander to those that don’t actually vote for them at the expense of many others, aka big business and foreign policy …

      • Dennis Frank 14.2.2

        The doormat could yet prove slippery for Labour, but more likely the analogy doesn’t apply as much as you think – too early to differentiate yet. I agree with those who’d like a little more of a Greens taking a definite stand on issues, but I sympathise with our parliamentarians feeling the need to be good team players.

        Next month’s conference they’ll want to suss out how attendees are feeling about them. Y’know, ain’t a surprise to see Greens motivated to work for the common good. The government is the main focus for that currently, yet we remain anchored in the broader Green movement so we don’t lose focus on the big picture either.

        Re Nats, the ball’s in their court. We keep waiting for them to toss it our way, they keep doing their ineffective opposition act. Just another way SB is failing to demonstrate political nous & leadership.

        • Puckish Rogue 14.2.2.1

          I mean hey NZFirst only has billions to buy a safe seat and what do the Greens get, the crumbs and then Labour will take credit for whatever positive story the Greens come up with anyway

          “Re Nats, the ball’s in their court. We keep waiting for them to toss it our way, they keep doing their ineffective opposition act”

          No. I’m not talking about serious discussions I mean the Greens simply saying they’re open to discussions, thats all they need to do.

          They don’t need to announce anything, they don’t need to formulate nothing, all they need to do is say we’re open to discussion.

          But they can’t even do that

          • Robert Guyton 14.2.2.1.1

            Very wise of them and comes about because they tell the truth.

            • Puckish Rogue 14.2.2.1.1.1

              Well true I mean its only 2 billion (and counting) that NZFirst managed to claw out of Labour, its not like the Greens couldn’t have found a use for any of that

          • Dennis Frank 14.2.2.1.2

            Too early in the electoral cycle. Nats could be brainstorming the support party scenario, not quite ready to do strategic planning.

            Re Labour taking credit for Green initiatives, to an extent that will happen. Some will note the greening of the Labour Party as better late than never. Others will hallucinate them morphing into the Green Labour party. Inasmuch as career politicians always put their career ahead of common cause, some of our leftist MPs may even hope for such a future and join them if it happens. Zero-sum thinking is a powerful political tradition.

            My guess is that the friendship formed between Jacinda & James in London 12 years ago is just as likely to extend the status quo in the hope of embedding their collaboration in a multi-term future of governance. In MMP strength derives from parties collaborating – not from union into a monolith.

          • David Mac 14.2.2.1.3

            I’m inclined to agree with you. Winston’s approach is largely why he wields the leverage he does.

            “We will work with any party that our members feel will best accommodate our core principles.” I think it’s a reasonable position to adopt.

            Commentators will query “So you’d work with National?”

            “If they start ticking off items on our wish-list, our members will listen to what any seat winning party has to say.” A response of this order is not a sell-out. As per Puckish and NZ First’s form, I think it could generate increased influence in decisions.

          • The Chairman 14.2.2.1.4

            “I mean hey NZFirst only has billions to buy a safe seat and what do the Greens get, the crumbs and then Labour will take credit for whatever positive story the Greens come up with anyway”

            Labour are allowing the Greens to be the face of new climate related charges/taxes. Like increasing the cost of dumping waste.

            One wonders if the Greens have anything to offer the poor to help them mitigate those new additional costs?

  14. marty mars 15

    I’ve been watching the Vietnam series on nettyflix – just up to may 1970. Very sobering and sad. Such a waste of everything and the poor innocents caught up in the middle – being killed, children crying over dead parents and parents crying over dead children. The past shows the lessons which we just refuse to learn. And people continue to be murdered – t.rump is leading the US deeper into these dark dark times again imo.

    Thanks Neil for writing that song.

  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    Bridget Burdett
    @Bridget_Burdett

    Hear that people? At *Best*, self-driving cars will be many times *less efficient* than a normal everyday train network. Shove that in your transport-futures pipe and choke on its fumes.

    Entire thread needs reading.

    People who think that self-driving cars will eliminate congestion and be more efficient than good public transport are simply refusing to accept reality.

  16. Carolyn_Nth 18

    Breaking. The Canadian neo-nazis are not coming to NZ. Court action by Freeze Peach Coalition called off. Canadian couple claims victory according to RNZ… eh?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/105744525/rightwing-canadian-speakers-visit-canned-legal-action-on-back-burner

    The Free Speech Coalition said on Wednesday time had run out, and an urgent court hearing planned for Monday to challenge their banning from an Auckland Council venue will now occur later in the year.


    The Free Speech Coalition is claiming as a “partial victory” correspondence from the council which said Goff had had no part in the decision to cancel the booking, and it would have been improper for him to do so.

    Why are they so intent on challenging the Council?

    • Jenny 18.1

      The Free Speech Coalition is claiming as a “partial victory”

      Yeah a partial victory…..

      Yessss

      We got all this money….

  17. joe90 19

    Stable genius managed to go bust with casinos and Manhattan real estate.

    ‘Murica, it’s your turn.

    President Trump on Tuesday is expected to announce help for farmers who are being hit hard by billions of dollars in tariffs on their products.

    The Trump administration, which has been talking about providing emergency aid to the agriculture industry, could offer upward of $12 billion in help to calm rising concerns about the trade war that could hit U.S. farmers hardest, Politico first reported.

    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/398542-trump-expected-to-announce-help-for-farms-hard-hit-by-tariffs

  18. David has just signed off the equity for workers in the mental health and addiction services today. $3.00 an hour for 5000 aprox $5.00 an hour for a number and backpay.

    • Rosemary McDonald 20.1

      Jolly good show.

      Should have been the first job done when Parliament came back after the Xmas break as it was an obvious and serious omission when the care workers were sorted.

      Now, about David’s ‘diplomacy’ regarding Hundleby…

      ” Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Ian Powell said in his view he got on well with Hundleby on a personal level, but was acutely aware that district health board staff “found him very abrasive”.

      Powell said Hundleby had never developed a trust relationship with district health boards, or realised the importance of doing so.

      Health Minister Dr David Clark told Stuff he was “not aware of any particular issues”. ”

      ‘Cos David would be the only person involved in the NZ health sector…ie, who has a pulse…who wasn’t aware of issues with this person.

    • But Nurses have not been offered backpay for a MECCA that expired a year ago, and Mental Health workers given a higher % than offered nurses, another offer today, just the same as the previous three. Expect more strike action.

      • Rosemary McDonald 20.2.1

        Since most Nurses work for the DHBs and the relationship between the DHBs and the MOH Executive as been described as ‘toxic’ and David isn’t aware of that particular issue, then yes…expect more strike action. And more power to their collective elbow.

        OTOH…these headlines being promoted by the Right…https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12094472

        “Defence Minister confirms 17 NZDF nurses worked in hospitals during strike ”

        …what on earth was that about???

      • marty mars 20.2.2

        Mental health workers earn shit all for very hard work. Just like nurses and they are different roles with different agreements and a different union. I fully support nurses and any action the members vote for.

    • marty mars 20.3

      Yep can’t wait for that backpay. Good work to all involved.

  19. Morrissey 21

    The disturbing story behind Willie Apiata’s Victoria Cross.
    Paula Penfold challenges the “cowardly” Lt. Col. Tim Keating to come clean.

    The Panel, RNZ National, Wednesday 27 June 2018
    Jim Mora, Paula Penfold, Allan Blackman, Caitlin Cherry

    Paula Penfold’s challenge starts at the 04:44 mark.
    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thepanel/audio/2018651165/panel-says

    JIM MORA: …. Thank you, that’s interesting from you. Allan Blackman. And—Paula Penfold.

    PAULA PENFOLD: I would like to talk about the soon to be departed Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, who I see has been doing a series of media interviews today. I haven’t heard it yet, unfortunately, but I understand he was on Nine to Noon this morning with Kathryn Ryan, and I know that he’s done at least one other interview with journalists, I imagine there are probably more. I find that intriguing, because we at Stuff Circuit have been asking Lieutenant General Keating for an interview for four years now. And, knowing that he was about to depart his post, we went to see him as he was departing a Select Committee a couple of weeks ago.

    He wasn’t, I suppose it has to be said, best pleased to see us, but we did get to ask him a couple of questions because we have been doing this investigation for quite some time now. And after we published The Valley in August last year he put out a thirty-four page statement responding to much of what we said, and said that he would be investigating the allegations that we raised abut the 2004 battle in Uruzgan, which led to the Victoria Cross for Willie Apiata. Now I wanted to know what had happened with that investigation because he said that he would be responding publicly and then he never did, so I wanted to know whether that was going anywhere. And he said yes indeed, that it was undergoing a legal investigation but I’m interested in the fact that this man who, this Chief of Defence who held a conference on transparency in the NZDF at the end of last year, has elected to do some media interviews, and I’m sure those journalists did a very good job, but they’re not the ones who have been investigating and publishing these allegations; we are, and he won’t answer my questions.

    I’ve issued a public apolog— uh, “apology”!—a public invitation to him on this very program previously to front up and answer some questions from us because these are allegations that are serious allegations about what our SAS troopers did in that firefight, including that we provoked that firefight ourselves, that we mistreated the bodies of the dead enemy by strapping them to the bonnets of our military vehicles and dropping them on the ground in the village bazaar, that we kicked in doors, and that we flexi-cuffed innocent civilians. He has not answered those questions. He does say that there’s an investigation under way, but he will be departed by the time that investigation is completed, and he said yes it’s the warrant of his office under which that investigation happens. But I thank that personally, as the, you know, chief executive of a government department, he should have fronted and answered those questions before he left. And so I think Lieutenant General Keating, in making the selective choices he has about media appearances, has been cowardly. And I would also like to add that we have had contact from very, very many serving soldiers who say that he will not be missed.

    JIM MORA: All right, so you’re seeking further elucidation from the outgoing Chief of Defence before he finally departs.

    PAULA PENFOLD: I am. He said when we fronted up to him at parliament that he will not be tried by media, to which I said, That’s not the intent, the intent is simply to answer, uh, to ask you some questions. That’s all we want to do.

    JIM MORA: Paula Penfold, Allan Blackman on the Panel. Thank you both.

    https://interactives.stuff.co.nz/the-valley/#

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/stuff-circuit/104709342/defence-boss-tim-keating-launches-investigation-into-2004-sas-raid

  20. Jenny 22

    World respected scientific journal Scientific American has launched a new climate change column, headed by serving NASA scientist Kate Marvel.

    Welcome to Scientific American’s New Climate Science Column
    It’s about this beautiful, messy, funny, tragic planet and the terrible, wonderful humans who live here
    Kate Marvel – June 8, 2018

    My name is Kate Marvel, and I’m a climate scientist at Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. I want to stress that nothing I say here reflects the official view of these institutions, although it damn well should……

    ……Burning fossil fuels puts carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This makes the planet warmer. We have known this for over a hundred years, longer than we’ve known about DNA and internet and second world wars.

    Asking a climate scientist whether global warming is real is like asking a physicist how come stuff falls down. We’ve learned things over the past few centuries, and we use these things to ask new and more interesting questions. This is why the collider at CERN is not just a giant inclined plane that people roll things down to see what happens, and why modern chemists do more than mix vinegar and baking soda together (I assume; I don’t know many chemists).

    I don’t mean to suggest that there’s no science left to do. After all, I show up to work every day. Some people believe this is because I am engaged in a global conspiracy that has somehow managed to coordinate the actions of scientists, the US military, the finance and insurance industries, most world governments, and, you know, the atmosphere and ocean. Such a conspiracy may exist, but I’m afraid I am not invited to their meetings, which sound much more fun than your average scientific conference and probably have open bars. But I do my job precisely because there’s still so much to learn about this planet.

  21. R.P Mcmurphy 23

    channel 31. newborn enrollments bill seems like the first step on the road to microchipping all newborns. nicky wagner mangling the walk the walk saying now. trying to justify microchipping babies.

  22. eco maori 24

    Good Morning The Am Show I hope those people who are working on the new weed bill actually change the laws so we get benefits to our society like less people in jail and our sick people have it for medication .What makes me laugh is that 50 years later some American industrialist decided to minuplate OUR reality on weed and get it classed as a harm full drug a medicine that nuns used to help people with pains .
    Don’t you think Its a joke that because these people want to make money from alcohol .Thats the reason it was made illegal just so the 00.1% could make more money from the common people .These wealthy corrupt minuplaters are still effecting OUR logical decisions on OUR future come on use your own brain on this subject. And lets use all the things the Gods gave us in a positive way.
    Ka kite ano P.S Mark I like watching the Block show I have watched it from the first show they had in Australia its Awsome.
    I say you are a straight up Kiwi Eco Maori likes those good quality’s

  23. eco maori 25

    These people like to create drama they use race and religion and skin color to stir up tangata emotions they don’t care who gets hurt from the words they spray around Papatuanuku. Lets get this straight it not about skin color or religion to Eco Maori every Maori knows that we cannot denie our European heritage we just want to be treated the same as our European cousins Equality is were its at for Eco Maori.
    So its not about skin color or religion its about ones attitude and the way they treat other peoples . You don’t go around Papatuanuku broad casting a attitude that you are superior to every other Great culture on Papatuanuku and imposing your ideals on the rest of Papatuanuku especially when we know that those ideals will create chaos and unrest all around Papatuanuku . It is harmony that Te tangata of Papatuanuku needs and wants to sort out the mess we have made to Papatuanuku.s Environment

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/105625016/farright-canadian-speakers-lauren-southern-and-stefan-molyneux-granted-visas

    Ka kite ano

  24. eco maori 26

    This is a typical way that some people try and cover there true colors
    Zero-carbon economy may not be worth the cost they use a word like may or could to make the audience think they are a neutral by stander giving there opinion.
    In reality they are a right wing neo libreal who’s main goal is to be swimming in money .
    They think we can’t see through there false facts and figure’s and see he is a climate change denier.
    What really shows the real person they are is that they show more affection to MONEY than any of the other beautiful beings that are on Papatuanuku at the minute .
    And that——————Eco Maori the link is below ka kite ano

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/105725231/zerocarbon-economy-may-not-be-worth-the-cost P.S I will try and be nice to these idiots The Christ Church Quakes was not directly connected to global warming but we can see that a disaster could be on the same scale and cost the same 40 billion

  25. eco maori 28

    Some Eco Maori music

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